5 NFL Quarterbacks Who Could Start Elsewhere

George DennyContributor IIOctober 14, 2011

5 NFL Quarterbacks Who Could Start Elsewhere

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    It seems like every year around Week 6, the quarterback carousel updates itself.

    Teams that had overestimated their potential, will cut bait on the old stalwart for the young future or outright replace their underperforming starter with an unheralded backup.

    2011 brings the added allure of tanking for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, creating the potential for untested shot-callers to finally lead. These five quarterbacks could start in the very near future.

David Garrard, Free Agent

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    Unceremoniously cut in the preseason to make way for Blaine Gabbert, Garrard is without question the best free agent option currently on the market.

    At the still-competitive age of 33 and coming off a stellar 2010 season (90.8 QB rating), there should be a job for this quarterback who could easily be considered a top-20 option in the league.

    Unfortunately for Garrard, there isn’t such a playoff contender willing to pay his freight quite yet, and we may not see a contender pickup the price tag unless their starter goes down with an injury.

Vince Young, Philadelphia Eagles

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    In 2010, Young was let go by the Titans after nine competitive for presumed off-the-field issues. The Eagles have exactly the kind of mobile injury-prone starter to make the former No. 3 pick the most important backup in the league.

    Vince should be some Vick-less action for the Eagles this year, but with a nine-figure investment in their starting QB, Philadelphia may fare better by reallocating Vince’s contract to their run-defense.

    There are certainly a few teams in the league that could improve with Vince at the helm, though dealing a key backup to an injury-prone starter is a serious risk, the 1-4 Eagles need some luck to get back in the playoff chase.

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Leave it to the Bengals to completely mismanage their only decent quarterback since Boomer Esiason threw the deep ball.

    Team owner Mike Brown has repeatedly refused Palmer’s offseason request to be traded and the emerging success of rookie Andy Dalton, Brown still maintains that the Bengals won’t entertain Palmer's offer before next Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.

    Palmer does run like a statue, but he can still throw an effective pass from time-to-time and there should be a starting job for a top-25 quarterback.

Charlie Whitehurst, Seattle Seahawks

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    Free-agent starter Tarvaris Jackson’s recent injury gave way to Whitehurst’s Week 5 explosion, where he completed 11 of 19 passes in leading the Seahawks to a road victory over the New York Giants.

    Charlie has the greatest odds of outright claiming the starting role of all the quarterbacks on this list, and with the ‘Hawks currently on a bye, we may see him under center when play resumes in Week 7.

    Whitehurst lacks Jackson’s mobility, but both have the youth to potentially grow into starting quarterbacks. While Tarvaris hasn’t completely underwhelmed to date, there is no job security in Seattle until the team wins on a fairly consistent basis.

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    No one in Minnesota really knows how good Ponder can be in 2011 and after an uninspiring 1-4 start behind Donovan McNabb, no one should care.  

    The aging Hall-of-Famer “lead” the team to a 34-10 victory over the hapless Arizona Cardinals last weekend, but completed only 10 of 21 passes in a game that should serve as his finale for the fading Vikings.

    A team that isn’t going to the playoffs has no reason to start a 35-year-old quarterback. Whether Ponder is ready for the big time or not, his in-game development is more integral to the future than any benefit McNabb currently brings to the team.