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Evaluating the Remaining Free Agent Quarterbacks


There is always a need for quarterbacks across the NFL, but some pretty good ones do not have homes as we near April. Let's evaluate the top options at the position.

 

Potential Starters

 

Jay Cutler | 34 years old (in April) | Last team: CHI

Easily the most accomplished quarterback left on the market, I’m surprised that Cutler hasn’t received more interest since the start of free agency. There was a short period of time where it seemed like the Jets were a good match, but they went with Josh McCown, which I think has more to do with mentoring young passers and maybe losing enough games to draft one in the 2018 NFL Draft than it does on-field ability.

 

Robert Griffin III | 27 years old | Last team: CLE

I would not write off RGIII’s career yet, as he has much more arm talent and intelligence than people give him credit for. Two interesting destinations for him in my opinion: Jacksonville and Arizona. The Jaguars have a lot of young talent on both sides of the ball, and could take a cheap flier on RGIII if Bortles struggles again, while the Cardinals are looking for their quarterback of the future, and Bruce Arians could make it work in the desert with Griffin’s deep ball.

 

 

Quality backups

 

Chase Daniel | 30 years old | Last team: PHI

Daniel has been paid handsomely for a guy who has thrown for a total of 480 yards and one touchdown in his seven-year career. People shouldn’t criticize him for taking what he can get on the open market, though, and should actually feel kind of bad for him after being promised a chance to start before being passed over for Carson Wentz last year. [Note: Daniel was signed by the Saints today, so he returns to the team he started his career with]

 

Shaun Hill | 37 years old | Last team: MIN

The 37-year old would be a great addition for a team needing a solid veteran presence, as he’s thrown a respectable 8,295 yards and 49 touchdowns (compared to just 30 interceptions) in his journeyman career.

 

Case Keenum | 29 years old | Last team: LAR

The stop-gap for the first overall pick Jared Goff last year, Keenum played okay before the wheels fell off the Rams’ first season in Los Angeles. He should slide in as a decent backup someplace; perhaps Houston, where he started his career, if the Texans somehow head into next season without addressing the position.

 

Matt McGloin | 27 years old | Last team: OAK

McGloin might be the more likely option to end up in Houston, as Bill O’Brien coached him at Penn State. The former Nittany Lion will find a new home as a reliable backup signal-caller soon enough.

 

Christian Ponder | 29 years old | Last team: SF

Ponder hasn’t thrown a pass since 2014 with the Vikings, and has spent his time since then in the Bay Area, including last year with the Niners. Chip Kelly wanted to bring him to Philadelphia when he was the head coach there, but Ponder didn’t want to go to the east coast, so we’ll see if things have changed as we get closer to training camp.

 

 

Hard passes

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick | 34 years old | Last team: NYJ

It seemed pretty obvious that last season was not going to begin or end well after the offseason drama between the front office and Fitzpatrick. If he’s signed by someone, it will be Fitzpatrick’s seventh team since 2005, but I would look for my backup quarterback someplace else.

 

Blaine Gabbert | 27 years old | Last team: SF

Gabbert started the first five games of 2016 before losing his job to Colin Kaepernick, and rightfully so, as Gabbert had a 5:6 touchdown-interception ratio in Chip Kelly’s quarterback-friendly offense. It would be a surprise if Gabbert makes any more meaningful starts in the NFL.

 

Colin Kaepernick | 29 years old | Last team: SF

Kaepernick just isn’t very good anymore. If he was free to kneel for the national anthem, which he was and should have been, owners are free to not sign him, which they are and should be.

 

 

Wild Cards

 

Johnny Manziel | 24 years old | Last team: CLE

If he could truly turn his life around off the field (which it seems he is taking steps towards), Manziel would arguably the top option on this list with his combination of age and talent.  Johnny Football has to know that he is wasting away the chance to play in the league, so hopefully he figures everything out before it’s too late to utilize his talents on the field.

 

Tim Tebow | 29 years old | Last team: PHI (training camp)

Currently trying his hand at professional baseball, I’m sure Tebow would quickly retire his cap and glove for a helmet and shoulder pads if given the opportunity. With the Broncos, the guy went 7-4 in his lone season when given the chance to start, and also won a playoff game before John Elway was able to sign Peyton Manning. Throw out all the completion percentage and quarterback rating stats you want, I would take Tebow as my quarterback any day… and twice on Sunday.

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