2013 NFL Free Agents: Power Ranking Quarterbacks Set to Hit Open Market

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 11:  Jason Campbell #2 of the Chicago Bears runs off the field against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field on November 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Texans defeated the Bears 13-6.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The free-agent market for quarterbacks this offseason figures to be a lot less interesting than last year's.

We are, after all, fresh off a year where Peyton Manning parted ways with the Indianapolis Colts, and one of the wildest free-agent courting periods the sports world has seen ensued. 

This year will lack the kind of buzz that Manning generated last year, but there are still some impact players available. 

The most attractive option set to be a free agent is the Ravens' Joe Flacco. However, it is highly unlikely the Ravens let him hit the market. They will either find a long-term solution, or lock him up with the franchise tag. They aren't going to let him walk away for nothing. So Flacco will be omitted from this list. 

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No. 3: Drew Stanton 

The Jets shipped of Drew Stanton this past offseason after they acquired Tim Tebow. As it turns out, the Jets probably should have kept Stanton as their backup, since they seemed completely uninterested in using Tebow in that capacity. 

Stanton ended up going to the Colts, and the 28-year-old wound up not throwing a single pass this season. In fact, he has not thrown a pass in the NFL since 2010.

Stanton has the talent to be a starter. He has a strong arm, good size and solid athleticism. He just needs to refine his consistency and decision making—two things that will only come with time.

I don't expect any teams to offer the untested Stanton a starting job, but he is a solid backup, who, given the chance, may actually develop into a viable starter. 

Stanton sits at No. 3 on this list over a couple of guys with starting experience because of that upside. 


No. 2: Jason Campbell

Jason Campbell is a decent starting quarterback. However, there is little reason to think he could ever be more than that, and that is a big reason why the 31-year-old made a transition from starter to backup as he navigated the free-agent market last season. 

Teams aren't going to be overly anxious to hand over the reins to a veteran without a high ceiling—unless they are a talented team with a bad quarterback and few other options, or a team hoping to give a youngster some practice time before letting him take over. 

In both those scenarios, Campbell is an excellent option. Campbell fumbles too much, but he is an accurate thrower and is decent with his feet. He is a bit conservative with his attack, but that also helps him limit interceptions. 

Campbell would be an absolute luxury for a team to have as a backup and decent option for a team looking to find a starter for a season or two. 


No. 1: Michael Vick

Michael Vick is still under contract, but he is owed a ridiculous amount of money and as the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane reports, Vick is unwilling to renegotiate his deal.

That means the Eagles will likely restructure it in the form of terminating it. 

This would leave Vick as a free agent, and while there are a wealth of question marks surrounding the 32-year-old, he will still draw his fair share of attention from teams, media and fans. 

Vick has been demolished behind a bad Eagles line the last few seasons—it has helped turn him into a veritable turnover machine. 

However, Vick can still run, he still has a strong arm and he can still break down a defense and create big plays. He will be an enticing option for teams who feel they are just an upgrade at quarterback away from making a run at the Super Bowl. 

My first thought is the Vikings. They have a strong line, a great running back and they made the playoffs this year despite largely terrible play by quarterback Christian Ponder. 

Whatever happens, this will be a fun story to watch this offseason.