Athletes right to sit out

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

Part two of the countdown ranking the NFL’s top quarterbacks continues, at No. 16.

16. Baker Mayfield, age 24, Browns — Ready to direct a high-octane offense that also includes Odell Beckham Jr.

15. Mitch Trubisky, 25, Bears — He was the beneficiary of all those Chicago defensive takeaways in 2018, but a fierce opponent schedule awaits in 2019.

14. Dak Prescott, 26, Cowboys — Solid quarterback who last week turned down a $10 million raise. Last year’s addition of WR Amari Cooper helped his numbers.

13. Philip Rivers, 37, Chargers — Has been a model of consistency with his performance over the past three years, averaging 31 TD passes per season.

12. Cam Newton, 30, Panthers — Has had two throwing shoulder surgeries over the past three seasons. This could be a pivotal year in his career.

11. Matt Ryan, 34, Falcons — Has averaged 31 TD passes and 8.7 interceptions over past three seasons that included his 2016 MVP campaign.

10. Carson Wentz, 26, Eagles — If it weren’t for injuries the former FCS signal-caller would be higher on the list. He played all 16 games as a rookie.

9. Jared Goff, 24, Rams — He excels because of his accurate arm and a three-WR offense that includes the return of a healthy Cooper Kupp.

8. Ben Roethlisberger, 37, Steelers — Led league with 675 attempts and 5,129 yards in 2018, but remember Antonio Brown is now in Oakland.

7. Drew Brees, 40, Saints — Remains a high-level completion percentage passer, but the days of big yardage games are over.

6. Deshaun Watson, 23, Texans — It helps that he has DeAndre Hopkins on the roster. Has thrown 45 TD passes in his first 23 career games.

5. Andrew Luck, 29, Colts — Has thrown 70 TD passes over two seasons sandwiched around missing all of 2017. Will he be ready to go before the Sept. 8 opener?

4. Tom Brady, 42, Patriots — Six-time Super Bowl champion’s days of huge passing numbers are over, but still knows how to put together a key drive during a key game.

3. Aaron Rodgers, 35, Packers — With head coach Mike McCarthy gone, future Hall of Famer’s career may be revitalized with three young WRs.

2. Russell Wilson, 30, Seahawks — Threw for a career-high 35 TD passes last season, and team should have an effective ground game.

1. Patrick Mahomes, 23, Chiefs — League MVP zoomed to the top, thanks to 50 TD passes in his first 17 career games. Let’s see what he does in 2019.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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