With Alex Smith already moved to the Washington Redskins, and Jimmy Garapollo resigning with the 49ers, we can take a look at the other quarterbacks around football who may also be moving. The players have been ranked according to their age, probability to be moved, current ability, potential ranking and their injury history. Their cost, whether it be draft position, trade compensation or money on a free agent deal, has also been calculated in the rankings.
1.) Kirk Cousins
The biggest free agent quarterback to hit the market since Peyton Manning in 2012. Cousins will reset the market and should easily surpass the $96 million Manning received. Heck, he could get $96 million in just guarantees. Still just 29 years old, Cousins should have many good years in front of him. He has surpassed 4,000 yards each of the past three years and has also thrown 81 touchdowns to only 36 picks. $140 million shouldn’t sound bad for the former fourth-round pick.
2.) Sam Darnold
After he took the College Football world by storm in the 2017 Rose Bowl, winning MVP honors by throwing five touchdowns and a two-point conversion in a come from behind victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions, he was the preseason favorite to bring home the Heisman trophy. Despite having a “down” year he still leads the Pac-12 in yards lead USC to a 12th place ranking. Many are worried about how many interceptions he throws but his interception rate, 2.6%, is better than many former top picks like Matthew Stafford (3.3%), Carson Palmer (3.1%) and Jameis Winston (3.2%). Darnold’s natural ability and elite potential will propel him to be a top pick in this year’s draft.
3.) Josh Rosen
Easily the most pro-ready of all the 2018 Draft prospects. Has good accuracy in all three phases and can throw a very good deep ball. He still has his flaws though. He was unable to finish the 2016 season due to injury and again this year he missed UCLA’s bowl game due to a concussion. Teams also question his personality. He has been called “un-coachable” by some scouts and it’s been said he rubs many of his teammates the wrong way. If he can control his emotions, Josh Rosen has a very high ceiling.
4.) Baker Mayfield
The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and fan favorite are who many fans would take if they had the option. Despite being undersized, he put up big numbers in Oklahoma’s Offense. On one hand, he has drawn comparisons to Drew Brees, on the other, Johnny Manziel. He has had off the field issues, but is well-respected and liked in the locker room and has a knack for motivating his teammates. He is a boom or bust product but he should go very early in this year’s draft.
5.) Josh Allen
Josh Rosen is probably the biggest question mark in this year’s draft. Although he has elite potential, it is going to take a lot of coaching for him to reach his ceiling. He is very inaccurate at times. He has played and struggled against lower level teams in the NCAA. Although he has prototypical size, he’s around six-five, and unparalleled arm strength he will be a huge project for whatever team takes him. Teams will fall in love in with his traits and draft him very early.
6.) Case Keenum
The undrafted quarterback in 2012 joined the Vikings on a one year deal this offseason to be the back up to Sam Bradford. An injury to Bradford in week two lead to Keenum starting. He never looked back. He led the Vikings to a 13-3 record, for first place in the NFC North. He also took home NFC Offensive Player of the month for November. Keenum will have to prove that last year was not a fluke, but he should be able to get a decent pay-day from last season.
7.) Nick Foles
The improbable hero. The 2018 Superbowl MVP. After Carson Wentz tore his ACL in December, Foles stepped in as the QB for the Eagles. Despite his ups and downs in the regular season, he turned it on during the playoffs. He threw for over 900 yards and six touchdowns during the Eagle’s Superbowl run. Because he is still under contract, the Eagles are in no rush to move him. They carry all the leverage and it’s important to keep in mind that Carson Wentz may miss multiple games to begin next season. The Eagles don’t have a second or third round pick though, so they may be trying to acquire some assets.
8.) Lamar Jackson
The 2016 Heisman winner out of Louisville may have actually been better during the 2017-18 season. The Louisville QB had a higher completion percentage, more throwing yards and more rushing yards than he did in 2016 but was talked about nearly as much. His slight frame is his biggest concern. He may not be able to handle the big hits that the NFL entails. Teams are also worried about his run-first mentality. Far too often, he tucks and runs instead of making the throw. I see him as a second-round prospect who will probably be taken in the first.
9.) Mason Rudolph
Mason Rudolph has potential. He has good size, arm strength, accuracy and good build. However, he played in what may be the most overrated offense in college football. He may have gone his entire college career without ever having to call a play in the huddle. So, while he may look the part, it’ll take time for him to begin to grasp the inner workings of an NFL Offense.
10.) Jacoby Brissett
The former Patriot’s QB was traded to the Colts to replace Scott Tolzien as the starter while Andrew Luck was out. He played fine; he finished the year with over 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions, and even tacked on over 250 rushing yards. He was, however, the most sacked quarterback in the NFL. He was sacked 52 times and fumbled the ball 11 times. With the return of Andrew Luck, Brissett has been made expendable. While the Colts may be inclined to keep him as a backup, if a team offers you the right deal, he can be traded.
11.) Sam Bradford
Man, what could’ve been. The former number one overall pick has played well at times. After winning Rookie of the Year in 2010, Bradford has not been able to stay healthy. He has played on three different teams, and may move to his fourth this offseason. He has torn his ACL twice and has battled other knee related injuries throughout his career. When healthy, Bradford can be one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
12.) Blake Bortles
The much-maligned Bortles could be a trade candidate this offseason. Bortles is slated to make just under 20 million after the Jaguars picked up his fifth year option last offseason. If the Jaguars find a potential upgrade and would like to shed some money, they could maybe move Bortles. He had one of his best years last year, throwing less interceptions than ever before and his value may not get higher.
13.) Teddy Bridgewater
The Vikings traded up in the 2014 NFL Draft to select the Louisville quarterback with the 32nd pick. He showed promise before a very severe knee injury cost him his 2016 and 2017 seasons. The Vikings declined his 5th year option and now he is slated to become an unrestricted free agent. His injury concerns may be cause for concern, but because he is still just 24 years old, someone will take the chance on him.
14.) Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod is moving in to the final year of his contract. He’s not necessarily a great quarterback but, for whatever reason, it seems the Bill’s would like to move on. Whether they cut him or trade him, there will probably be a market for him as a higher end backup quarterback.
15.) Eli Manning
The two-time Superbowl Champion and MVP is under contract for two more years and has a cap hit of around 22 million. With the Giants picking number two in this year’s draft, it’s widely assumed that they will draft their QB of the future and try to move on from Manning. They could also use Eli to help groom their young quarterback and then move him next off-season. Whatever they do, the 37-year-old probably isn’t part of their future plans.