2011 Free Agency: Quarterbacks

Written by Chris Kolb

Topics: Free Agency, NFL News

With the 2010 season almost a third of the way completed, it’s time to dive into next year’s potential free agent class. Obviously, there’s a lot riding on the negotiations between the owners and the player’s association as of right now, and if the two sides are unable to find common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement, free agency as we know it isn’t likely to occur.

That said, we’re hopeful that a deal can be reached before the season ends, and given the positive outlook put forward by several owners in the past few days, the possibility is definitely there for a rather anti-climactic finish to the discussions.

With that in mind, here’s how we see the 2011 free agency class shaping up. We’ll be posting a new position pretty much every day until we’re done, and then we’ll update as needed until free agency commences next spring,  so be sure check back often for the latest analysis.

Top Shelf Talent

1. Peyton Manning (Colts) – There’s almost no chance that Manning ends up testing the waters of free agency in the off-season, but we’ve got him here anyway, as he would clearly be the biggest free agent prize in recent memory if he did decide to check out the open market.

Potential destination(s): Indianapolis

2. Donovan McNabb (Redskins) – When Philadelphia dealt him to Washington last off-season, the feeling around the league was that the Redskins would find a way to extend McNabb at some point during the season, so as to ensure their investment came with more than a one year return. But with no extension in sight as of right now, chances are fairly high that McNabb chooses to see what he’d be worth when all 32 teams are on the board, and the team that does end up with him, should be better as a result.

Potential destination(s): Washington, Minnesota, Arizona, Cleveland, Carolina, Seattle, Kansas City

3. Brett Favre (Vikings) – Even though Favre has indicated several times this will be his final season in the league, it’s hard to believe he’ll stick to that promise, given the amount of times he’s changed his mind on the subject before. If he does decide to make another go of it next year, I fully expect it to be with the Vikings once again, although a team like Arizona could make some sense, as they have a history of taking on veteran players on their way out.

Potential destination(s): Minnesota, Arizona

4. Michael Vick (Eagles) – Despite their propensity for flip-flopping between quarterbacks this season, Philadelphia isn’t likely to give up on Kevin Kolb being the starter going forward just yet, and that should push Vick to explore a deal elsewhere in the off-season, especially in light of his outstanding play early on this year.  That said, the Eagles could end up trading Kolb elsewhere, keeping Vick as the starter for the near future until a new young quarterback can be groomed to take his place.

It’s hard to imagine a team throwing a ton of cash his way, given the negative publicity Vick will undoubtedly bring along with him, but if he’s able to return from his rib injury and display the same ability he showed in the first three games, he shouldn’t have much difficulty finding work as a starter.

Potential destination(s): Philadelphia, Arizona, Buffalo, Kansas City, Cleveland, Seattle, Oakland

5. Tavaris Jackson (Vikings) – Just two seasons ago, Jackson was seen as the definite future at quarterback in Minnesota, but the signing of Brett Favre eliminated any real chance he had of fully developing into a long term starter. A change of scenery is almost guaranteed at this point, even if Favre does finally decide to hang it up for good in the off-season, as the Vikings have clearly moved on without him.

Jackson is still young though, and has displayed enough talent to be successful in this league if given the right ensemble around him, so a team in need of a quality player to polish into starting material could take a shot on him next year.

Potential destination(s): Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, Buffalo

Rest of the field

  • Troy Smith (Ravens)
  • Trent Edwards (Jaguars)
  • JT O’Sullivan (Chargers)
  • Seneca Wallace (Browns)
  • Shaun Hill (Lions)
  • Brodie Croyle (Chiefs)
  • Tyler Thigpen (Dolphins)
  • Jim Sorgi (Giants)
  • Kellen Clemens (Jets)
  • Bruce Gradkowski (Raiders)
  • Dennis Dixon (Steelers)
  • Billy Volek (Chargers)
  • Kerry Collins (Titans)
  • Rex Grossman (Redskins)

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. McNabb tired of controversy, ready to move on
  2. Redskins wake up, lock McNabb down with major extension
  3. No change expected at quarterback for Vikings
  4. Resolution close for Favre in Sterger episode
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