There are a number of NFL teams without a viable starting quarterback, so you know the pickings are slim at the backup spot. The Ravens are set at starter, but Tyrod Taylor has not looked convincing as a backup.
The bottom line is that Taylor really doesn’t have much upside. He is an intriguing player as a scrambler, but he is a limited passer. The situation will always be dire if Joe Flacco goes down, but Taylor can’t come in and tread water for a couple of weeks like Josh McCown or Matt Flynn did last year.
Based on the most recent evidence, it doesn’t look like Josh Freeman can, but he at least has massive upside.
He was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft and is only 26 years old. It looked like he was putting his physical tools together after a couple of good seasons in Tampa Bay (2010: 3,451 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs, 95.9 rating; 2012: 4,065 yards, 27 TDs, 17 INTs, 81.6 rating).
It went downhill rather quickly in 2013 as he didn’t mesh well with head coach Greg Schiano and then played one of the worst quarterbacking games known to man in his lone start for the Minnesota Vikings. But a change of scenery could do wonders for him (and judging him on that Vikings game is narrow-minded).
The conditions in Baltimore might be just what he needs: a hard-working locker room, a firm-but-fair head coach, an offensive guru for a coordinator and a Super Bowl MVP as a mentor.
Realistically, the outlook for Baltimore if Flacco does get hurt will be very grim and Josh Freeman may be spent as an NFL quarterback, but the tools are there—we’ve seen them before. It’s worth taking a flier on former first-round pick.
The market for the remaining free-agent quarterbacks isn’t great, and the Ravens should be able to get him on a fairly cheap deal. Freeman would be wise to take whatever he can get given that he’s close to being out of the league.
Baltimore is likely to at least peruse the quarterbacks available late in the draft and on the undrafted rookie pool, but Freeman would be a low-risk signing with the potential to pay off in a huge way.