The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. And if a team doesn’t field a true answer at the position they’re usually destined for mediocrity rather than the playoffs.
And the draft often isn’t the answer. So many draft-pick quarterbacks flame out due to the difficult transition from the college to pro game.
So what about free agency? Well, generally, really good quarterbacks rarely hit the street. Drew Brees becoming free agent in 2006, and signing with New Orleans—that scenario rarely comes to pass.
But you know what? While the 2016 NFL free agent quarterback class isn’t great, it isn’t terrible, either. Many around the NFL feel like Kansas City backup Chase Daniel looks ready to lead a team. The same with Arizona reserve Drew Stanton. Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off a career year with the New York Jets, and could be had with the right offer since the Jets have cap issues.
Here is a look at some of the signal-callers prepared to hit the street . . .
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets 6-2, 223 • 33
Fitzpatrick is coming off a career year with New York (31 touchdowns, 15 interceptions), and the Jets want him back. However, they don’t have a ton of cap room, so if a QB-hungry team swoops in and offers him a lucrative contract, he can be had. Yes, he has a tendency to throw costly interceptions, but so did Brett Favre (336 career INTs). Aside from the occasional picks, “Fitz” is clearly a quarterback you can win with as he showed last year in New York.
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos 6-8, 240 • 25
It’s assumed he’s going back to Denver, but with John Elway you never know. The GM won’t overpay. Osweiler can make all the throws, but still needs work on reading defenses.
Chase Daniel, Kansas City Chiefs 6-0, 225 • 29
Daniel is the sleeper of this free agent class. He’s a little undersized, but after four years of tutelage from Drew Brees and Sean Payton in New Orleans, and four more from Alex Smith and Andy Reid in Kansas City, he’s ready to lead a team. Daniel creates time in the pocket and reads defenses well, plus he displays a lot of moxie. Think of him as a poor man’s Brees.
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins 6-3, 220 • 31
Moore boasts 25 career starts between Carolina and Miami, and game experience is huge at this toughest of all NFL positions. A team can win games with this guy — he’s got decent arm strength and mobility and is good at going through progressions. At the very least, he’s a terrific insurance policy.
Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals 6-3, 243 • 31
Stanton has spent most of his career as a backup with stops in Detroit, Indianapolis, and Arizona. But does have 12 career starts. He is an excellent athlete with a nice build and lively arm. He has the potential to emerge as a team’s starter in a QB-hungry league.
Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins 6-1, 215 • 29
McCoy, who has 25 career starts, possesses good character, leadership, and intelligence. However, he lacks ideal arm strength. He is a perfect No. 2 QB who can lead a team through a few games as a starter.