As we get closer to the end of the regular season, and the coaching changes that inevitably will come with it, the fact that every coach wants his own quarterback could cause plenty of quarterbacks to be available via free agency or trade.
It’s already a given that the Eagles will part ways with Mike Vick shortly after the Super Bowl, in order to avoid having $3 million of his $15.5 million base salary in 2013 becoming guaranteed.
In Charlotte, as previously mentioned, a new G.M./coaching staff could ponder the possibility of trading Cam Newton (it’s not likely, but it’s possible). Likewise, the Jets (with or without Rex Ryan as the head coach) could trade or cut Tim Tebow or, possibly but not likely, Mark Sanchez.
In Buffalo, the search is on for a franchise quarterback. Which means that the current quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, will likely be dumped before he earns another $3 million in March.
The Cardinals could be cleaning house at the quarterback position, with Kevin Kolb and/or John Skelton available. Ditto for the Chiefs, who seem destined to declare defeat with Matt Cassel.
The success of some of the quarterbacks could also put their backups in play, from Matt Flynn in Seattle to Matt Hasselbeck in Tennessee to Matt Moore in Miami, whose contract expires after this year.
And if the Ravens decide to play chicken with Joe Flacco, opting not to use the franchise tag in the hopes that he won’t get a better offer elsewhere, Flacco could be available if someone wants to outbid Baltimore.
Finally, if Jason Campbell does well in his stint as the starter in Chicago, he could find a suitor for a potential starting job on the open market.
So maybe teams won’t have to reach for rookie quarterbacks in the draft. They can reach instead via free agency or trade.