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We have to judge this year's crop of free-agent quarterbacks a little bit differently than we do other position groups. This is because when you're talking about depth in a free-agent quarterback pool, you're generally talking about depth players—you know, backups. There is just never going to be a market full of starting-caliber signal-callers.
This year's free-agent class, however, does feature a number of quarterbacks worthy of earning a starting opportunity, which is rare. Of course, this is assuming a flurry of new contracts aren't handed out before March 9.
The biggest name on the list might be Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, who, for a time, was starting for the eventual Super Bowl champions. A number of teams will likely yearn for Osweiler's services, but if the Broncos can afford to keep him, Osweiler will probably stay in Denver.
"Every single guy on this team embraced me, and that is something I think they all know how thankful I am for that," Osweiler said after Super Bowl 50, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. "But this is the best team in the world, and we have a very special group in our locker room."
Washington Redskins Kirk Cousins (9-7 as a starter) is another guy who proved he can be a starter in 2015. Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick (10-6 as a starter) showed he can excel with the right team around him. Both are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. It would not be surprising to see both re-signed before the new league year.
Sam Bradford, who showed glimpses of true starting potential with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, is more likely to hit the market in a few weeks.
If even one—or two—of these starting-caliber guys reaches free agency, though, it will mean more than we typically see.
This year's list of journeymen and backups includes names like Michael Vick, Matt Hasselbeck, Drew Stanton, Chad Henne, Charlie Whitehurst, Matt Flynn and Luke McCown. If your team needs a quality backup, it can likely find one in the coming offseason.
What could make things more interesting is the potential release of quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III. According to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com, the Cleveland Browns plan to release Manziel at the start of the league year. John Keim of ESPN.com reported the Redskins will try to trade Griffin but will likely release him if they cannot.
These moves should add to a talent pool that features a few starting-caliber quarterbacks and a whole lot of capable depth.