Free Agency Preview: Every Free Agent Quarterback Landing Spot

Free Agent Quarterback

NFL free agency is right around the corner, and the free agent quarterbacks are bound to be hot commodities. There are several teams looking for upgrades at the game’s most important position, and there are several players that could thrive in a new environment. So, let’s take a look at how the free agent carousel could spin this year.

Note that, for the sake of this article, we are going to make some assumptions about which players actually make it to the market. For the time being, it appears as though Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, and Geno Smith will remain with their respective franchises, so they will not be included in this discussion.

Predicting Every Free Agent Quarterback Landing Spot

New Orleans Saints: Derek Carr

Ever since trade rumors first began, the New Orleans Saints have always shown the most interest in Derek Carr. The team clearly believes they can compete with him under center, and perhaps they’re right. After all, the NFC South is weak, so having a quarterback of Carr’s caliber might be enough to take home the division crown.

New York Jets: Aaron Rodgers

This is technically cheating since he’s not a free agent, but Aaron Rodgers and the Jets are a match made in heaven. The Packers clearly want to see what they have in Jordan Love, and the Jets give the aging Rodgers a better chance to win a title in 2023. If Rodgers wants to play next year, he’ll probably be doing it in the AFC East.

Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater

The 2023 quarterback draft class isn’t the best. While four players are expected to go off the board in the first 10 picks, each of the top prospects has at least one or two glaring flaws. Chances are, the Texans are going to select a quarterback and try to trade Davis Mills for a draft pick, but they’ll want an experienced veteran ready to go in case whichever rookie they take needs some time to develop. Teddy Bridgewater is the perfect solution here. He’s not nearly good enough to keep an impressive rookie on the bench indefinitely, but he’s also capable of keeping the team afloat if pressed into action.

Washington Commanders: Andy Dalton

The Washington Commanders like what they have in Sam Howell, but they’re not going to give him full control of the team. Even though he ended up being the primary starter last year, the Saints signed free agent quarterback Andy Dalton to be the backup, so Washington should be able to land him on a similar contract. If Howell plays well in camp, Dalton can spend the year as an invaluable backup and mentor. If, however, Howell falters, then Dalton can take over and play at a serviceable level.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jacoby Brissett

During his first two seasons in the league, Kyle Trask was unable to beat out Blaine Gabbert for the backup job. However, head coach Todd Bowles seems to believe that the former second-round pick is now ready for full-time starting duties. If Trask isn’t up for the task, they’ll need to find somebody that is. Jacoby Brissett played well in relief of Deshaun Watson last year, and he’s earned the right to compete for a starting job. If he does land in Tampa, don’t be surprised if he beats out Trask for the Week 1 starting job.

Atlanta Falcons: Baker Mayfield

The Falcons are in an unfortunate situation. While Desmond Ridder showed some signs of life last year, he won’t stop the team from adding a rookie quarterback. As a second-year player, Ridder lacks the ideal experience required in a bridge starter/backup, and the team already parted ways with their previous free agent quarterback. Assuming that Lamar Jackson stays in Baltimore, Baker Mayfield might just be the best option left for the team with the eighth-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Arizona Cardinals: Carson Wentz

Nobody knows exactly when Kyler Murray will be back on the field, or what the dual-threat quarterback will look like once he’s playing again. However, if he’s going to be out for a while, the Cardinals could sign Carson Wentz. While Wentz is nobody’s idea of a franchise quarterback at this point in his career, he does have some mobility and a vaguely similar skill set to Murray. Arizona wouldn’t have to change their scheme too dramatically, and that’s really all you can ask out of a bridge quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts: Marcus Mariota

First-year head coach Shane Steichen worked wonders with the mobile Jalen Hurts during his two years as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator. The present day version of Marcus Mariota is nowhere close to Hurts, but they do have similar skill sets. The Colts are going to select a franchise quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, but while that guy adjusts to NFL life, Mariota is the perfect option to hold down the starting job.

Las Vegas Raiders: Jimmy Garoppolo

This free agent quarterback spot is just too obvious. With Derek Carr out of town, the Raiders need a quarterback, and who better than the guy that spent four seasons with Josh McDaniels in New England? Once selected to be the heir apparent to Tom Brady, McDaniels clearly likes Garoppolo’s style of play and he should have an advanced knowledge of the offense. Best of all, he won’t need to be a superstar since he’ll be throwing to Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow.

Carolina Panthers: Sam Darnold

With recent reports stating that the Panthers are out on Derek Carr, the Panthers will likely go with a mediocre veteran quarterback while adding a rookie passer via the NFL Draft. While Sam Darnold has never played for first-year head coach Frank Reich, he was on the roster for the past two seasons and has developed chemistry with the offensive weapons. This added edge will make him more valuable to Carolina than anywhere else, and his hot finish to 2022 proved that he won’t singlehandedly ruin the season if he has to be the primary starter.

Main Photo: Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports