2011 NFL Free Agency Primer: Part 1, Passing On
As many fans and teams know, the quarterback position can make or break a team. Many down trodden teams could have an opportunity to change their upcoming season outlook by signing a quarterback. There is a menu full of options; there is a pure passer, a two skill star, a temperamental youngster, a career backup, a grizzled vet and many others that make up this year’s quarterback class.
The Pure Passer: Peyton Manning
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Peyton Manning will be a free agent, does this mean he could leave Indy? No way. Colts management has long expressed their desire to not only resign Manning, but to make him the highest paid player in the NFL.
While Manning is getting up in age (34) he still has the skills to continue his assault on the record books. When he signs his new deal he will be back with a prolific offense that will feature Dallas Clark and Austin Collie. These assets which will allow Manning and the Colts to rebound from a disappointing 2010-2011 season.
The Two Skill Star: Michael Vick
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Peyton Manning is going to get paid to stay, Michael Vick could get paid to go away. While his future in Philadelphia is not as solid as Mannings' is in Indy, you have to feel that Andy Reid and Eagles owership will do all they can to keep him in Philly Green.
Philadelphia thought they liked Kevin Kolb enough to trade away Donovan McNabb and clear his path to the starting lineup, only it didn't work out as planned as Vick quickly took over the starting role. Vick will most likely stay in Philly and stay loyal to the only team that offered him a second chance.
The Temperamental Youngster: Vince Young
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While Vince Young is technically not a free agent, he will either be released or traded by the Titans this offseason. While he has the skills to make it in this league, some wonder whether he can wrap his head around the game and cut down on the antics.
If he can, he has the skill set to become a quaterback in the mold of Michael Vick. Young would be a solid pickup for a franchise looking for a dynamic playmaker to lead their offense.
The Career Backup: Seneca Wallace
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Wallace, who is an underrated quarterback, thrives when he gets his opportunities, granted they haven't been with very good teams. He is solid in the pocket and is an excellent runner. He can also run an offense effectively.
While he doesn't have the glitz and glamour of other free agents, he could bridge the gap for a team who has a young quaterback in waiting.
The Gizzled Vet: Matt Hasselbeck
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Like Wallace, Hasselbeck may be signed by a team as a backup. With the accquistion of Charlie Whitehurst last offseason the Seahawks seem to want to go in a younger direction and the loss to the Bears could have been his last game in the white and teal. However Hasselbeck can still play as evidence by his playoff run this season.
Hasselbeck could provided a year or two of solid play for a team in which he is surrounded by some talent, such as San Fransisco or Minnesota.
Best Of The Rest: Starters
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Tavaris Jackson: With the retirement of Brett Favre, Jackson could finally be the man again in Minnesota.
Kerry Collins: Most likely will play out his days in Tennessee as they groom a replacement.
Alex Smith: Would he be in a better position if he had some stability from his offensive coordinator in SF?
Matt Leinart: He couldn't have hurt the Cardinals any worse than the quarterbacks they had did.
Bruce Gradkowski: If the Raiders would of opened their eyes they would they have seen they had their quarterback of the future all along.
Best Of The Rest: Backups
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Chad Pennington: If he recovers from his injury, he could provide backup stability to an established vet.
Dennis Dixon: Looks like the odd man out in Pittsburgh with Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich entrenched as Big Bens backups.
Troy Smith: Looked good at times with SF, but not consistent enough to play full time.
Trent Edwards: Now free of the Bills and a constant pass rush, Edwards should feel safer as a backup.
Brady Quinn: Has the potential, but will he ever get the change to prove himself.