In the NFL, unless a team has given up on a franchise quarterback, they don’t hit the open market. True, you have rare occurrences from time to time, where four neck surgeries and millions of dollars are at stake which puts a Peyton Manning on the market, or when a quarterback has not proved his worth but then does after the franchise has drafted his predecessor, like the Drew Brees scenario back in 2006 with San Diego. Most of the time when a contract is up for a franchise quarterback, the only team making contract negations with that player is the team that he’s been playing for, which has been proven for three years now with Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, and now Jay Cutler – all not talking to other teams. Still there are a few interesting names on the market this season, so without further ado let’s take a gander at this year’s crop of free agent quarterbacks.
Michael Vick claims that he will be a starting quaterback next season, but let’s face it, he is now 33 years old and has proved year in and year out that despite his athleticism, he cannot stay healthy. Now teams such as Houston, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Cleveland, and possibly Oakland will be in the market for a quarterback, although they all most likely will be looking to go young, which could be bad news for Mr. Vick. Vick’s best bet might be to stick around in Philly as he played well at the beginning of the season, or maybe reunite with Andy Reid in Kansas City, still both these options are in a backup role which Vick doesn’t seem interested in taking.
This season did not go so well for Josh Freeman, first he was benched, then cut by the Buccaneers, finally after signing with the Vikings he only started one game and played horribly. These turn of events have ruined any chance of him finding a starting job and he definitely will not be getting a big contract. Still, Freeman is only 25 years old and has of a cannon arm, so there will at least be a team out there willing to give him a roster spot and another chance to prove himself.
Most backup quarterbacks that put up a 109 quarterback rating will have teams lining up to sign them, however McCown will be 35 years old by the time next season begins, so this will not be the case for him. Nevertheless, because of McCown’s great season there will be teams interested in having him in a backup role. Still, it might be best for McCown to sit behind Cutler again, mainly because he never looked as good as he did last year in Marc Trestman’s offensive and there is always a chance Cutler could go down again.
With 55 touchdowns, 62 interceptions, and a 75.3 quarterback rating for his career, it’s safe to say Chad Henne is average at best. Still, Henne is good backup quarterback and will have plenty of suitors hoping he wants to wear their hat and hold their clipboard. Henne’s best bet is sticking around Jacksonville and helping groom whomever the Jaguars draft to be the future of the franchise in this year’s draft, as he might even start at the beginning of the season if he were to stay.
Once again, Matt Flynn held the fort down while Rodgers nursed injuries and helped the Packers stay afloat and win the NFC North. The difference between now and the last time this happened is that Flynn has already played for a slew of teams and could not cut the mustard. Flynn should know by now that his place is in Green Bay as their emergency quarterback just in case Rodgers gets hurt, as he shines in McCarthy’s system unlike anywhere else he plays.
Cassel was the best quarterback on the Vikings this year; still this is not something to be proud of as Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder were dreadful a members of the team. In his time with the Chiefs, Cassel proved that he is not a franchise quarterback; however, he is a suitable backup for a team interested in having a veteran that will be ready when called upon. Because of this, Cassel will find work in the league, it is just a question of where he will find it. One potential fit that comes to mind is the Texans, as he has history with new head coach Bill O’Brien during their time in New England. He can play a vital role in grooming the future quarterback in Houston as he understands O’Brien’s system.
Clausen once was the golden boy from Norte Dame that was projected to be drafted in the first round, but dropped to Carolina in the second round and then proceeded to play horrible his rookie year. Since then Clausen has been on the bench, as the Panthers found their future quarterback in Cam Newton the next season. With Clausen’s contract coming up, the question is will a team sign him as a backup or is this the end of the line for Clausen. With Carolina having both Clausen and the much older Derek Anderson as free agents, there is a good chance that his seat on the bench will still be there next season.
Other Free Agents Quarterbacks: Charlie Whitehurst, Rex Grossman, Kellen Clemens, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Tarvaris Jackson, Colt McCoy.