According to head coach Greg Schiano and sources with the Buccaneers, it appears Tampa Bay wants to bring in competition for quarterback Josh Freeman. Not only to push him, but possibly succeed him if 2013 doesn't pan out well. Pewter Report takes a look at a weak free agent class – and a few other possibilities – in this article.
It was recently revealed by head coach Greg Schiano that the Buccaneers will look to add competition for Josh Freeman in an effort to push the going on his fifth year QB. But where the competition will come from is unclear.
The Buccaneers could use a mid-round pick (doubtful that Tampa Bay uses one of their first three picks on any position other than defense), but would a fourth or fifth round selection, like an E.J. Manuel, really even legitimately compete with and push Freeman for playing time?
But if Tampa Bay chooses to go the free agency route, the pickings are extremely thin. And this is before teams attempt to re-sign their own players.
Below Pewter Report takes a look at the best of a weak free agent class at the quarterback position.JOE FLACCO
I hesitate to even list Flacco as there is virtually no chance the Raven starter leaves Baltimore. Flacco has been frustrating at times for Ravens fans, but he wins football games – lots of them. Will he ever lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl? That is still up in the air, but Ravens fans and management knows he can get them in the playoffs, and after that anything is possible.TAVARIS JACKSON
Jackson has shown glimpses at times of what he can be during his tenure with the Vikings and even in 2011 with Seattle. But like Freeman, Jackson drove fans crazy with his inconsistencies. Jackson, with a career 77.7 QB rating and a 38-35 TD-to-INT ratio doesn’t appear to be an upgrade over Freeman but with 34 starts and 7,075 passing yards in his career, could be that “person over Freeman’s shoulder” that pushes No. 5 to take his game to the next level.MATT MOORE
The Buccaneers certainly have some familiarity with Moore as the former Oregon State standout spent his first four seasons in Carolina. Moore left the Panthers after the 2010 season and had a solid season in Miami in 2011 throwing for 2,497 yards with 19 TDs and only six interceptions in 12 starts. Moore became an afterthought last season when the Dolphins took Ryan Tannehill in the first round, and now will be a free agent. Moore doesn’t have all the tools Freeman has but is a fairly fiery leader who possesses above average intelligence and commands respect on the field and in the huddle.
Campbell never put it all together in Washington and his numbers over his career are similar to Freeman’s (82.4 QB rating). Like Freeman, Campbell is an athletically-gifted QB who can extend plays with his feet when he chooses to, and has a rocket for an arm. But again, the inconsistency label has followed Campbell from Washington to Oakland and now Chicago. With Jay Cutler’s injury history the Bears most likely try and re-sign Campbell to a backup role, but at age 31 perhaps Campbell would prefer to go to a team that will allow him to legitimately compete for a starting role. Other Notable Free Agent QBs
While this is the current list of free agent quarterbacks that are now available, there will be a handful more over the next few months. With seven NFL coaching changes, current starters may become available. For example it is hard to imagine Andy Reid beginning the 2013 season with Matt Cassel as his starter in 2013.
Below are a few more potential quarterbacks that could come available depending on how the new coaches evaluate their inherited QB depth chart.MATT CASSEL
As noted previously the Chiefs, who will have the first pick in this April’s NFL draft, most likely will look to go quarterback in the first round, which means the Cassel era in Kansas City is most likely over. Cassel never really endeared himself to Chiefs fans, who many of them pinned this season’s disastrous season on the former Patriot. Cassel is only 30 years old but has taken a beating over the last few seasons and keeping him healthy will be a major concern for his next team.RYAN FITZPATRICK
Fitzpatrick is another player that has failed to live up to his billing for Bills fans. Of course not many quarterbacks have succeeded in Buffalo since Jim Kelly hung up his cleats in 1996 after four Super Bowl appearances. The Bills signed Fitzpatrick to a new deal in 2011 that included $24 million dollars in guaranteed money so it is plausible Fitzpatrick, like Mark Sanchez in New York, may not be going anywhere for at least one more season. The scraggly-bearded QB may need a change of scenery or just maybe a new coach to get the best out of him. It will interesting to see what new Bills coach Doug Marrone has in store, and if Fitzpatrick remains a member of the Bills.COLT MCCOY/BRANDON WEEDON
One of these two Browns quarterbacks could be available, obviously depending on who the next general manager and head coach will be. Reports came out that McCoy would have been Chip Kelly’s choice had the Oregon coach made the jump to the NFL. That would have most likely made Weedon expendable. However with Kelly deciding to stay with the Ducks the search is still going on in Cleveland. Neither of the two quarterbacks have the pedigree to challenge Freeman for the starting role, however both most likely would be an upgrade over Dan Orlovsky.
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