Free Agent Quarterbacks: Ranking the Class of 2009
It’s that time again to start talking about free agency. We’ll spend some time breaking down positions, and today we are going to start with maybe the most important position on the field—quarterback.
Here are our rankings of Free Agent QBs and what we think will be the end result for some of these players.
1. Kurt Warner—Cardinals
The Super Bowl QB is going to be a free man, but expect the Cardinals to make a more than fair offer to keep Kurt around. Kurt could have been the MVP this season. While a couple other teams will likely flirt with the idea of grabbing him, I can’t see him anywhere else but in the desert.
2. Matt Cassel—Patriots
Look for Cassel to be franchised, meaning he’s not going anywhere in 2009. The Pats need to protect themselves just in case Tom Brady is not going to be ready to go at the start of the season. Again, he’ll get plenty of interest in the open market, but don’t expect him to make it there unless teams are willing to give up two No. 1 picks.
3. Jeff Garcia—Buccaneers
Even at 39, Garcia can be a stop gap for some team on the steps of being a possible playoff or Super Bowl contender. With the coaching changes in Tampa Bay, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Garcia take his game elsewhere, but there is always the chance he may retire.
4. Kerry Collins—Titans
The Titans had a great season with Collins, but even as the No. 1 seed in the AFC were not able to get by the Ravens. Collins played tough when the team needed it, beating the Steelers late and Ravens early in the year. He’s the perfect QB for the Titans' system and giving him two years at $10 million per year would not be out of the question.
5. Rex Grossman—Bears
Rex in effect should get a fresh start and bail from the situation that is the Bears. The team appears to have made a commitment to Kyle Orton as their QB of the future. If Grossman wants to be a starter, he’ll likely have to go somewhere as a backup and then hope for poor play or an injury to be in the starting lineup.
6. Luke McCown—Buccaneers
McCown is still young enough that he could be a decent player in this league. He has shown flashes, but has never fully taken it to the next level. Look for him to go somewhere and be a backup with the hopes of being a starter down the road.
7. Kyle Boller—Ravens
This may be a shot in the dark, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Boller somewhere else with a fresh start. He wasn’t ever able to live up to the level of the pick the Ravens used on him. With Joe Flacco taking them to the AFC Title Game, there is no question who the long-term starter will be in Baltimore.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick—Bengals
The former Harvard QB started the year awfully, but by the end was playing much better. Fitzpatrick's short-term starting opportunity will come to a close with the Bengals, as Carson Palmer will be back under center in 2009. Wouldn’t doubt if another team or even the Bengals locked him up as their backup. He’d be smart to stay in Cincy if the offer is there.
9. J.P. Losman—Bills
Not a big fan of Losman, but someone will give him a job as a second QB on their roster. I wouldn’t doubt if he’s in camp with a team that has an unstable QB situation come July.
10. Byron Leftwich—Steelers
The former starter with the Jags has found a nice home with the Steelers and has played well when called upon. With the desire to compete, my guess is he moves on to another squad.
Other Free Agent QBs
David Carr—NY Giants
Brett Ratliff—NY Jets
Brock Berlin—St. Louis
Joey Harrington—New Orleans
Gibran Hamdan (RFA)—Buffalo
J.T. O’Sullivan—San Francisco
Jamie Martin—San Francisco
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