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michael89156

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: December 11, 2012, 12:07:17 AM


Monday Observations: Plenty of QBs should rent, not buy




By Jason Lacanfora | CBS Sports NFL Insider


Dec. 10, 2012 10:12 AM ET
 


Attention is growing for the upcoming array of coaching and front office changes that are now just weeks away, but there is going to be just as much movement in the quarterback market. A third of the league is likely to make some sort of quarterback change, and many of them will involve releasing a starter.

Several quarterbacks have not performed to the level of their contracts. Injuries, age and the arrival of a younger starter have derailed others, and in the cases of teams like Kansas City and Arizona, at least two of the passers who have started for them in 2012 are unlikely to be back in 2013 (if not all three in the case of the Cardinals). Factor in impending regime changes about to take foot in coaching and front office circles and the potential for change is significant.

In this era of the passing attack, and with so many young quarterbacks starting so soon, it seems odd that so many clubs could be so unsettled at the most important position in sports. But that's precisely the case. Even with guys like Michael Vick, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mark Sanchez getting big-money extensions recently, and Alex Smith getting a decent-money extension just last offseason, and considering how many quarterbacks floated around the free-agent market just a year ago (Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Smith among them), who would have thunk it that we'd be on the cusp of so much more quarterback movement?


But make no mistake, it's coming. Just consider the following candidates:   



Philadelphia, Michael Vick: $15.5M base salary in 2013, $16.9 cap number. Vick is getting healthier but the Eagles like what they see from Nick Foles and are riding him down the stretch. Coach Andy Reid is almost certain not to be back, and there is a minimal cap hit involved here. Vick could end up wherever Reid goes next, assuming that team needs roster help at quarterback. Also, at the time Vick was re-instated to the NFL, and before he signed with the Eagles, the Raiders and Bills were very interested in him. Both could need a bridge starter, and seeing Vick land with either team would not surprise me. It's not entirely out of the question that he remains in Philadelphia, even on a much lower salary. Also, Browns president Joe Banner held the same title with the Eagles at the time Philadelphia signed Vick, and has supported him in the past. Bottom line, even at his age and with how beat up he has been, Vick will have starting options elsewhere this offseason, especially with so much change afoot.   

Oakland, Carson Palmer: $13M base salary, $15.35M cap number. The Raiders are trying to get their cap in order and get younger. Though they don't have an incumbent on the roster (will they finally take a look at Terrelle Pryor for goodness sake?), Palmer has struggled this season and amassed a lot of his yardage and production after the team has fallen far behind in games. New GM Reggie McKenzie prizes the draft and would not have made the deal for Palmer in the first place. Best case for Palmer might be to take a salary hit and remain there at a much lower figure, because trading that contract is impossible.   

Arizona, Kevin Kolb: $9M base salary, $2M roster bonus due the fifth day of the league year (Cards also likely to let go of John Skelton, who lost his job to rookie Ryan Lindley). Kolb has barely played in his two years there because of injury. The Cardinals tried to upgrade from him a year ago, and after having already paid him $20 million it's hard to imagine another $9 million investment. That won't be happening. Could Kolb end up as a backup candidate wherever Reid does? Guess I wouldn't be shocked. He will be staring at a prove-it contract no matter where he lands.   

Kansas City, Matt Cassel: $7.5M base salary, $9.825M cap number (Brady Quinn likely gone, too). Cassel has lost his job to Quinn, even though current GM Scott Pioli has been a big supporter. Pioli stuck with Cassel after acquiring him and signing him to a big contract shortly after taking over in Kansas City in 2009. The fans badly want a new quarterback and whoever takes over there won't be paying Cassel. He is a tremendous kid, and, who knows, maybe the Pats find a spot for him (though I don't see them carrying three quarterbacks, and Ryan Mallett is still an intriguing candidate).  If Josh McDaniels lands somewhere as a head coach Cassel might make sense as a backup.   

San Francisco, Alex Smith: $7.5M base, $1M roster bonus due third day of league year. A few weeks back this wouldn't be mentioned as much, but with youngster Colin Kaepernick now the starter there, should Smith remain the backup down the stretch and into the playoffs, this will come to a head. Smith already had bruised feelings about the pursuit of Peyton Manning last year and wants to start. Paying him $8.5 million to be an insurance policy doesn't make sense, especially in a year in which so many backup options will be available. Staying in the NFC West, going to quarterback-starved Arizona and getting two cracks at Jim Harbaugh and those 49ers sounds like something that Smith would relish, though, does it not?   

Seattle, Matt Flynn: $5.25M base salary, $7.25M cap number. Flynn never got to start with rookie Russell Wilson winning the job in camp and thriving the past six weeks. There is no significant cap hit involved with letting him go. Keeping Flynn doesn't make sense with such a young starter and with Flynn wanting to play after sitting behind Aaron Rodgers for years. As a backup, returning to Green Bay could be an option, if the price is right.   

Tennessee, Matt Hasselbeck: $5.5M base, $7.5M cap number. The Titans were near the bottom of the standings with him playing in place of injured Jake Locker. The Titans are notoriously frugal and with Locker the future, and Hasselbeck not needed as much as a bridge quarterback, this could be the end for him there. Should Ken Whisenhunt remain coach in Arizona, there is a possibility he could land there, if Smith doesn't. Whisenhunt has considered him in the past. Hard to envision a return to Seattle after some bruised feelings on the way out a few years back.   

Buffalo, Ryan Fitzpatrick: $4.25M base, but $3M roster bonus due second day of league year, $10.45M cap number. Bills GM Buddy Nix can't stop talking about his burning desire to draft a quarterback -- though he passed on that several times to stick with Fitzpatrick in the past and give him a deal some believed was ill-fated at the time. Fitzpatrick hasn't been as productive since signing it, and if Nix stays, this team, watching its bottom line, is clearly in the market for a replacement. Any GM who replaced Nix could easily balk at this contract as well. The roster bonus will force this issue early in the offseason. People I am talking to don't believe he will get that roster bonus in Buffalo.   

Jacksonville, Blaine Gabbert: Money isn't the issue here, but the reality is Gabbert's presence was a deterrent to many candidates in the head coaching search a year ago, and if this job opens up again (and even if it doesn't, frankly) this is a franchise in need of a change. Chad Henne is the starter now. Henne fared well last week and just may keep it through the end of the season. A GM who didn't draft Gabbert might be more inclined to make changes at the position as well.   

Cleveland, Brandon Weeden: Again, money isn't the issue here, production is, as is a regime change that is already afoot. More changes could come in the front office and coaching ranks. Weeden has struggled since new owner Jimmy Haslam took over, was a controversial choice in the first round prior to Haslam's arrival and league sources say the Browns are not in any way averse to making a change at this position in 2013 if need be. Even though he is a rookie, Weeden is already pushing 30, and he may not be a fit in a new offense the Browns figure to run in 2013 after changes are made.

New York, Mark Sanchez : Even if there is a regime change with the Jets in 2013, you would expect them to want to Mark Sanchez out, but with Sanchez guaranteed $8.25 million next season, with no offset, and with that entire sum being due within 30 days of him being released, that would be a lot for owner Woody Johnson to cough up just to get someone off the roster. Still, though, it's not out of the realm of possibility. Beyond that, current backups like Jason Campbell, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Whitehurst and Colt McCoy could well be moving on. And developmental quarterbacks who have some eexperience, are being eyed by teams for signings after the season in January.

So get ready to hear plenty about quarterbacks who have done, well, little, lately.

Benchwarmer#1

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#1 : December 11, 2012, 01:31:23 AM

Not one of those guys would I rather have than Freeman at QB.

Now, if They were to try to draft "Johnny football," then I'd be ok with that.

youngone

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#2 : December 11, 2012, 01:35:51 AM

I'll pass on that whole group. Draft a 3rd or 4th rounder with some tools and coach him up because we still have Freeman under contract.

baybuc35

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#3 : December 11, 2012, 01:42:44 AM

Not one of those guys would I rather have than Freeman at QB.

Now, if They were to try to draft "Johnny football," then I'd be ok with that.
in the 2014 draft when he is eligible ?


DeltaBuc5

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#4 : December 11, 2012, 01:55:10 AM

I'd like to see Smith, Flynn or Fitzpatrick brought in to compete at the QB position. I'm sick and tired of Freeman getting away with **CENSORED** because he's the only person capable of starting.

Cut Orlovsky for all I care.

Benchwarmer#1

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#5 : December 11, 2012, 01:57:20 AM

Not one of those guys would I rather have than Freeman at QB.

Now, if They were to try to draft "Johnny football," then I'd be ok with that.
in the 2014 draft when he is eligible ?

Can't he choose to this offseason? I don't actually follow the rules and regulations of the college game. Just watch the talent when I can.

If not, by then we would know 100% if Freeman's the guy (contract), or Schiano can't find a journeyman worthy to be a legitimate #1.

DonkeyHunter

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#6 : December 11, 2012, 02:08:06 AM

None of these guys are an upgrade over Freeman.

lyronmewis

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#7 : December 11, 2012, 02:12:13 AM

I wouldn't mind seeing what Gabbert can do if he gets cut and we pick him up for cheap. He hasn't looked at all like an NFL QB so far, but he's still young and could use a change of scenery.

SunnyD

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#8 : December 11, 2012, 02:21:58 AM

Oh my god.

I would throw up in my mouth if one of those guys was our starting QB.

There would be absolutely ZERO, ZIP ZILCH, MOTHER EFFIN ZERO, hope for the future.

Maybe, MAYBE, Matt Flynn could make you a 10-6 team with a Greg Olsen-Gruden-esque dink and dunk team. I would be okay with that I guess. I'd advocate trading Vincent Jackson however.

The Anti-Java

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#9 : December 11, 2012, 02:22:42 AM

None of these guys are an upgrade over Freeman.





+1


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watson

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#10 : December 11, 2012, 05:53:50 AM

Not one of those guys would I rather have than Freeman at QB.

Now, if They were to try to draft "Johnny football," then I'd be ok with that.
in the 2014 draft when he is eligible ?

Can't he choose to this offseason? I don't actually follow the rules and regulations of the college game. Just watch the talent when I can.

If not, by then we would know 100% if Freeman's the guy (contract), or Schiano can't find a journeyman worthy to be a legitimate #1.
No.  He must wait until his class has finished its' Junior year of college.  Since he is a Red Shirt Freshman he will be eligible at the end of next season.

Truths:
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2.  For some it would be better if they remained silent and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt.

Morgan

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#11 : December 11, 2012, 06:04:06 AM

Not one of those guys would I rather have than Freeman at QB.

Now, if They were to try to draft "Johnny football," then I'd be ok with that.

Flynn might be a better QB than Freeman and worth a look.

Pewter Pirate

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#12 : December 11, 2012, 06:17:26 AM

That is a "Brian Griese" list.

JavaRay

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#13 : December 11, 2012, 06:22:38 AM

That has to be the worst free agent list I've ever seen.   

Trade for Tebow.


Benchwarmer#1

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#14 : December 11, 2012, 06:36:26 AM

They'd have to add tebow to be the worst.
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