Monday, January 25, 2016

2016 Free Agent Quarterbacks

How would RG3 look playing for your team?

So, any of you amateur GMs out there want a slightly used quarterback for your team? 

These guys will probably get starter's money, say more than $5 M per year, if they are not re-signed by their current teams:

Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos

These guys will work for less: 

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins*
Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins
Mike Vick, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jimmy Clausen, Baltimore Ravens
Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Brandon Weeden, Houston Texans
Matt Cassel, Dallas Cowboys
Matt Schaub, Baltimore Ravens
Kellen Clemens, San Diego Chargers
Chase Daniel, Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Hasselbeck, Indianapolis Colts
Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
Josh Johnson, Buffalo Bills
Thad Lewis, Philadelphia Eagles
Luke McCown, New Orleans Saints
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins
Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions
Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals
Scott Tolzien, Green Bay Packers
Joe Webb, Carolina Panthers
Matt Flynn, New Orleans Saints
Charlie Whitehurst, Indianapolis Colts
T.J. Yates, Houston Texans

RG3 is not officially a free agent, but everyone knows his contract structure will force the Redskins to cut him if they do not renegotiate.  Much maligned in Washington, RG3 has been fair when given a chance to play if not great.   Kirk Cousins has played better and will likely be re-signed.  

There is also some chance that Johnny Manziel might find himself unemployed, although I think it is more likely that the Browns keep him and banish him to third string while waiting for him to mature a bit more.  In my opinion, Manziel's antics--namely, lying to the Coach, skipping meetings and failing to curb his drinking problem--are serious enough that the team cannot trust him to be the number one guy, but nowhere near serious enough to warrant uncompensated dismissal from the team.  I think in a few years there is a good chance Johnny will get things figured out and prove to be an acceptable performer.  Heck, if I worked for Mike Pettine, I would probably lie a lot also.  

Johnny Manziel has had his ups and downs, but the Village Elliot thinks it is better to keep him and see if he can work out his difficulties, rather than give him to Jerry Jones immediately. 

Browns fans are enamored with the idea that they need a "franchise quarterback" who should be taken in the first round.  And yeah, definitely if there is a guy like Cam Newton available, the Browns should take him.   But most analysts believe that the 2016 crop of quarterbacks falls into the "good but not great category." 

Most Browns fans figure they can not stand another year of Josh McCown, who was the 15th ranked quarterback in the NFL, while playing for a terrible team. Gee, that's not bad. But what they really want is a rookie to come in and throw for 4000 plus yards, and that just is very unlikely.   Nevertheless, I think that Coach Jackson will want to go for a quarterback and work with him.   It should be mentioned that second round pick Andy Dalton did pretty well for him, even without a rocket arm or the ability to run like Cam.  

Even if the Browns go with Josh McCown again this year, I tend to doubt whether they will go the free agent route. I think Cousins, Ostweiller and Fitzpatrick will re-sign with their current team, while Bradford has just been injured too much. I don't think we are going to try to overbid for one of these guys.  

As a backup, I don't think there is a guy out there who will be better in his first year than Austin Davis in his second year with the Browns.  I might take a shot at Colt McCoy, who was not bad for the Browns as their starter, and who has looked very good for the Redskins when given a chance.  But I would not pay him starter money.   By the same token, Jimmy Clausen was a bit improved while substituting for Joe Flacco in Baltimore.  A few other guys on the list can play well enough to manage the game and bring home a "W" for the right team.   But I don't see any superstars on the list, and for that reason I think we may see a few teams including the Browns willing to draft a quarterback in the first round in 2016.   

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