FREE AGENCY PREDICTIONS: QB

February 27, 2017

 

KIRK COUSINS

2017 TEAM: San Francisco 49ers

 

While it is unlikely that the Redskins let Cousins walk free, that doesn't necessarily mean that he will be starting under Center for Washington in 2017. If GM Scot McCloughan was going to commit to Cousins for the long-term, a deal would have been struck by now. All indications are that Cousins is not interested in remaining in Washington due to the lack of progress on negotiations, and he will likely be slapped with the Franchise Tag for a tag-and-trade scenario. New 49ers GM John Lynch has already shown he is willing to spend some of their $80+ million in cap room and the NFL Combine might be the scene were some wheeling and dealing takes place to re-unite Cousins with 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, who apparently stood on the table for the Skins to draft Cousins in the 4th round when he was the OC in Washington. A fair trade in my estimation: 49ers send DT Arik Armstead, 2017 34th pick and 2018 1st rounder to Washington for Cousins and then work out a long-term deal. Washington then goes ahead and signs Tony Romo for a 2-3 year NFC East Revenge Tour, using their two 2018 1st rounders as ammo to move up in the draft for their next franchise guy.

 

 

BRIAN HOYER

2017 TEAM: New York Jets

 

Jay Cutler is the ultimate favorite to land in New York if he gets released, but if he decides to retire rather than play in 2017, I can see the Jets pursuing a veteran QB who has had some success as a starter. Enter Brian Hoyer. You would think that by selecting Christian Hackenberg so high in the 2016 Draft that GM Mike Maccagnan still plans on him being groomed into the franchise starter, but Hoyer can steer the ship until Hackenberg is ready. I would expect a competitor like Hoyer would take a lesser contract for a promise to start, and those opportunities in the NFL are limited. Considering that the Jets are tight on cap room with a ton of roster needs, this might be the more economical approach over Hoyer.

 

 

NICK FOLES

2017 TEAM: Arizona Cardinals

 

Cardinals GM Steve Keim is actively pursuing their QB of the future, and if it doesn't happen via a DeShone Kizer in this draft, Nick Foles could be an option in the desert. The former Arizona Wildcat could work out a similar type of deal that he did this past year in KC where he signs this season as a back up for Carson Palmer and then an option kicks in for 2018 and beyond that both parties can opt out of. This gives Foles an opportunity to be the heir apparent if Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin like what they see from him in practice and in the meeting rooms.

 

 

MATT BARKLEY

2017 TEAM: Chicago Bears

 

Matt Barkley played fairly well in clean up duty after season-ending injuries to Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer this past season. Owing to the fact that the Bears only have David Fales on the roster once they release Cutler, Barkley could be an inexpensive back up option and the staff can feel comfortable to start Barkley for the first few games of the season until a rookie is ready to step in. Even if the Bears trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, a backup like Barkley wouldn't hurt and they have plenty of cap space to maneuver.

 

 

MIKE GLENNON

2017 TEAM: Buffalo Bills

 

Glennon is going to get grossly overpaid on the open market and whichever team chooses to sign him is taking a big gamble on a player who has seen limited time as a starter, but will demand starter money. If the Bills end up parting ways with Tyrod Taylor, which seems to be the case according to reports, Glennon is just the type of player GM Doug Whaley would target as a starter until someone like Cardale Jones or a rookie can prove they are a better option. The Cleveland Browns are an oft-linked landing spot for Tyrod Taylor due to Hue Jackson's recent hiring of David Lee as QB coach, who has a rapport with Taylor.

 

 

JOSH MCCOWN

2017 TEAM: Dallas Cowboys

 

Ultimately, it is most realistic that McCown becomes one of those guys that waits to sign for a team whose starting QB goes down due to injury. However, if the first waves of Free Agency and the Draft go by and there is some cap space left to work with, I could see the Cowboys making a play for McCown to be Dak Prescott's backup for the 2017 season. McCown has already stated he would be OK with a mentor role and the Cowboys can contend for a Super Bowl in 2017. 

 

 

GENO SMITH

2017 TEAM: New York Giants

 

At least Geno won't have to move very far. With long-time back up Ryan Nassib slated to hit Free Agency, Geno Smith could fill the role behind Eli and prove to the Giants brass that he should get first dibs to lead the team in the post-Eli Manning era. A team like the Kansas City Chiefs could also be an option for Smith.

 

 

CASE KEENUM

2017 TEAM: Atlanta Falcons

 

At this point in his career, Keenum is nothing more than a veteran backup who will not lose you a game if called upon. Should the 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan go down for any reason, Keenum would be ready to answer the call.

 

 

BLAINE GABBERT

2017 TEAM: Tennessee Titans

 

Gabbert is no stranger to the AFC South and Mike Mularkey, whom he played for in Jacksonville in 2012. He has a similar skill set as a QB to that of Marcus Mariota in that he can use his legs to create space and move the pocket. The Titans do not have a backup on the roster right now and are ripe with cap room heading into 2017. Also, with Mariota rehabbing from a fairly serious ankle injury, it would be wise for the Titans to have a guy behind him with some starter experience.

 

 

EJ MANUEL

2017 TEAM: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

This seems to be a no brainer for Manuel and the Bucs. The ex-Seminole gets to return to Florida and pair up with fellow Florida State alum Jameis Winston. The two also have a similar style of play, so in the event Winston were to get injured, Dirk Koetter wouldn't have to change his offense much.

 

 

BONUS

I mentioned a few potential cap casualties and where they might land above, but just to summarize:

 

Jimmy Garoppolo -> Chicago Bears (via Trade)

Tony Romo -> Washington Redskins

Tyrod Taylor -> Cleveland Browns

Jay Cutler -> New York Jets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please reload

SCOUTURF, LLC 2019