NFL Free Agency: The QB Frenzy

Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The off-season is upon us and, for once in a couple of decades, my Cleveland Browns are NOT in the market for a new quarterback.

However, there are quite a few teams that definitely need an upgrade at this position and there are quite a few notable names up for grabs.

The top six names at this point are, in no particular order, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, and Jameis Winston. Now, I don’t for a minute believe Brees, Prescott or Winston will be hitting the streets, doing the interview tour and trying to find a new team.

The Dallas Cowboys will be re-signing Prescott. It could take a while, but it will get done. Same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Winston. While he wasn’t stellar last year, I think they’ll stick with him a little longer.

So that leaves Brees, Brady and Rivers looking for new homes. Hmmm.

While Brees didn’t start his career with the New Orleans Saints, the 13-time pro-bowler is definitely the face of that franchise. I just can’t imagine him playing anywhere else. And, if I may be frank, we have seen a decline in his play the past two seasons. I’m going out on a limb here and say that if the Saints don’t re-sign him, he’ll retire.

Out of the 51 QB’s to start a game in 2019 (yes, I said 51!) Ryan Tannehill ranks 6th. He really seemed to blossom in Tennessee as the replacement for an underwhelming Marcus Mariotta, who is also a free agent. I see a two or three year extension in his future. And why not? That team wasn’t expected to be much better than 8-8 but they were totally clicking with Tannehill under center and made a great playoff run. I don’t know what the future holds for Mariotta, but it would be incredibly stupid for the Titans to let Tannehill go.

Tom Brady, at 42 years old, may have finished 2019 with more touchdown passes than Jared GoffBaker MayfieldDerek Carr or Josh Allen and placing seventh in the league in passing yards, but does that mean he’s the top prospect of this free agent class? Yep. Even at his age, he’s absolutely the kind of guy you want in the locker room.

I’m hearing crazy theories that he ends up in Miami and stays in his division. I imagine him more in Los Angeles with the Chargers or even in Las Vegas with the Raiders. Derek Carr hasn’t quite figured it out yet and what would bring even more hype to the move to Vegas but #12 under center?

And finally, we have Philip Rivers. I keep hearing people refer to him as a “future Hall of Famer.” Sorry but I don’t see it. The Chargers haven’t won their division since 2009 and he’s only been in five playoff games, only one of those for the AFC Championship. I guess the whole draft kerfuffle between him and Eli Manning always sat wrong with me, so I never really liked either of them. You can’t argue with Manning’s success in New York and his two Super Bowl rings, but to me, Rivers just never lived up to all the hype.

That being said, there are still teams that will take a look at him and court him to get them through the next couple of years. Are the Patriots in the hunt for his services? OK, that would be a hoot! Replacing Brady with Rivers? Yeah, a total hoot. Of the many teams being talked about as a possible landing spot, the Indianapolis Colts are the one I find the most intriguing. They’ve made an improvement to their offensive line and could actually protect him better than he’s been protected the past couple season in California.

Colts head coach Frank Reich and Rivers have history, having worked together before. Reich was an offensive coach with the Chargers from 2013-2015 and those were some good years for Rivers. While the Colts need to find a better answer than Jacoby Brissett, and they most likely plan to target someone in the draft, why not grab Rivers for a couple of years while you develop the next guy?

Where do you think these free agents will land? Hit me up on Twitter!

 

Talk NFL with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8 

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