2013 Free Agent quarterback class lacks options


Matt Moore has usually been a backup quarterback in the NFL. He's a free agent now and with so many questions at the position from other teams, could this be Moore's year to shine? Photo by: Kevin Tsui / Flickr

Matt Moore has usually been a backup quarterback in the NFL. He’s a free agent now and with so many questions at the position from other teams, could this be Moore’s year to shine? Photo by: Kevin Tsui / Flickr

The Couch Side podcast is on hiatus this week, so we bring you an original blog about the NFL’s favorite position …

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

With Joe Flacco off the Free Agent board, the picking seems pretty slim for teams targeting quarterbacks in the 2013 Free Agent Class.

It was pretty much a given that Flacco would resign with the Baltimore Ravens. However, I didn’t think he would become the highest paid player in NFL history. Will this revamp the quarterback market? Maybe in the future, but it certainly won’t have any weight with this offseason’s handful of quarterbacks in need of jobs. Last year, players such as Matt Flynn, Alex Smith and Matt Hasselbeck headlined the class of 2012. While that group looked like a bunch of snoozers, this year’s is even worse with Matt Moore leading the way by a long shot.

Perhaps the 2013 Free Agent quarterback class isn’t even worth the words and the time of this blog, but the quarterback position is one that always catches some ink. There are some younger options for teams and some veterans looking for a second or in some instances a third look. Regardless, any signed free agent quarterback will garnish some attention. So here at Couch Side, we will give credit to these gunslingers, with this list of the NFL’s top 10 Free Agent quarterbacks:

1. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins

I actually believe in Matt Moore. It may sound stupid, but he legitimately deserves a shot to be an NFL starter somewhere. In deeper Fantasy Football leagues two years ago, he was a really good pickup, especially in leagues with two quarterbacks. He’s had a handful of good games and even a few great ones. My friends and I call it Matt Moore Magic and he’s done nothing but play above his “image” in every single start with the Dolphins. When he actually got the majority of playing time in 2011, Moore proved he can excel under center, throwing for almost 2,500 yards, 16 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. If I’m the Browns, Moore is high on my radar.

• Where he fits: Any team that needs a starting quarterback NOW (Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars)

2. Drew Stanton, Indianapolis Colts

Stanton is one of those guys who’s flied under the radar and could be ready to start. He didn’t see the field for a single down last season, backing up Andrew Luck, but he did have a handful of snaps as a member of the Detroit Lions. At best, the 28-year-old is still a backup. When he did receive his most starts in 2010, nothing jumps off the page as Stanton threw for  a little more than 100 yards per game in his six games played that year. The sample size of Stanton simply isn’t big enough and until the guy in front of him goes down, giving him the bulk of the snaps, NFL fans may never know what he can do.

• Where he fits: New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers

3. David Garrard, Miami Dolphins

It seems like David Garrard signing with the New York Jets is pretty much a done deal. Considering, Rex Ryan believes Mark Sanchez is the Messiah, it only makes sense to find the incumbent a reliable backup not named Tim Tebow. So expect the Jets to sign Garrard very soon after Free Agency officially starts next week. Garrard certainly has the experience, nine years in the league, and New York should benefit from that because a veteran gunslinger is something that has eluded the Jets since Sanchez was drafted. Sorry Mark Brunell.

• Where he fits: New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans

4. Jason Campbell, Chicago Bears

Campbell could very well find himself playing for the Bears again next season, but I’m not sure if they should entertain the idea. Campbell had two chances to show other teams he still has what it takes to be a starter in the NFL. Campbell blew it, however, losing both of his starts while filling in for Jay Cutler. Campbell has received a lot of chances since coming into the NFL seven years ago. He just hasn’t proven, yet, that he’s anything more than a backup quarterback. The only thing he has going for him is being a veteran, but that’s not always a good thing.

• Where he fits: San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants

5. Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs

Quinn finally got his shot last season. It’s just too bad it came with the Kansas City Chiefs. Quinn did look awful, but a lot of fingers can be pointed on the other offensive players around him. Quinn is still very hungry to start in this league after getting the shaft from the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps a team buys into Quinn’s potential and his need to be a success. Believe it or not, there’s interest in the 28-year-old around the league.

• Where he fits: Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots

6. Brian Hoyer, Arizona Cardinals

Because this list doesn’t have a lot of marquee players to it, quarterbacks six through 10 will go a lot quicker. I like Hoyer simply because he has been in New England Patriot head coach Bill Belichick’s system. He also looked like a capable backup with the Arizona Cardinals last season in a couple of starts.

7. Bruce Gradkowski, Cincinnati Bengals

I have to believe the reason Gradkowski is still in the league and always finds a contract in the offseason is because scouts see him as an above average quarterback. He may not have a lot of playing time under his belt, but when his number has been called, Gradkowski has proven he can be a game controller. Maybe that’s why he always ends up as the No. 2 quarterback on somebody’s roster every year before mini camps start.

8. Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins

Please don’t laugh, but I’m a Rex Grossman fan. So it saddens me to think, he may have to call it quits if he doesn’t find a contract this offseason. Sure, there is good Rex and bad Rex. However, good Rex can pay off big time. He still has an absolute cannon for an arm and outside of maybe David Carr, Grossman has the most experience of any Free Agent QB this year. For those simple reasons, I will be praying Grossman lands in someone’s camp this offseason.

9. David Carr, New York Giants

Carr seems to shine in the preseason. And in the very few times he had to fill in for Eli Manning over the past two seasons, the Giants offense never missed a beat. Call me crazy, but I think the former No. 1 NFL Draft pick could be one of the best comeback stories in the NFL. Early indications have him signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Josh Freeman fails to perform for yet another year, NFL fans may just be hearing that comeback story sooner than they had though.

10. Josh Johnson, Cleveland Browns

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh knows quarterbacks, obviously, and he went out and got Johnson last year. Johnson didn’t make it on the roster, however, after spending time in the team’s camp and ultimately signed with the Browns in a move of necessity when the team had injury scares to both Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy. Johnson will enter his seventh season in the NFL and has started just five games. But if Harbaugh saw something in the 2008, fifth-round choice, he probably has something to offer. I’m guessing it has something to do with his legs.

10. Other Free Agent Quarterbacks:

Luke McCown – ATL, Tyler Thigpen – BUF, Derek Anderson – CAR, Josh McCown – CHI, Jordan Palmer – JAC, Pat Devlin – MIA – (Ex), Chase Daniel – NO, Matt Leinart – OAK, Charlie Batch – PIT, Byron Leftwich – PIT, Kellen Clemens – STL, Vince Young – FA, Sage Rosenfels – FA, Seneca Wallace – FA, Donovan McNabb – FA, A.J. Feeley – FA, Troy Smith – FA, Chris Redman – FA, John Beck – FA, Stephen McGee – FA, J.P. Loseman – FA

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