With the official start of free agency less than three weeks away, let’s take a look at the most important, coveted position in the sport. Keep in mind, this list does not include possible trade targets, such as Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson.
Tier 1 – Elite
Yeah, no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning this year. Sorry.
Tier 2 – Starter/Potential Starter
Winston and Mariota, the #1 and #2 overall selections of the 2015 draft, are now the concensus Options A/B on the free agent market. Fitzpatrick was widely regarded as the best “bridge QB” a year ago, but his stock is down after missing a full season due to injury. Teddy Bridgewater’s extensive, sometimes successful experience as a starter – Mariota is the only other player on this list to start a playoff game – pushes him into this echelon, but his physical limitations are plainly obvious by now.
Tier 3 – Backup/Rotational Player
Trubisky might have enough on his resume to warrant “potential starter” status, but for now, this is his appropriate plateau. He seems like a logical fit for the Giants, who just hired his Buffalo coordinator, Brian Daboll. New York has shown faith in Daniel Jones, but Trubisky may offer some sneaky competition/insurance.
I love Cam, but after 2021’s trial run, I’m confident that he’s no longer a starter, or even a viable bridge quarterback. I do, however, believe he’s an ideal QB2 for a run-heavy team that could use a goal line hammer. A reunion with Belichick in New England – or even Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas – seems plausible.
Tier 4 – Backup/Reclamation Project
*restricted free agents
Even though Haskins has established a reputation as the immature, less-polished Jameis Winston, a league desperate for quarterbacks might still see a 1st round talent. White, a 2018 5th round pick who led the Jets to a shocking upset of the AFC Champion Bengals, initially outplayed 2nd overall pick Zach Wilson, until a four interception game week ten against Buffalo put him back on the bench for good.
Tier 5 – 3rd String
All of these guys suck.
Later this week, we’ll do a full rundown of free agent running backs, ranked in a similar fashion. Enjoy your President’s Day if you’re lucky enough to be off.