2009 NFL Free Agents: Quarterbacks
Total Pro Sports – This years market for quality and proven quarterbacks is scarce, and we expect the ones that have had great seasons to be signed to contracts shortly following the season. Let us take a look at what is available to teams in need of a starting signal caller.
1. Kurt Warner: Kurt Warner had one of his best seasons since leaving the St. Louis Rams following the 2003 season. The former league MVP and Super Bowl Champion has lead the Cardinals on a magical run through the postseason and Arizona’s first Super Bowl berth in franchise history. He amassed over 4500 passing yards and finished with a .671 completion percentage. He also had 30 touchdown passes versus 14 interceptions. It is unlikely that the Cardinals will pass up the opportunity to sign Warner as Matt Leinhart has yet to prove to the team he is capable of taking over, they may just continue to go back to the well until it runs dry.
TPS Prediction: Injuries plague his ’09 season, opening the door for Leinart. Warner retires.
2. Kerry Collins: Kerry Collins has been a winner on basically every stage he has been on, this year he led the Tennessee Titans to a 13-3 record, the best mark in the league. He is a safety valve as a No. 2 quarterback and is familiar with the system that Jeff Fisher runs down in Nashville, but the team may be ready to give the reigns back to Vince Young next season. His numbers were not flashy but his play is still solid, he does not make too many mistakes and gives the team a chance to win when he’s on the field.
TPS Prediction: Forced into a backup roll in 2010 by a younger QB, probably Vince Young. Retires at the end of the year.
3. Matt Cassel: Proved he can play at the elite level was 1 game away from taking New England to the playoffs in the surprisingly competitive AFC East division. He had a great year with just under 3700 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. It is rumored that the Patriots are going to hit Cassel with the Franchise Tag.
TPS Prediction: He will be franchise tagged and traded before the trade deadline in ’09. Starts elsewhere in 2010. Possibilities include Jets, Bears, Lions, Chiefs, Vikings, and others.
4. Jeff Gracia: Another one of those under appreciated quarterbacks that is able to manage an offense and continues to produce as he approaches the ripe age of 40. The question mark on Jeff is that over the past 2 years he has been injury prone, that is not surprising considering his age. There may still be some value here however, a team may be willing to take a chance on a proven winner like Garcia. This years late season collapse was not his fault, but with the firing of Jon Gruden it is unlikely that Jeff will be in Tampa next season.
TPS Prediction: In ’09 or 2010, at the latest, Tampa will finally draft or trade for a younger QB. Garcia will be a backup before 2010 is over.
5. Rex Grossman: Rex has been in and out of the lineup the past 2 seasons after leading the Bears to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. It is difficult for a team to hand over the reigns of an offense to him as he is prone to making mistakes. In his 6 seasons, he has thrown more interceptions than touchdown in 4 of them and has a 33-35 ratio over his entire career. We are skeptical that Grossman can be a No. 1 quarterback in this league and even as a No. 2 it is difficult to trust he can make good decisions when throwing the ball down the field.
TPS Prediction: Grossman will be out of Chicago by 2010, but will sign as a #2 QB with another team.
6. Kyle Boller: So much hype over this guy when he entered the league but it just has not panned out. He may fit it nicely with a better offense but we are not so sure that will happen in the near future. Kyle Boller may have to find another line of work if no team is interested in giving him the opportunity to fill a backup role.
TPS Prediction: Boller will be a #3 quarterback at best in 2010, but will probably be out of football.
7. J.P. Losman: Has an NFL arm and decent mobility but cannot combine all the tools to make a set. Earlier this year he filled in for Trent Edwards and in a game versus the Jets told media that he would use the tape to show other NFL teams in the off season. With the game securely in hand J.P decided to take it upon himself to loose the game that day. He is not starter quality and personally I would not even want him running the scout team, his days in Buffalo are done.
TPS Prediction: Losman will be a #2 QB in 2010 with another team.
Other Notable Quarterbacks:
Charlie Batch, Patrik Ramsey