Posted by Jack Tumen
Well, it’s the saddest time of year; football is officially over and now we’re bombarded with baseball for the next 7 months.
But for us die hard football fans, the season is never truly over. In fact, next season just started. And the first major event to occur each offseason is the start of free agency. This will be the first post of many to discuss offseason rankings and predictions for 2014.
So let’s begin, shall we? The 2014 free agent class of quarterbacks is looking like one of the weakest groups in recent memory. As a matter of fact, none of these guys really have solid starting caliber potential. Nonetheless, there are plenty of teams that will be looking to acquire a veteran presence at the position. Here are my top 5 current free agent quarterbacks along with predictions as to where they will end up.
5. Shaun Hill
Hill has only appeared in 4 games since 2011, but every time he gets in the game he looks solid. He’s 34 years old and is a good tutor for a young quarterback if anything. Although, with the questions surrounding Matthew Stafford’s maturity this past season, maybe Hill wasn’t doing much mentoring. Plus, teams seem to be stocking up on young QBs these days for competition or trade purposes. He could come back on a 1 or 2 year deal, but his career is running on fumes.
Prediction: Re-signs with Detroit
The Lions need the experience at backup. Kellen Moore hasn’t progressed in any way and it doesn’t seem like they’re looking to give him more reps. Hill ends his career as a Lion.
4. Michael Vick
Say what you want about how Mike Vick should be ranked higher, but the truth of the matter is that the guy can’t keep himself on a football field. His style of play constantly exposes him to big hits and his paper bones just can’t handle all that contact. What good is a quarterback when he can’t stay healthy? No team is going to make him their starter; if they need a quarterback, it’s a great year to draft one. He’ll turn 34 this offseason and he’s not getting any younger. I don’t think he has a place in Philly – Nick Foles is now the one and only – and if he stays put, there will always be a question about his usage in Chip Kelly’s scheme.
Prediction: Signs with Carolina
If there’s an offense Vick could play in, it’s Carolina’s. It’s designed for a semi-mobile quarterback and if the guy wants to run, let him run. Cam Newton is subject to hits when he carries the ball, so Vick is a starting-caliber QB that can step in if need be. I can see him and Cam shootin’ the shit on the sidelines like they’re bros. Plus, Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen are both free agents. Vick’s also stated before that he wants to play for the Panthers. It’s a fit.
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports
3. Josh McCown
McCown’s mid-season run with Chicago was nothing short of magnificent as he threw for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and just 1 interception. But a run is a run, and the run is over. He had two of the league’s best receivers to throw to in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. His career peaked during that 4-touchdown game against Dallas on Monday Night Football. He’ll turn 35 this offseason and is probably going to be overpaid by whoever grabs him. He’s a serviceable signal caller but it would be foolish to think he can maintain that level of play for much longer.
Prediction: Re-signs with Chicago
There’s no way the Bears could let this guy walk after all the help he gave them in 2013. He and Jay Cutler seem to support one another and it’s not like there’s many guys out there. The fans want him back and the team certainly isn’t drafting anyone. Plus, Cutler’s missed at least 1 game in 4 out of his 5 seasons with the Bears. McCown’s the most popular guy in Chi-Town.
Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports
2. Matt Cassel
He played 9 games in Minnesota’s QB carousel this past season and chose to void the final year of his contract and test the free agent waters. Whether that was a smart idea, I’m not entirely sure. With no clear cut starter in Minnesota, Cassel probably would have been the favorite to start in week 1 over Christian Ponder, who looks lost at times; Adrian Peterson certainly thinks so. It could be a ploy to grab a larger contract from Minnesota if the Vikings feel like they’re desperate enough to bring him back as the starter. Cassel’s never really “wowed” anyone, but he’ll be 32 years old next season and still has some mileage left. If the Vikings feel confident enough to draft a quarterback, Cassel may have just screwed himself out of a starting job.
Prediction: Signs with Tampa Bay
Mike Glennon has the potential to be a good quarterback, but he really lacks the “it” factor. He’s certainly not any quarterback I’d want starting for my team and he wasn’t a draft pick of Lovie Smith’s. Cassel would be a nice addition to challenge Glennon for the starting job and it’s probably one of the few places he’d actually have an opportunity to start. Dan Orlovsky is also a free agent and Jordan Matthews is the only other QB on the roster. It’s not like they’re winning a Super Bowl any time soon anyways.
Melina Vastola/USA TODAY Sports
1. Chad Henne
This guy is the definition of an average joe. I mean seriously, everything about him just screams “average.” He may be just that, but he’s still a relevant option for a number of teams. He completed just over 60% of his passes in 2013 while throwing for a modest 3,241 yards – more than Colin Kaepernick and Henne started one less game - ranking him 18th among QBs. That’s 18th for the Jaguars. He actually had one of the better seasons in his career and earned the praise of Head Coach, Gus Bradley. I have Henne at number 1 because out of all the quarterbacks I previously mentioned, he’s been the most “consistent” as a starter – take that word with a grain of salt – and he’s also the youngest; he’ll turn 29 in July.
Prediction: Re-signs with Jacksonville
Henne will be a serviceable backup to whoever the Jaguars decide to draft in May. If he has to enter the game for them, it could be worse; their backup could be Blaine Ga-…oh, wait. Well, at least Jaguars fans wont have to worry about him getting any more chances…what a miserable draft pick. Now if they could only toss those hideous uniforms.
Next up: free agent RBs. Stay Tuned.