[Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of position snapshots previewing the 2010 NFL free agency period.]
Top unrestricted free agent quarterbacks:
1. Chad Pennington: It’s a bad sign for the free agent crop when a guy coming off his second career-threatening shoulder surgery tops the list. It’s an even worse sign that there is a big drop-off after him.
2. David Carr: We think Carr has a better chance to be competent than other former starters available. (As long as he’s not playing behind the old Houston Texans offensive line.)
3. Chris Redman: Once out of the league, Redman has evolved into a serviceable backup in Atlanta. He has more value to the Falcons than anyone else.
4-6. J.P. Losman/Rex Grossman/Kyle Boller: First-round picks gone wrong, waiting for salvation.
7. Daunte Culpepper: Sorry Florio, we disagree on this one.
Restricted free agents that are highly unlikely to change teams:
Jason Campbell, Kyle Orton, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Moore, Bruce Gradkowski.
1. Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb, Philly: We’d still bet on both
quarterbacks returning to Philadelphia, but the Eagles will have to
listen to offers.
2. Michael Vick, Philadelphia: Forget the noise. The Eagles have no use
3. Troy Smith, Ravens: The restricted free agent wants out, but the Ravens probably aren’t
especially motivated to deal a quality backup.
4. Tyler Thigpen, Miami: Chan Gailey could pursue him.
5. Sage Rosenfels, Minnesota: If Favre returns, do the Vikings need a
high priced third QB?
Interesting names that could get cut:
1. Derek Anderson, Cleveland: A late-round pick would probably be enough to get Anderson from the Browns. They will have to do something before a March 19 bonus.
2. Marc Bulger, St. Louis: He’s due $8.5 million, but the Rams will probably wait until after the draft to consider cutting him or asking him to take a pay cut. You know Mike Martz would love to get his hands on Bulger for Cutler insurance.
3. Byron Leftwich, Tampa Bay: Due a $3.5 million roster bonus in March, he’s a solid backup with a lot of experience. We’d rank him first or second as a unrestricted free agent.
4. Kerry Collins, Tennessee: It looks like Tennessee or retirement for Collins.
5. Chris Simms, Denver: He’s due $2.54 million and looked terrible in his spot duty last season.
Teams in the QB market:
Listed roughly in order of need, they are Buffalo, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, Oakland, Seattle, Denver, Jacksonville, Arizona, and Carolina.