NFL free agency is set to begin March 13 as the official new season rolls around. One of the best parts of the NFL Offseason? Free agency. This is a way for teams to fill the holes of their respective teams looking to make a playoff push. During the next couple of days, I will be making a list of […]
NFL free agency is set to begin March 13 as the official new season rolls around. One of the best parts of the NFL Offseason? Free agency. This is a way for teams to fill the holes of their respective teams looking to make a playoff push.
During the next couple of days, I will be making a list of the best free agents by position. First up, the quarterbacks. While the QB free-agent class is nothing spectacular, there are a few players that can start for teams right away while others will look to fill the backup role in case a team’s starter goes down with injury or struggles on the field.
10. Josh Johnson
- 2018 team: Washington Redskins
- 2018 season stats: 590 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs, four games (three starts)
It took him 11 seasons, but Josh Johnson finally won his first game as an NFL starting quarterback. The former 5th round pick in 2008 has played for five separate teams, while also being on seven different teams but never played a snap.
With injuries to Alex Smith and Colt McCoy, the Washington Redskins signed Mark Sanchez and Johnson to fill that void. Sanchez struggled and Johnson was the starter towards the end of the 2018 season.
Johnson is a journeyman and will likely sign with a team as the 3rd string QB.
9. Geno Smith
- 2018 team: Los Angeles Chargers
- 2018 season stats: 8 yards, five games
What could have been; Geno Smith was drafted 39th overall by the New York Jets in hopes that he would be the QB of the future. While his rookie year had some promise, injuries and on-field struggles ruined his chances of being a starting quarterback.
After a one-year stint with the Giants, Smith was the backup to Phillip Rivers for the Los Angeles Chargers. With the consistency of Rivers, Smith only came in for garbage time relief duty. Look for Smith to join a team with an already established QB and compete for a backup job.
8. Brock Osweiler
- 2018 team: Miami Dolphins
- 2018 season stats: 1,247 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs, seven games (five starts)
Brock Osweiler is known for being one of the biggest free-agent busts in recent memory, signing with the Houston Texans back in 2016. During this season when Ryan Tannehill was injured, Osweiler came in as a starter for a few games and showed that he could still be a serviceable QB.
7. Robert Griffin III
- 2018 team: Baltimore Ravens
- 2018 season stats: 21 yards, three games
Another case of injuries ruining a potential star. After a promising rookie season with the Washington Redskins in which he won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, an ACL injury derailed his momentum. He has never been able to replicate that rookie season.
After a year away from football, Griffin III joined the Baltimore Ravens and made the opening week roster where he was the 3rd string QB behind Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson. He made a few appearances this season, mainly in spot duty when Jackson came out for a few plays.
A fully healthy season under his belt, look for RG3 to compete for a backup position wherever he signs
6. Josh McCown
- 2018 team: New York Jets
- 2018 season stats: 539 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, four games (three starts)
At 39 years old, who knows with Josh McCown will play in the NFL once again. The journeyman has had a nice run in the NFL and had a solid stint with the Jets, mainly as a veteran mentor to Sam Darnold.
If he decides to come back for one more year, he’ll look to be a nice veteran presence in the locker room and could sign with a team that has a young starting QB that might need a consistent veteran to help him out.
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
- 2018 team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2018 season stats: 2,366 yards, 17 TDs, 12 INTs, eight games (seven starts)
An early suspension to Jameis Winston allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter for the Buccaneers. He had a hot start but on-field struggles had him benched in favor of Winston in the middle of the season. Winston struggled later on and Fitzpatrick was the starter once again.
He won’t be competing for a starting job but Fitzpatrick showed that he can come in from time to time and keep teams competitive if the team’s starter struggles during the season.
4. Colin Kaepernick
- 2018 team: None
- 2018 season stats: None
Look, I am not the one to talk about politics here but we can all agree Colin Kaepernick deserves another shot at the NFL. We cannot forget that at one point Kaepernick changed the QB position with his running style.
After two years of not playing, can Kaepernick still show he is a legit QB? Maybe. It does not hurt to bring him in and see what he is all about. The free-agent QBs are few and far between, so why not bring him in and see what he can do.
3. Tyrod Taylor
- 2018 team: Cleveland Browns
- 2018 season stats: 473 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, four games (three starts)
After leading the Buffalo Bills to their first playoff appearance since 1999, Tyrod Taylor was traded to the Cleveland Browns and was viewed as a bridge QB until Baker Mayfield was ready to play. An injury in Week 3 against the Jets allowed Mayfield to enter the game and the Browns have not looked back ever since.
Taylor is not a bad quarterback. A mobile QB that rarely turns the ball over will give him a lot of looks in free agency. His time as a full-time starter is probably long gone but should be looked at as one of the best backup options in the NFL.
2. Teddy Bridgewater
- 2018 team: New Orleans Saints
- 2018 season stats: 118 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, five games (one start)
Teddy Bridgewater was looked at to be the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings but a preseason knee injury derailed his chances of being a full-time starter. He joined the Jets in the 2019 preseason but was traded to the New Orleans Saints right before the regular season started.
He played some spot duty this past season and started the final week of the regular season with the Saints already locking up a playoff spot. Seeing as Drew Brees is getting up there in age and Taysom Hill is valuable playing other positions outside of QB, it would not surprise me if he decides to stay in New Orleans and be the successor to Brees once he steps away from football.
1. Nick Foles
- 2018 team: Philadelphia Eagles
- 2018 season stats: 1,413 yards, 7 TDs, 4 INTs, five games (five starts)
Nick Foles is the clear best available quarterback in free agency. He led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl after Carson Wentz went down and played at the beginning of this season until Wentz was fully healthy. Injuries to Wentz allowed Foles to be the starter again but was never able to recreate the magic he had during the team’s Super Bowl run.
With the Eagles saying Wentz is the starter going forward, the team is letting Super Bowl 52 MVP free to sign with another team. He definitely has a chance to be a starter wherever he goes, mainly for a team that has all the pieces but needs a veteran consistent quarterback going forward (looking at you Jacksonville).