With the NFL free agency period now in full-swing, the excitement of yet another post-season officially starts to kick in. Both fans and players alike cannot wait to see how the landscape of the league will change over the next month and a half, and with no shortage of impact players available, we should be in for a wild ride.
Perhaps the most notable storyline of the upcoming free agent period, however, is the talent available at the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and Josh McCown have all shown the ability to be starting quarterbacks throughout their careers, and each will have a bunch of franchises vying for their services. The following article is a breakdown of each seperate quarterback, along with with an opinion as to what team appears to be the best fit for them. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
2017/18 stats: 16 games started, 4093 yards, 7.6 yards per attempt, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 64.3% completion rate, 93.9 passer rating
Easily the most sought after player in this year’s free agent class, Kirk Cousins will have no shortage of suitors this time next week.
The Bills, Jets, Browns, Broncos, Vikings, and Cardinals could all use an upgrade at the game’s most important position, and ‘Captain Kirk’ offers exactly that.
Fresh of an NFC Championship appearance, the Minnesota Vikings have more than enough money to sign Cousins, and doing so would likely make them the early favourites in the NFC.
In all honesty, this pairing should be a no-brainer for both sides.
The Vikings feature an elite defense, an extremely productive wide receiver pairing of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and an excellent duo on the ground consisting of Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook.
If Kirk Cousins wants to get paid whilst also having the best chance to compete for a Super Bowl, then he can only sign in one place.
BEST FIT: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
2017/18 stats: 16 games started, 4334 yards, 8.1 yards per attempt, 23 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 72.0% completion rate, 103.9 passer rating
There is no need to get carried away in any speculation here.
There is a reason in which nobody is talking about the pending free agency of Drew Brees, and that is because he is not going anywhere.
The Saints were literally ten seconds away from an NFC Championship appearance, and it was only a freak play that prevented them from competing for a spot in the Super Bowl.
With the support of an elite ground duo, an improving defense, and with Sean Payton still at the helm, the Brees-led Saints will be NFC contenders once again this season.
BEST FIT: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
2017/18 stats: 14 games started, 3547 yards, 7.4 yards per attempt, 22 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 67.6% completion rate, 98.3 passer rating
Realistically speaking, the Vikings are probably the best landing spot for every free agent quarterback.
In saying this, however, I am going to refrain from suggesting that every quarterback sign with Minnesota – because that would just be boring.
To the surprise of many, Case Keenum was EXCELLENT last season!
In 14 starts he posted a 3:1 TD:INT ratio, a 98.3 passer rating, and on third down passing situations, he was able to move the chains at a rate of 46.5% which was good for 5th best in the NFL.
The question that potential suitors face with Case Keenum, however, is a tough one.
Keenum’s 2017/18 season was an anomaly compared to every other season of his career, and it makes people wonder whether he simply just benefitted from the amount of help in which the Vikings provided him.
If he were to chase his highest possible chance for success outside of Minnesota, he will need familiarity and adequate talent around him.
Gary Kubiak coached him as a rookie in 2013, and starting this season, he will be the new Senior Personnel Advisor for the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos also possess a pair of talented wide receivers in the form of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and even though they just traded Aqib Talib to the Rams, they still feature a decent amount of firepower on defense.
I firmly believe that Keenum cannot replicate last season’s performance, but I trust that Gary Kubiak will know how to best utilise his abilities.
He should be an affordable option who could provide strong competition for an incoming rookie.
BEST FIT: DENVER BRONCOS
2015/16 stats: 16 games started, 3231 yards, 7.2 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 65.3% completion rate, 88.7 passer rating
It has been a while since any of us have seen Teddy Bridgewater play meaningful snaps.
I know I said that I was not going to suggest that every quarterback sign with the Minnesota Vikings, but a return to the North Star State just makes too much sense here.
The Vikings know better than anyone about the current condition of Teddy Bridgewater’s knee, and they also have more of an understanding as to what he is capable of now that he has fully recovered.
Other teams around the league just will not feel comfortable handing him the keys to their franchise, and this is because he is still such an unknown commodity.
#Skol should feel comfortable extending Bridgewater to be their backup, however, and it is in his best interest to stay put until he has an opportunity to prove his worth.
BEST FIT: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
2017/18 stats: 2 games started, 382 yards, 8.9 yards per attempt, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 74.4% completion rate, 124.4 passer rating
I am still one of the BIGGEST believers in Sam Bradford’s upside.
If healthy, and if afforded the opportunity to familiarize himself with an offensive system, then Bradford has the ability to produce very impressive numbers.
Unfortunately, however, these are two things that have very rarely happened over the course of his career.
Now 30 years of age, Sam Bradford has suffered two torn ACL’s, and he also lost last season after undergoing a knee scope to fix wear and tear on his joints and ligaments.
According to NFL Network’s Pelissero, Bradford has been informed by his doctors that “there is no reason for there to be concern moving forward,” and if this is true, then the former first overall pick could potentially be the biggest steal of this year’s free agent class.
I mean seriously, two seasons ago this guy completed 71.6% of his passes and had a passer rating of 99.3, and did you not see what he did to the New Orleans Saints in week 1 of last season?!
When looking at a team like the Arizona Cardinals, they do not quite possess the kind of cap room that some of the other teams possess in order to go after Kirk Cousins, and they do not exactly possess a high enough draft pick to take whoever is left out of Darnold/Rosen/Allen/Mayfield.
Given this situation, why would they not consider taking a flyer on Sam Bradford…?
This is still a team that has Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, and a bunch of talented players on defence, so it could potentially be a very good situation!
If Bradford were able to stay on the field, and if Arizona is able to execute well throughout the draft, then the Cardinals could see a mini-resurgence in 2018/19.
BEST FIT: ARIZONA CARDINALS
2017/18 stats: 13 games started, 2926 yards, 7.4 yards per attempt, 18 touchdowns, 9 intercepts, 67.3% completion percentage, 94.5 passer rating
Talk about a guy who quietly balled out last season!
The Jets were bad a year ago, but Josh McCown played extremely well, and he was arguably the most underrated signal caller in the entire NFL.
On top of his 2:1 TD:INT ratio and 94.5 passer rating, McCown was also able to convert 43.5% of his third down passing attempts into first downs.
This rate was good for 3rd best in the AFC, and 11th best in the in the NFL overall!
Ultimately, Josh McCown was a steady presence for a Jets team that is still searching for its franchise quarterback, and he was effectively able to limit his turnovers and extend drives.
A great mentor who performed extremely well in this system a season ago, Josh McCown would serve as a brilliant mentor to any young quarterback that the Jets might decide to add, and should he need to start in the short term, then he knows exactly how to be effective in this offense.
There is no need for Josh McCown to go anywhere this free agency.
BEST FIT: NEW YORK JETS
2017/18 stats: 3 games started, 537 yards, 5.3 yards per attempt, 5 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 56.4% completion rate, 79.5 passer rating
I know, Nick Foles is not a free agent….
I also know that the numbers you see above are not that impressive, but it is what Foles was able to do in the postseason, along with what he has been able to do in the past that are his selling points.
The Philadelphia Eagles have publically expressed that Foles is available for the right price, and why would we not want to speculate about the guy who just dethroned Tom Brady in the Super Bowl?
According to reports, the Buffalo Bills are willing to offer the Philadelphia Eagles their second round draft choice in exchange for the services of the reigning Super Bowl MVP, and this has the potential to be an excellent fit.
Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison was the Offensive Coordinator during Denver’s Super Bowl run in 2015/16, and not only was he able to win games with a washed up Peyton Manning, but he also made Brock Osweiler look like he was worth $70 million.
With the help of a solid defense, and Foles’ former teammate LeSean McCoy, Dennison would be able to make life relatively easy for Nick Foles in Buffalo.
One thing that Foles has always done extremely well is throw the deep ball with excellent placement, and this is something that Tyrod Taylor just cannot, and will not do.
By acquiring Foles, the Buffalo Bills will be well on their way to making it two playoff appearances in a row after suffering the league’s longest drought.
BEST FIT: BUFFALO BILLS
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