NFL free agency: Who are the best QBs? Lamar Jackson, Garoppolo, Geno Smith...
The NFL Free Agent market will bring some big changes to a handful of teams under center as some of the top gun slingers look for teams this offseason.
The Kansas City Chiefs may have won the Super Bowl less than a week and a half ago, but as the confetti settles and the hangovers fade, the Chiefs and the rest of the teams in the NFL are already looking towards next season. Free agents across the league are up for grabs, and this offseason there will be some seismic shifts at the quarterback position around the NFL.
There are some top talents potentially looking for a new home this offseason, and teams will be licking their lips at the potential of bringing in a potential franchise gun slinger under center for next year and the years to come. Here are the top five QBs that teams will target before kick off to Week 1 in early September.
Jackson is without question the most desired quarterback going into the offseason. He is an MVP winning quarterback and perhaps the most dynamic run/pass option in the game. For as good of a runner as he is, people forget that he led the league in passing touchdowns in 2019, which was his MVP season. He has led the Ravens to the playoffs in four of five seasons in the NFL, but has yet to get Baltimore past the Divisional Round.
His biggest weapon can also be his biggest weakness. He is a running quarterback, which means every time he carries the ball he is at danger of taking a hit that could sideline him for a lengthy spell. He has missed the end of the last two seasons with injuries, so teams will have to take that into consideration before signing what could and should be one of the top contracts in the league.
At the moment he has been negotiating his new contract on his own, with no agent. That complicates things just a bit more in the eyes of NFL teams, so it may take longer than expected for the top free agent QB to find a new destination.
Josh McDaniels and the Raiders essentially ran Derek Carr out of town. This coming after stars seemed to align for Las Vegas before the season started. They brought in a quarterback mastermind in Josh McDaniels as their head coach and got one of the best receivers in the game in Devonta Adams. McDaniels was a big part of the Patriots success for years and years, and Adams was Carr’s college teammate, and is a great friend of the QB.
There was a lot expected of the Raiders, but a terrible start to the season saw them miss out on the playoffs, and even before their playoff chances disappeared McDaniels and the front offices decided to move on from Carr. His quality as a quarterback is undeniable, but there are real concerns surrounding ability to win and lead his team to the playoffs. He has only been to the playoffs once, and that came on the last snap of the last game of the 2021 regular season. They would go on to lose to the eventual AFC Champions in the Wild Card round.
There is still a lot of doubt shadowing New York Giants quarterback, Daniel Jones in the Big Apple. He came into the season knowing he was fighting for his job, and a contract extension in the final year of his rookie contract. He had the best season of his young career, but it still wasn’t enough to convince everyone in NYC and in the front offices that he should be the quarterback of the future.
He had eight TDs and just two picks in the first half of the season, and the Giants started the season 7-2. His numbers didn’t drop to drastically in the final half of the season, throwing eight TDs and three picks but New York went 2-5-1 in the final eight weeks of the season and just barley squeaked into the playoffs. Now it’s up to Brian Daboll and the Giants’ front offices to decide if he is their quarterback of the future.
No soon to be free agent quarterback saw their value rise more than Geno Smith in Seattle last season. A lot of people were stunned to see the Seahawks not pursue a quarterback before the season started after trading Russell Wilson to Denver. Geno hadn’t been a starting quarterback in almost a decade, but stepped into the role and didn’t just exceed expectations, he broke records.
A lot of people wrote him off, but “he didn’t write back.” He led the Seahawks to an improbable playoff run while breaking the franchise record for passing yards in a season. What made it even sweeter was watching Wilson and the Broncos flop. Now Seattle has a decision to make. Do they stay with their record setting QB, or do they hit the market?
We all know Jimmy Garoppolo’s story. The QB who took the Niners to the Super Bowl in the 2019 season, and then to the NFC Championship two years later. Even after all he did for San Fran, it seemed like the franchise didn’t want to keep him on board as they planned on handing the keys to the car over to Trey Lance.
Lance ended up breaking his ankle in Week 2, and Jimmy G went from being trade bate to the starter in the Bay once again. He led the Niners on a nice run before suffering a season ending injury. Brock Purdy made people forget about Lance and Jimmy G in a matter of weeks. It’s true that quarterbacks don’t have to play out of their minds for San Fran to succeed, but Garoppolo is not likely to be a starter next year for the Niners and would more likely create more of a distraction on the sideline with an already difficult quarterback situation.