Top 10 Free Agent QB’s who hit the market in 2017
With the NFL postseason coming to its conclusion in three weeks, we here at MFST want to get you ready for the best off-season in sports…the NFL off-season. With the draft, trade chatter and of course free agency, many NFL teams can flip the script on their roster turning around their team in as little as one year. We all know, a team begins and ends with a quarterback–so here are the ten best signal callers who will be available on the free agent market in 2017.
Top 10 Free Agent QB’s
1. Kirk Cousins
- The only quarterback in this free agent class who deserves to be called a sure-fire starter, Cousins is coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing (4,917 a career-high in 2016). He’s never going to be ‘elite’ but he can win you ball games, and more importantly won’t lose games for you.
Prediction: Washington ponies up and gives Cousins a long-term deal.
2. Mike Glennon
- If you ask me, the Bucs did a disservice to themselves when they didn’t trade Glennon away for some type of assets. Now he’s set to hit the open-market and is the clear No.2 QB behind Cousins. He’s played sparingly the past two seasons, but in 2013 and 2014 he looked like a more-than-capable starting quarterback in this league. As a rookie, he completed 60% of his passes with 19 TD’s to only 9 INT’s.
Prediction: If Philip Rivers gets his “request” and is traded. The Chargers will be No.1 on the list for Glennon. Glennon’s QB-coach in his rookie season with Tampa Bay, John McNulty, is on the staff for the new LA Chargers and is said to be in “awe” over Glennon. If Rivers isn’t traded, look for a team like the Jets or Bills to be in the market.
3. Geno Smith
- Poor Geno. He gets punched in the mouth and loses his job, only to regain it a season and a half later, then tears his ACL. It’s been a rough start to his NFL career, but Smith does have the skills to succeed as a QB, but will he get another shot? Unlikely. He’ll be signed as a backup with a mythical “chance to compete” for the starters job.
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars. John Idzik drafted Geno and is now a member of the Jags front office. Smith could fit in nicely as a backup to Blake Bortles and gives Doug Marrone an out if Bortles struggles in 2017.
4. Matt McGloin
- After four years in Oakland, McGloin is ready to test the free agent waters and said he is looking to go to a place to compete as a starter. We know that won’t happen with the Raiders, but will another team give him that type of chance? It’s possible, he’s shown flashes in very limited duty—but he won’t be handed any job.
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers. He’ll compete with whoever they draft this Spring.
5. Ryan Mallett
- It may not seem this way, but NFL scouts still believe in what Mallett can do on the football field. He may be a basket-case with an ego problem, but no one is denying he can sling a football. He’s a more-than-serviceable backup in this league and is capable of giving a team some spot-starts throughout the season.
Prediction: Mallett re-signs with the Ravens on a cheap two-year deal.
6. Matt Barkley
- Before this season, I thought it could be Barkley’s last in the NFL, but he did an admiral job filling in for Jay Cutler on a bad Bears team. His stat line might now show it, 1,600 passing yards and 8 TD’s to 14 INT’s, but it actually showed improvement from his time in Philadelphia. He won’t be paid a lot, but if he signs a one-year deal and gets another shot, maybe he can play his way to a better future.
Prediction: Re-signs with the Bears on a one-year deal.
7. E.J. Manuel
- Depending who you talk to in Buffalo, some fans say Manuel never really got a shot while some will say he’s worse than Brian Brohm. Well, either way his time in Buffalo is over and he will look to start fresh somewhere new. Watching him closely in Buffalo, I don’t think he has the skill set to be an everyday starter, but can give you solid reps as a No.2.
Prediction: Manuel heads to Minnesota on a one-year deal as insurance behind Sam Bradford and the questions about Bridgewater’s return.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Please NFL teams learn from your mistakes. Do NOT let Fitzpatrick be your starting QB. He won’t get that chance of course, but it seems wherever he goes, the starter always gets hurt (Rams, Bengals, Bills, Texans, Titans, Jets). If he decides to come back and play (he is mulling retirement) there will be teams seeking a veteran QB to be the backup and tutor a younger, more talented starter.
Prediction: Fitzpatrick returns to Tennessee to help Marcus Mariota in his development
9. Case Keenum
- Keenum wasn’t the problem in LA. Everything around him was…especially the worst offensive line in football. That being said, Keenum isn’t going to be starting many more games in his career. He showed he’s a solid backup, but nothing more.
Prediction: Keenum signs with Tampa Bay as their backup to Jameis Winston.
10. Landry Jones
- Landry Jones got to see the field a bit in his last two seasons in Pittsburgh and could be looking to go to a place where reps and opportunity are more forthcoming. He has a decent stat line during those limited chances, 1,031 yards 7 TD’s and 6 INT’s over the last two seasons combined. Nothing to make your head turn, but who knows if fully given a chance?
Prediction: Landry Jones heads to Arizona on a two-year incentive-laden contract to learn under Bruce Arians.
** Editor’s note: Quarterback’s like Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, AJ McCarron, Colin Kaepernick,Tyrod Taylor etc. would be ranked on this list, but they are currently under contract and can only be traded from their respective teams unless they get cut.
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Dan Schalk covers the NFL for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk