It’s slim pickins on the free agent quarterback front…
1. Joe Flacco (BAL) – The only big-name franchise quarterback who’s now a free agent per se is Flacco, and he’s coming off an impressive Super Bowl win that silenced many of his critics. There’s not much of a chance the Ravens let him walk after he led them to the Promised Land, but stranger things have happened. Contract negotiations might get a little testy, as the 27-year-old signal caller is rumored to be seeking $20 million per year. The Ravens are probably willing to cough up about $16–17M a season. Flacco’s recent success (and subsequent confidence boost) should spike his fantasy value, especially if he remains in Baltimore, but a desperate organization could still swoop in and provide a monster offer.
The Best Fit: Ravens, Chiefs, Browns
2. Matt Moore (MIA) – What a difference a year makes. Before the 2012 Draft, the good money was on Moore forging a career path in Miami, where he’d played moderately well under center (his best year was 2011,when he threw for 2,497-16-9) and showed he belonged as an NFL quarterback. Now, the future in South Beach is Ryan Tannehill, who had mixed results as a rookie but appears to be developing in line with the Dolphins’ expectations. Moore has good size (6-3, 216) and can make just about all the throws, but with teams having so much success in the draft, he probably won’t get a starting gig and won’t get a huge payday. Fantasywise, he’s nothing more than a late-round lottery pick in super-deep dynasty leagues.
The Best Fit: Cards, Raiders, Jets
3. Jason Campbell (CHI) – Campbell will likely end up carrying a clipboard to start the 2013 season, but he’s not without upside. For a few years, the strong-armed quarterback toiled away in Washington but never emerged as a significant contributor on the NFL stage or in the annals of fantasy. Fortunately for Campbell, he’s only 31 years old and still commands respect from NFL scouts intrigued by his prototypical body and measurable abilities. For teams seeking a quality backup with the wherewithal to stand in for their starter, the former Redskin, Raider and Bear will be an attractive option.
The Best Fit: Texans, Vikings, Jets
4. Tarvaris Jackson (BUF) – Jackson hasn’t been a fantasy superstar, but he’s won a few games in his career and is capable of handling the rigors of the NFL pace. With teams looking for Kaepernick-like diamonds in the rough they can polish and insert should their starting quarterbacks not work out, Jackson will get extended looks and could find a scheme in which he flourishes. Like Vick, Jackson doesn’t have the elite chops to manage a game with incisive audible protection, but his mobility within the pocket and relatively conservative approach serves him well. If he can shake some of his old habits of taking too many sacks and not getting the ball downfield enough, there’s an outside chance he could have a fantasy impact in 2013 and beyond.
The Best Fit: Jets, Cards, Chiefs
5. David Garrard (MIA) – While there’s some chatter about Drew Stanton following Bruce Arians to Arizona, Garrard could be a solid veteran presence on a Cards team that desperately needs some. After beginning the 2012 preseason as the front-runner for the starting gig in Miami, Garrard injured his knee but now remains an eye-catching option for several organizations dealing with quarterback woes. Garrard won’t be a 30-touchdown stud, but there’s definitely some upside should he land a spot atop somebody’s depth chart in 2013. The Jets will probably add another quarterback to the crowded, confused mix they already own, and it’s a fair assumption that a non-threatening but capable veteran with the athleticism and smarts of Garrard could push Mark Sanchez and be a positive influence.
The Best Fit: Cards, Jets, Chiefs