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Donovan McNabb and 6 Other Free-Agent QBs Still on the Market

Nick DeWittAnalyst IMay 23, 2012

Donovan McNabb and 6 Other Free-Agent QBs Still on the Market

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    There figures to be a limited amount of quarterback competition for starting jobs this summer. Many teams are quite settled at the position.

    Backup jobs, however, are up for grabs in many cases. Several teams could use an extra, veteran arm. There are lot of options on the free-agent market.

    Here's a look at Donovan McNabb, the headliner, and six more players that could be on a roster near you very soon.

Brett Favre

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    You can never count him out until we can be 100 percent sure he won't make another trip back to the NFL. After seeing the way he played the last time on the field, I find it hard to believe Favre will make another appearance on the sideline as a player.

    Of course, last year was the first time people were able to say that and be right.

    Favre probably doesn't have much left. He's now in his mid-40s and he looked older the last time he stepped under center. The problem is he loves the game so darn much he can't seem to truly tear himself away.

    While this is more joke than anything, I can't be sure.

    If he was to reactivate himself, he'd have takers for sure. Teams have a hard time resisting former Super Bowl champions and MVPs.

Jim Sorgi

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    Sorgi missed 2011 with an injury, but he's been a steady backup for the Colts before. He always seemed like a guy who had some potential for more than backup duty, but never had a chance sitting behind Peyton Manning.

    Now he'll be trying to latch on with a team as a backup. A team with quarterback issues or even just backup issues would benefit from him.

    His old team, the Colts, could use him again. Behind Andrew Luck, I worry about their plans.

    Sorgi worked out for the Raiders a while back, but lost out to Matt Leinart. I wouldn't be surprised if he got another opportunity the first time a guy goes down.

Dennis Dixon

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    Dixon wanted to leave the Steelers for an opportunity to become a starter.

    In Pittsburgh, he was lost in the backup shuffle and had no chance to beat out Ben Roethlisberger. He had never done much to begin with, but didn't make a lot of mistakes and was generally accurate and strong.

    Dixon does have great legs and can get out of the pocket if needed. He's accurate enough and has a good arm. I don't see any issues with him going in as a backup. He just ran out of room in Pittsburgh.

    The Ravens and Rams were previously interested, but I don't know if they'll sign a quarterback just yet. Both have young backups they're working with already.

    Dixon should find a home, though. He's too good to miss a whole year.

Kyle Boller

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    Boller has never lived up to the status that made him a first-round pick way back in 2003. The Ravens gave up on him after a while and bounced around after that.

    Boller had a cameo last year with the Raiders before Carson Palmer made his way onto the roster. He wasn't particularly effective, but might find his way back onto a roster this year.

    The trick with Boller is waiting for someone else to get hurt.

    He isn't going to be brought back in as a key backup for any team because he's never shown the ability to win games. A backup is important when it comes to winning games off the bench the same way a relief pitcher is in baseball.

    Boller will probably come back at some point, but it will probably be later in camp or during the season.

Mark Brunell

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    Probably the most veteran guy on this list, Brunell has been around for a long time. He's always been a steady, solid player and doesn't seem like a guy who can't do it anymore.

    Brunell could very easily be a tutor for a young player or come off the bench. The good news for the veteran signal-caller is there are plenty of teams with young quarterbacks.

    The trick will be finding a fit.

    My guess is at some point during the summer, a team is going to get a bit worried about who's backing up their youngsters. Right now, rosters are expanded, but Brunell is a guy who can be ready anytime.

    He won't need a lot of reps and is likely staying in good shape. If he doesn't sign before camps open, look for Brunell to end up on a team before the season opens.

Chad Pennington

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    Pennington is leaning toward retirement after missing significant time with several major injuries. The problem is a team might step in and make him an offer.

    Pennington is a steady presence and a great leader who could really improve depth if he's ready and able to play.

    Veteran leadership is hard enough to find on the backup market, especially at this point. If a team gets hard up for a quarterback, they'll probably at least call Pennington. There are plenty of teams that might need his services.

    His situation is similar to Mark Brunell—a veteran guy who might be needed when things start to fall apart.

Donovan McNabb

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    McNabb is the biggest fish left in the pond.

    He's the best quarterback on the market who has a good chance of still being signed. While I would say his starting days and his best days are behind him, I also think McNabb still has plenty of value.

    Teams that might be interested will depend on how they view the player. Vince Young just landed the backup job in Buffalo, so I'd look for a similar outcome for McNabb.

    The influx of quarterback talent recently has put a dent in McNabb's value, however.

    A team like the Colts might be interesting. Andrew Luck will likely be the starter, but a veteran backup could be very important.

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