In honor of my favorite writer, Bill Simmons, and the Jay Cutler saga, I will rank the top 15 quarterbacks in terms of trade value. I will factor in age, injury concerns, salary, and obviously greatness. I won't focus too much on salary because you can't overpay a good QB.
Here are my rankings:
15. Matt Schaub—The under-appreciated Schaub has always had trouble with the injury bug.
14. Kurt Warner—He's a great QB who just came off a Super Bowl appearance. The problem is he is 38 and has had problems with injuries in his career.
13. Matt Cassel—He's a hot young QB commodity who was on the market this year. He was able to secure a second-round pick and caused McDaniels to ruin his relationship with Jay Cutler.
12. JaMarcus Russell—While he had an up-and-down season, his arm strength is still extraordinary. Also, if Al Davis was offered a trade for Russell, his eyes would pop out.
11. Tony Romo—He has proved to be a franchise QB, but he is about to turn 29.
10. Joe Flacco—Baltimore finally found a QB. Ozzie is not giving up Flacco for any small price.
9. Aaron Rodgers—He proved to be the rightful successor to the legendary Favre. He is also still only 25.
8. Philip Rivers—The one 2004 first round QB without a ring led the league in passer rating this year. The only reason I have him lower than Eli is because they were practically traded for each other, and the Giants won a Super Bowl while the Chargers didn't (I still think Rivers is better).
7. Eli Manning—He proved to be a franchise QB during the Giants Super Bowl run and his performance carried over to the past regular season.
6. Ben Roethlisberger—He has Two Super Bowl rings and he is still is younger than John Beck. The only reason he is not higher is because his style of play wouldn't be loved by every coach.
5. Tom Brady—He's may be one of the top five quarterbacks of All Time. Someone would be hesitant to pull the trigger because of his injury.
4. Peyton Manning—He might also be an all-time top-five quarterback, but age may be sneaking up on him. He also had major surgery in the off-season.
3. Drew Brees—He is probably the most accurate quarterback in the league. It seemed that no matter who was running routes for him last year, Brees would hit an open target on the money every time. It didn't matter if it was a pro-bowler or a guy fresh off the practice squad.
The only reason he is this low is because the guys below him are younger and out-dueled him in the regular season.
2. Jay Cutler—In 2007, ESPN, two pro scouts, one personnel director, a defensive coordinator, and a defensive backs coach called Jay Cutler the most promising young quarterback in the NFL.
From my ranking of Cutler, you can tell I think it was wrong for Denver to answer trade calls concerning him. When someone calls to trade for Cutler, you have two options: hang up the phone, or laugh at the caller and then hang up the phone.
If he actually goes on the block, the Jets, Vikings, Lions, Bears, Buccaneers, and others will fall over themselves trying to get him
1. Matt Ryan—He's probably a controversial choice but he showed poise, anticipation and pocket presence seldom seen in a 23 year old rookie QB. Don't believe me? Go watch the throw he made to beat Chicago.
His work ethic has been known to rival Tom Brady and Peyton Manning's, so he will only get better. I don't think the Falcons would trade him for anyone right now.