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Useful Links For Authors Author Guidelines Article Writing Tips Why Submit Articles HomeSports ArticlesFootball Articles2013 Fantasy Free Agency Preview – QBs2013 Fantasy Free Agency Preview – QBs By Kevin English on March 04, 2013 0
Free agency is set to begin at 4 pm ET on March 12. We have you covered with free-agent previews at all 4 offensive skill positions, plus IDPs. We’re kicking it off here with the QBs.
A future Hall of Famer headlined last year’s class. This year, with Joe Flacco locked up, Matt Moore leads the way. Talk about a discrepancy…
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Peyton Manning’s case was rare – a combination of his age, health and money owed led to speculation of his release. Indy’s draft position and the allure of Andrew Luck ultimately ended his Colts career.
There’s no such circumstance this year. This group not only lacks a marquee name. It has no sure-fire starter. It’s littered with unproven talents (Brian Hoyer and Chase Daniel) and aging veterans (David Garrard and Jason Campbell). Will any of these QBs reverse their course? Who carries fantasy football intrigue into 2013?
Here’s a complete look at this year’s free-agent QBs, listed in order of potential fantasy impact:
Top Free Agent QBs:
1. Matt Moore
Moore won’t “wow” you with elite arm strength or mobility. He’s an overachiever and a sound decision maker. His numbers back that up. Moore appeared in 13 games (starting 12) for Miami in 2011, finishing with 16 TDs and 9 INTs. He also completed 60.5% of his passes, not bad considering an incapable Tony Sparano ran the offense. Moore embraced a mentoring role in 2012, appearing in just 1 game. He’s now free to sign elsewhere. Miami’s made it known they want him back, but only as a backup. Several members of the Dolphins organization – including QB Ryan Tannehill, OC Mike Sherman and GM Jeff Ireland – have lobbied for his return. If Moore’s looking to cash in though, he’ll need to pack his bags. Some league insiders believe the 28-year-old could command up to $ 5 million annually, a number Miami won’t match. He’d provide an upgrade in Arizona, Buffalo and Cleveland. All 3 teams are expected to show interest.
2. Brian Hoyer
Hoyer, 27, is the lone restricted free agent on this list. That grants Arizona the opportunity to tender him at the lowest amount – roughly $ 1.3 million – with the option of matching any outside offers. A recent report from Cardinals insider Darren Urban indicated that’s likely. The former undrafted free-agent started only 1 game in 2012 – a visit to San Francisco in Week 17. Hoyer completed 19 of 34 passes, racking up 225 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. That’s a fairly impressive showing for his 1st career start. Hoyer’s a long shot to develop into Arizona’s QB of the future. But he carries appeal as a 3-year understudy of Tom Brady. And that late-season start might have the desperate Cards chasing his upside. They’re expected to draft a QB early this April and must decide what to do with Kevin Kolb. But Hoyer will remain a dark-horse candidate to start.
3. Chase Daniel
Here’s a case of the unknown. Daniel, an undrafted free-agent out of the ’09 draft, has attempted all of 9 passes (completing 7!) across his 4 seasons in New Orleans. Yet there’s been a buzz in league circles that he could start for a QB-needy squad. That might be true. But what desirable qualities does he possess? Daniel was an accomplished 3-year starter at Missouri. Across 2006-2008, he compiled 12,168 yards and tossed 100 TDs to 39 picks. Those numbers, while impressive, did come in an up-tempo, spread offense. Still, he possesses an eye-catching resume. And it’s only bolstered by his 4-year relationship with Drew Brees. The Saints want the 26-year-old back because of his familiarity in the system. A thin QB market could ultimately drive his price up and away from New Orleans. He’s an appealing low-cost coaches clipboard add for a team like Buffalo or Cleveland.
4. David Garrard
You don’t often hear a 35-year-old QB – 26 months removed from his last pass – linked to an NFL franchise. But that’s the case with Garrard and the Jets. It’s a move that reeks of desperation, although the risk is nil. No matter where he signs, it won’t be for much more than the veteran minimum. And don’t forget, Garrard was positioned to start Week 1 with Miami. He drew praise for his accuracy and leadership in training camp. But a knee scope halted his momentum and forced him out of exhibition action. Slow to recover, Garrard was eventually released on Sept. 4. He simmered on the free-agent market until trying out for the Jets on Feb. 28. Garrard described the workout as “great,” and there’s speculation that a contract is already in place. New York would provide the clearest path to a starting gig, but it’s still an unlikely scenario. His health and prolonged absence from live action are huge roadblocks.
5. Derek Anderson
The movement of players and coaches is often about connections. That’s what prompted the Anderson-to-Cleveland whispers ever since the January hiring of HC Rob Chudzinski. Anderson played for him over the last 2 seasons, as Chudzinski piloted Carolina’s offense. He also flourished under the coach’s tutelage in 2007 with Cleveland. Anderson racked up 29 TDs and recorded 236.7 yards per game that year, earning a Pro Bowl berth. On the reverse, he threw 19 INTs and completed just 56.5% of his passes. Anderson’s risky style of play never figured to last. And starting in 2008, a downward spiral (or wobbling duck) had begun. Anderson hasn’t started an NFL game since Week 13 of 2010. Instead, he’s spent the last 2 seasons holding a clipboard for Cam Newton. Teams won’t be mobbing his agent. But the fit in Cleveland – as a familiar face to push Brandon Weeden – seems natural.
6. Drew Stanton
The Lions endured some brutal drafts under former GM Matt Millen. Stanton’s selection back in ’07 is just one of many examples. He endured several injuries, including losing his rookie season to knee surgery. But Stanton never showed a glimpse of NFL talent. He’s an inconsistent passer with just 5 career TDs and 9 picks. There’s not much love to throw his way. Or so you’d think. Some league insiders believe Stanton, now 28, could push for a starting job. We’re skeptical he’ll even get a shot to compete to be a #1. It’s undoubtedly early in the offseason, but he’s drawn connections to just one team thus far – Arizona. Stanton’s familiar with new HC Bruce Arians after backing up Andrew Luck in 2012. Plus, the Cards are desperate for anybody at QB. Even if signed, odds are he’ll settle for another backup gig.
7. Jason Campbell
Campbell is likely done in Chicago after just 1 hard-luck season. He attempted a career-low 51 passes, seeing his only significant action across Weeks 10 and 11. Unfortunately, he drew Houston’s defense – in a downpour – before heading to San Francisco. Chicago’s turnstile offensive line stood no chance against 2 of the league’s top front-7s. Campbell ducked and dodged his way to 201 yards, 2 INTs, 2 fumbles and only 1 TD. He also took 6 sacks – all against the 49ers. But don’t feel too bad for him. Campbell collected a cool $ 3.5 million in 2012, despite completing just 32 passes (that’s nearly $ 110K per completion). Campbell remains a fine backup because of his ability to protect the ball. Look for him to latch onto a team in pursuit of a capable veteran.
8. Brady Quinn
Quinn enters his 5th NFL season in search of his 4th team. And the future looks gloomy. When evaluators put the tape on, they’ll see an erratic passer with turnover tendencies. The Notre Dame product owns lowly career marks of 12 TDs and 17 INTs, along with a yards-per-attempt figure of 5.5. While no team would let him compete for a starting role, he’ll surely attract interest as a backup. The Jets have emerged as the early front-runners, mostly because of his relationship with new QB coach David Lee. Lee mentored Quinn at the Manning Passing Academy during the 2011 lockout, and actually came away impressed. “I’m going to tell you this right now: Brady Quinn has a stronger arm than both the Manning brothers,” Lee told the Denver Post in 2011. “No question. I worked them all out.” It’s not saying much – the Mannings are known more for their accuracy and football IQ. Still, Quinn has a well-respected NFL coach in his corner. And we’re guessing there aren’t many of those left. The Jets are looking to add quantity over quality when it comes to QBs. So even if they sign David Garrard, don’t be surprised if Quinn coaches clipboard http://www.mygboard.com/ arrives, too.
Other Notable Free Agents:
Tyler Thigpen David Carr Kellen Clemens Bruce Gradkowski Matt Leinart Byron Leftwich Charlie Batch Rex Grossman Josh Johnson Josh McCown Luke McCown Jordan Palmer Seneca Wallace
Matt Cassel, Chiefs
New Chief Alex Smith is owed $ 7.5 million, the same as 4-year bust and soon-to-be free agent Matt Cassel. Predictably, he never came close to living up to the 6-year, $ 63 million deal signed in 2009. Outside of a fluky 2010 campaign – one that included a 27:7 TD:INT ratio and a 58.2 completion percentage – he’s proved inept. Cassel appeared in just 18 games over the last 2 seasons, mustering 16 TDs, 21 picks and 195 yards per game. He lost 9 fumbles over that span, too. We can safely say the presence of Wes Welker and Randy Moss in New England significantly elevated his play. This is an NFL backup with a pedigree and skill set to match. Cassel failed to start a single game at USC, buried behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He entered the NFL – selected 230th overall – with just 10 pass attempts on his resume. Largely, he’s exhibited the traits found in an inexperienced QB. He lacks a natural feel for pressure and struggles to consistently deliver well-placed balls downfield. A pair of lead feet only highlights his deficiencies. All negatives aside, Cassel has 62 pro starts to fall back on. And that experience is priceless in this league. We’ve heard the Cardinals, Jets and Vikings linked to his services. He’d make an awful fit for Bruce Arians’ vertical scheme. Regardless of destination, he’s a stop-gap option at best.
Matt Flynn, Seahawks
If you thought Jason Campbell was an overpaid backup… well, you’re right. But Flynn’s 3-year, $ 19.5 million deal signed roughly a year ago takes the 7-layer cake. Russell Wilson’s rise renders the former Packer an exorbitantly priced backup. So it’s no shock he’s a strong trade candidate. He’s owed $ 5.25 million, a plausible amount for a low-end starter. Keep an eye out for Cleveland, as they expressed interest in landing him last season. A severely lower price tag might motivate them to buy in.
Nick Foles, Eagles
New HC Chip Kelly says he wants to coach Foles. But will he have that opportunity? The 2nd-year QB was widely expected to follow Andy Reid to Kansas City. But their trade for Alex Smith squashed that possibility. We’d expect Philly to continue working the phones. The re-signing of Michael Vick and Dennis Dixon’s addition give them flexibility. Plus, the pocket-passing Foles doesn’t possess Kelly’s desirable skill set. We’d caution against abandoning the former 3rd-rounder, though. He showed flashes of NFL ability across 6 starts (7 appearances) last year and is signed cheaply through 2015. He can still provide valuable insurance for a starter who is unlikely to last a full season.
Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
Kolb won’t be going anywhere via trade. He’s scheduled to make $ 9 million in 2013, in addition to a $ 2 million roster bonus due March 15. Team president Michael Bidwill admitted a restructure is necessary. “Kevin’s contract is probably something we’re going to need to address,” he said. “Given the productivity and the questions about durability and everything, that’s something that I think the reality is we need to sit down and discuss.” The brittle Kolb won’t have much leverage in contract talks. He appeared in just 15 games (14 starts) over the last 2 seasons, accruing a pedestrian 208 yards per game. If Kolb becomes a free man, we’d expect scant interest.
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