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After yesterday’s moves, the quarterback market is kind of gross


It’s hard to argue that Kirk Cousins is worth $19.9 million for a single year, or that Sam Bradford is worth $18 million a year for two, except for one thing — that pesky law of supply and demand.

Washington and Philadelphia were forced into spending amounts that don’t seem consistent with the resumes of the quarterbacks they spent on, simply because there aren’t enough to go around.

With those two names off the market, the best unrestricted free agents available are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler and Chase Daniel. Think about that for a moment, and then come back from the bathroom but not before washing up.

Once you get past those guys, there are sufficient backups on the market, guys such as Drew Stanton, Matt Moore, Matt Schaub, Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Whitehurst and the like, but nobody else that any reasonable mind would look at and say “Yeah, I can go to the playoffs with that guy.”

And there are plenty of teams with playoff aspirations that need to be in that market.

The Jets and Broncos obviously need to find a starter since their guys are on that free agent list, and the Texans have gotten tired of putting Band-aids on the problem to the point that the owner has all but demanded they draft one this year.

But the Rams, 49ers and of course the Browns are also in desperate need for a starter, and there’s a much longer list of teams which need to upgrade in the foreseeable future if they’re going to have a chance.

That’s why there was so much interest last week in draft prospects Jared Goff and Carson Wentz and the rest of them. Because when there aren’t enough answers available, people will be willing to overlook small hands or playing at the FCS level in order to fill the most important line on the depth chart.

And it also explains why Colin Kaepernick might think he could flourish in a new location, though that has more to do with the inventory of quarterbacks out there than Kaepernick himself.

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68 Responses to “After yesterday’s moves, the quarterback market is kind of gross”
  1. key2heat says: Mar 2, 2016 9:40 AM

    Two of the worst franchises just totally screwed the market up by overpaying. Im talking to you Wash. and Philly. #suckers

  2. ocgunslinger says: Mar 2, 2016 9:42 AM

    Sad but true state of the QB position in the NFL. Good luck with that……

  3. thehatefulnerd says: Mar 2, 2016 9:45 AM

    My guy Scott Tolzien is gonna get a shot. I think he can do well too. Hasselbeck 2.0

  4. daddeeo says: Mar 2, 2016 9:50 AM

    So the cycle repeats itself. Desperate teams draft a promising QB – then feed him to the wolves on day one – then blame him when he is not NFL ready… SAD. Some of these kids could have had careers if their teams had the courage to season them.

    There is always TEBOW waiting in the mist… 🙂

  5. minson15 says: Mar 2, 2016 9:51 AM

    I’m pretty sure Matt Hasselbeck is now a FA. Pretty good back-up QB especially if your team is planning on drafting a QB this year. This guy has been around a lot of years and seen a lot of different defenses.

  6. nhpats says: Mar 2, 2016 9:56 AM

    At $15M a year Tom Brady is looking like a bargain…

  7. sidepull says: Mar 2, 2016 9:59 AM

    Wow. Leaving Rg3 out of the mix huh?

  8. sb44champs says: Mar 2, 2016 10:00 AM

    All that comments about Brees getting overpaid are laughable after these revelations…..

  9. patriotsdefense says: Mar 2, 2016 10:01 AM

    Jimmy Garoppolo becomes even more valuable.

  10. ejmanuelshands says: Mar 2, 2016 10:01 AM

    Wow. Leaving Rg3 out of the mix huh?


    RG3 is not a free agent until Washington cuts him.

  11. theashleyguy says: Mar 2, 2016 10:04 AM

    There are hundreds of quarterbacks that played the game last year at the college level at the various Division levels. Over 60 of them played in a Bowl last year. There is another Tom Brady that wasn’t taken until the 6th level or another Russell Wilson not taken until the 3rd round.

    Since you used a supply and demand model, the scouts and coaches and GMs are far too in love with the traditional methods of supply. They need to look with new eyes. Get away from the Combine because by their own definition, they can’t find anybody at the Combine.

  12. tccoats says: Mar 2, 2016 10:08 AM

    While technically not free agents, its just a matter of time until you can add RGIII and JFF to the dumpster fire that is the free agent QB class

  13. mnesmith77 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:20 AM

    Stop overreacting!!! Kirk’s body of work to this point has not proven he is worth 20 mil. That is the beautiful thing about the non-exclusive he may find out that no one is willing to pay him 19 mil a year and sign a more reasonable long term deal. And if he doesn’t I am perfectly fine with a one year prove it deal giving him 20 mil. A am sure that we will be drafting a QB this year and if Kirk turns out not to be what he showed over the last 10 games its simple to move on.

    What I do not understand is how in his short body of work people are making statements like hes is mediocre at best or a career back up. Those are the most idiotic statements out there. This is only his 4th year in the league and 1st year as a starter and the numbers he put up were well above mediocre. Aaron Rodgers started as a back up for three years and became a full time starter in 2008.

    Now I hate doing this because simple minded people are automatically thinking I am comparing him to Rodgers which I am not. My point is if you look at Rodgers 2008 stats vs Cousins 2015 stats they are very similar. And how many people called Rodgers mediocre after one season as a starter. I guarantee the ones that did will never admit to it. All I am saying is give the guy time before you label him a career back up or mediocre.

  14. finchy74 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:21 AM

    This is just a logical consequence of the NFL’s desire for an offense-happy, casual fan friendly style of football.

    For decades the rules have been slowly changed to favor the offense. Now we’ve reached a point where the league is so QB-driven that you only have two routes to a title:

    -Be fortunate enough to be one of the few teams that’s managed to draft and develop an elite QB.

    -Have a less than elite QB but manage to build an elite defense in the salary cap era.

    The result is that there’s really only two teams in the NFL. Teams with a QB that they think can take them to the promised land and teams desperately searching for a QB that can take them to the promised land. For a sport that has 22 players on the field at a time, a single position has become absurdly valued.

    In 1994, the NFL introduced the salary cap and leveled the playing field. But with the rule changes of the past two decades, they’ve once again created a league populated by the “haves” and the “have nots”.

  15. metalup666 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:22 AM

    And there it is, the never ever used term dumpster fire! Every team needs a good starter and a good back-up QB. Veterans are always going to be the better back-up than the newly drafted “future” QB. But, that being said, you have to eventually play the future.

  16. lambeaudungbarn says: Mar 2, 2016 10:25 AM

    I don’t think it is as much the QB as the Defenses out there right now!
    Remember Rodgers and his 77 yards against the Cards?
    I think the teams that can bring a superb Defense, control the clock with power running, and ball control keeping the other offense on the bench by running short high percentage plays will be the mold of the Future.

  17. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Mar 2, 2016 10:27 AM

    Feels good knowing that my QB is the best player in the league and will be for the next 10 years.

    Not only that, but the Seahawks have him locked up for the next 6 years at the bargain rate of $21 million per. With the salary cap going up $10 million per year, Russell Wilson will be playing and winning lots more Super Bowls.

    Sorry the rest of you are not Seahawks fans. You’ll have to make do with Jared Goff and RG3.

    Bwahahahaha! #Dynasty…

  18. rufustfireflyjr says: Mar 2, 2016 10:27 AM

    I hear that Jeff George is looking for a job

  19. r8rsfan says: Mar 2, 2016 10:32 AM

    Terrell Pryor is better than most of the guys on that list.

  20. psubeerman21 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:46 AM

    No one overpaid for anything. That is the going rate for an average qb in free agency. See cutler, Jay or dalton, Andy or the host of others average qbs making big money

  21. fedegene says: Mar 2, 2016 10:46 AM

    I completely agree with the comments pointing out that Cousins’ body of work might not be enough for him to be paid like a top 5 QB, that those who call him mediocre have never seen him playing or even looked at his stats (sorry for the keyboard QBs, but he had an excellent season), and that the spike in QB pay is also a result of the changes in the rules and the emphasis on the passing game. Besides, the salary cap has been increasing steadily, and if the QB position is so important, then it is normal that the QB eats up a lot of the cap. Why don’t you just say that a football player does not deserve to earn that much, since this is probably what you cannot accept? 20 mil for a QB who has given you stability at the position and made your offense work is ok, if you think in terms of % of the cap. Especially when college football produces more athletic QBs (who are often one year wonders, à la Kaepernick or RGIII or Tebow, who are the norm compared to very complete QBs like Newton) than traditional, accurate, good pocket passers.

  22. collectordude says: Mar 2, 2016 10:47 AM

    It’s too bad the league won’t consider contracting teams.
    Then there would be enough QB’s for everyone.

  23. cymbaline6 says: Mar 2, 2016 10:55 AM

    >With those two names off the market, the best unrestricted free agents available are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler and Chase Daniel. Think about that for a moment, and then come back from the bathroom but not before washing up.

    That’s not really that horrifying, honestly. Teams that have good QBs do everything they can to lock them up. It’s the most important position in sports. It’s hardly odd that the only ones available aren’t top tier. It’s far more of a shock when a top-10 QB actually *does* hit the free market.

    Also, Fitzpatrick is good, if not great, and Osweiler has potential even if he’s still kind of raw at this point. Hardly a surprise given how few games he’s started. The rest of the ones you listed are pretty much backup material. Thankfully, however, there just so happens to be an event coming up in which NFL teams can acquire QBs with potential.

  24. mrclaytonbigsby says: Mar 2, 2016 11:16 AM

    Tebow time!

    He has more playoff wins than Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler, Chase Daniel, Drew Stanton, Matt Moore, Bruce Gradkowski, and Charlie Whitehurst COMBINED!

  25. peytonwantsaflag says: Mar 2, 2016 11:16 AM

    My step father in law used to yell at his kids every time they use the word gross to describe something yucky. He’d say “gross is 144”. Meaning it’s about quantity.

    Anyway point is he was a mean old drunk that didn’t have a blog that reached millions of people but even he cared about what words meant.

  26. steelerben says: Mar 2, 2016 11:17 AM

    The quarterback market was kind of gross before yesterday’s moves. The quarterback market is downright depressing after, which explains those moves.

    The only options as of now are bring in a backup to start for you, draft a QB that isn’t NFL ready and hope you don’t ruin him by throwing him in the fire, or all of the above.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:18 AM

    Unfortunately even if half these teams without good starting QBs magically got one they’d still go nowhere.

    Why ? Because a stunningly large amount of GMs and NFL personnel people don’t seem to get it doesn’t matter who the QB is if you put a swiss cheese Oline in front of them.

    How many times have we seen a team draft a QB with a very high pick and then put a lousy Oline on the field for him. Lots.

    The game starts at the line, not the QB

  28. pittdog7777 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:24 AM

    A perfect time for Brett Favre to make a comeback!!!

  29. mark1021 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:25 AM

    Yet another reason the NFL shouldn’t be considering expansion into Europe (or any other expansion for that matter.) There are simply not enough good QBs to fill out the rosters.

  30. bullcharger says: Mar 2, 2016 11:29 AM

    I think this is actually the danger of turning it into a QB driven passing league. Only 10 guys or less in the world actually have the skill to do it successfully.

    The power running game might be coming back soon.

  31. Staticphear says: Mar 2, 2016 11:30 AM

    Hope the Dolphins resign Moore. He is great backup.

  32. granadafan says: Mar 2, 2016 11:37 AM

    Great, these mediocre QBs got overpaid. We better not hear a single peep from them that they have no offensive linemen or a decent WR to throw to then.

  33. garyhd01 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:43 AM

    as a ram fan i am used to trying to win w/o a qb when bradford first hit the league the rams had no players eventually leading to a high ankle sprain that ruined 2011 then back to back acl tears in 13 and 14 now after 14 games philly gives him 26 mil guaranteed wow and they the eagles may take the only qb left that may have upside in the draft at 13 and the rams will again play w/o a quality qb (i was speaking of paxton lynch whom i see the eagles taking at 13). the rams play quality defense and have a runner in gurley if somehow they land a qb they could win, but where is the qb coming from?? and to the seahawk fan we have beaten the hawks both games last year and 4 of 6 tumes since wilson joined the league so hawk fans better hope the rams don’t land a qb or you may be behind the rams and the cards!!

  34. 90lions81 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:44 AM


    Let’s just keep cruising down the river in the same old canoe using the same old paddle. When will these teams truely start to search high and low for a QB instead of cycling through the same retreads…

    Look at what Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor did this year and the money that was spent on them; they are no worse than Sam Bradford and for the price a much better return.

    There are probably 3 no-name backup QBs in the NFL right now that are better than some of these guys that keep getting chances to play with little to no evidence that they are improving or going anywhere.
    Chase Daniel may be one of them…

    By the way Mark Sanchez >\= Sam Bradford

  35. zerotrophiessince1961 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:49 AM

    You know, it’s funny. Smart teams would take Osweiler and Fitzy over over Teddy Bustwater – yet Vikings fans think the gloved one will magically ascend to elite status.


  36. cropslx says: Mar 2, 2016 11:50 AM

    ‘nhpats says:
    Mar 2, 2016 9:56 AM
    At $15M a year Tom Brady is looking like a bargain…’

    That is why people wonder about Tom Brady’s deal and if he will get paid after leaving the NFL under the table. People do NOT just leave TENS of MILLIONS of dollars on the table. I don’t care who you are OR how much money you already have!!!

  37. stlouisfan says: Mar 2, 2016 11:52 AM

    QBs are products of their environment. QBs play in offenses that are non NFL offenses since grade school. They don’t run those offenses in the NFL because the defenses can defend them . So many college QBs that have great stats in HS and college don’t translate to the NFL. There are not many that can leave college and step on an NFL field and have success. The money is so big that teams cant draft QBs and let them sit behind a starting QB and learn. Don’t see many true drop back passers in college. QBs will not hold up running a spread option style offense. Cam Newton can because he is as big as a defense end. RG3 could not.

  38. jeagan1999 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:54 AM

    I bet the Bucs would be willing to part with Mike Glennon for the right price….say, maybe a 2nd round pick….or a trade for a quality CB or offensive lineman.

    Glennon might be the best quality QB to be had right now. He’s young, got a cannon for an arm, has starting experience, and is still playing on the last year of his rookie contract…so he’s affordable.

  39. rrhess1529 says: Mar 2, 2016 11:56 AM

    This is whats wrong with sports…

  40. averagejoe5050 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:02 PM

    As an Eagles fan , I can say we did the right thing, as in two years we will know whether or not Bradford can stay healthy

  41. buffalostarwarsfan says: Mar 2, 2016 12:05 PM

    Nothing makes me laugh more than Patriots fans assuming their garbage backup QB du jour is either a) a superstar that other teams would kill for or b) a surefire superstar for the bleak post-Brady years.

    Every single team in the league has a garbage backup on the roster. Your team isn’t any different. How did Cassel and Hoyer do this year?

  42. jengjag13 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:07 PM

    To the rams fan Gary, Congratulations on your Rams being able to play one good game a season.


  43. 1trojan33usc says: Mar 2, 2016 12:09 PM

    Are you telling me that Matt Leinert, Vince Young, Tim Tebow or David Carr “can’t” compete for a position right now?? Now that at least “one” of them is destitute and broke it might be the right time to at least try them out during the off-season. Hell, that doesn’t cost anything !! Certainly have nothing to lose……………………

  44. bruiza2k says: Mar 2, 2016 12:14 PM

    Why wouldn’t either of those teams just acquire someone like Derek Anderson from the Panthers for some picks? He’s proven, has some years left, and has shown he’s still got it when called upon. Panthers have Webb to plugin, and they’ve shown they’re more dependent on the run-pistol style offense that Anderson wouldn’t run if he were called to step-in.

    Guess that requires too much common sense though; something Washington and Philly haven’t had in a few years.

  45. suggahbuggah says: Mar 2, 2016 12:16 PM

    Goodell has screwed this game up royally.
    Get rid of him and we may get a chance to see the real NFL again. 35 mill a year for that piece of trash is an insult to every fan.

  46. prijak1 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:18 PM

    Sam “Bigfoot” Bradford Sucks ! Mark Sanchez is even better , the Eagles are a joke!

  47. tommikula says: Mar 2, 2016 12:19 PM

    It is kind of amazing. For all of the training these QBs do now in high school and college, it is amazing the success rate in the pros is so low. I understand systems are different from college to pro, but perhaps the evaluations system at the pro level needs to change.

    The Manning/Leaf quandary in ’98 was always fascinating to me. Complete polar opposites at pick 1 and 2. Yet scouts justifiably told their bosses that Leaf would be a worthy pick at 2. I just think smart teams don’t go for the glorified media pick and wait for the right personality and skill set

  48. fanofpft says: Mar 2, 2016 12:21 PM

    Nick Foles 2.0 and an injury prone QB who only ranks out below rank 20 in INTS Vs his peers just set the QB table.

  49. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:21 PM

    “Wow. Leaving Rg3 out of the mix hu”

    He’s not an NFL level QB. Period.

    RGFragileEgo is horrible though some terrible team may give him another chance.

  50. karlpilkington says: Mar 2, 2016 12:25 PM

    You people can be so funny with your opinions. No matter what the skins did with the kirk cousins situation, you trolls out there would have had something negative to say about what the team did. I still do not understand the hate for the skins. We have been a terrible team for years and haven’t won anything. If you say it’s because we USED to win the off season with stupid free agent signings well that hasn’t been done around here for quite some time, it’s old news. The money that is thrown at qbs is a bit ridiculous but it is the hardest position to play in ALL of sports. And for any skins fan who has a problem with this well your crazy. We haven’t had a good qb here in a loooong time, now we have one and you have a problem with him getting paid, it makes no sense. If you are still thinking about rg3 well that ship has sailed. Get behind kirk and forget about rg. If you are more of a fan of the player than the team, we’ll go follow BOB and don’t come back. We don’t want you.

  51. arktikman says: Mar 2, 2016 12:28 PM

    So glad the Steelers have a top 5 (could argue top 3) QB and don’t have to worry about this stuff for a few years.

    Not looking forward to the next Mark Malone era though.

  52. docsweeney says: Mar 2, 2016 12:34 PM

    MLB, NBA and NHL all have some type of farm system/developmental leagues. The NFL tired its NFL Europe and failed. However, it’s likely time to consider some changes to the game.

    1. Expand rosters. 53 man+ practice squad bodies apparently isn’t enough.
    Go to a 60 man roster, dress 53 on game day.

    2. Instead of practice squads, a developmental league. Create some system where undrafted FAs or guys who cant make the new 60 man roster go the an NFL funded D-League where players can be groomed, taught and have room to grow. Offer a basic salary structure, like 35k per man, and make growing as a football player their job. No pressure to start, just learn.

    3. After a year in the D-league, players can be placed in some kind of redraft system.

    Silly, crazy? Yes. Might have some merit in the long run.

  53. fanofpft says: Mar 2, 2016 12:39 PM

    @ karlpilkington

    Regarding Wash. This is about the same thing that Dal. went threw after getting above 500 finally.

    And this season 19 teams finished the season below 500. Your team won your division with 9 wins as did Houston. Yet NYJ won 10 games and get left behind.

  54. metalup666 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:40 PM

    What’s funny is (some) people are blaming and hating on the QB for taking the money. Ummm, they were offered the money by an owner. If you want to blame someone or be mad about the decision, blame the owner, not the player. If someone offered me 20 million dollars to do my job, I wouldn’t hesitate to take it. Pretty sure none of you would either.

  55. karlpilkington says: Mar 2, 2016 1:05 PM

    @ fanofpft fortunately for the skins the rest of the division was awful, and winner of division goes to the tournament. Yes 10 and 6 should make it in, but that’s how it goes..

  56. fanofpft says: Mar 2, 2016 1:09 PM

    NFL lags behind the other major sports in pay. Most good NBA players make 20M a year.

  57. colt13 says: Mar 2, 2016 1:17 PM

    I think this may be the most interesting time for QB’s moves since the early 80’s. You had the legendary 1983 draft, Bert Jones going to LA, Archie Manning going to Houston, Terry Bradshaw getting forced out of Pittsburgh etc,

    No you have a year not only in which everybody thinks Cleveland and Houston are looking, but think that Pittsburgh, Dallas and Denver will pick QB’s high.

    Still think Williams from UNC is a steal.

  58. surfinbird1 says: Mar 2, 2016 2:04 PM

    cropslx please explain how Brady is leaving TENS of MILLIONS on the table. Look at how his contracts are structured. He’s not losing a dime. His contracts are Brady friendly & team friendly. Sometimes its all about bonus $$$. Sorry, no conspiring under the table.

  59. famundacheese says: Mar 2, 2016 3:58 PM

    Half the people commenting on here teams have QBs who make a lot of money who can’t get to or win a playoff game, but yeah Bradford and Cousins are setting/ruining the market. Romo, Stafford, Tannehill, Dalton (just to name a few) have done what exactly. Yeah, just these two are overpaid. It’s the nature of the position. People that say otherwise are either not paying attention or are just plain stupid.

  60. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 2, 2016 4:06 PM

    Before you smack Colin Kaepernick down, be reminded that he has a better career completion rate, passer rating, winning %, and playoff record than fellow 2011 draft pick Cam Newton. Probably better rushing stats as well.

  61. joparks2012 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:34 PM

    key2heat says:
    Mar 2, 2016 9:40 AM

    Two of the worst franchises just totally screwed the market up by overpaying. Im talking to you Wash. and Philly. #suckers

    You totally missed the point of this article. The 2nd paragraph contains your answer if you aren’t sure what the point is.

  62. concretejimmy52 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:12 PM

    At first I thought they would use the transition tag and only pay about $18 million. Except another team can sign him with no compensation. An exclusive franchise tag means he gets paid more money as of April when the franchise tag goes up (average of top five) but no team can touch him. A non-exclusive franchise tag goes by the last five years average but another team can match but have to give up two first round picks for compensation. Smart move. Either he’s their man after a show me year. Or they can recoup some picks they gave up the farm for RG3 if another team wants a QB they drafted in later rounds.

  63. concretejimmy52 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:32 PM

    Redskins drafted two QB’s that year. When the Redskins played the Ravens, RG3 had a season ending injury. But Shanahan played him anyway including the playoffs where he was no match for the Seahawks defense. That decision probably ended his career. Now Shanahan doesn’t have a job. Why didn’t the Redskins think about his future and put Cousins at QB in the first place?

  64. tb12gronk says: Mar 2, 2016 9:31 PM

    Precisely why Peyton has not retired yet.

  65. wnadler says: Mar 2, 2016 9:52 PM

    Washington didnt over pay. They want to lock up Cousins next few years so if he wants that 100mil deal he has to sign with them now. The tag of 19 is a moot point if they plan on giving him a 5 year deal with 40-50 in guaranteed cash. The Philly move is them overpaying AGAIN for a QB. They could have stood pat and let him hit FA to realize no one was going to give him franchise money. Much like with Vick and his 100mil deal when most owners wouldnt have touched him in fear of their own fan bases. Same with Sanchez who many felt would be out of the league when they shelled out a contract that made him the highest paid BU. It is their MO they will overpay to keep proven below average QBs.

  66. zeke2517 says: Mar 3, 2016 11:40 PM

    So how many games will you get out of Sam Bradford for that $36,000,000? 20?

  67. sactogary says: Mar 4, 2016 5:40 PM

    Mar 2, 2016 10:22 AM – metalup666 says: … Every team needs a good starter and a good back-up QB….

    For this to become reality, there would have to be 64 “good” quarterbacks. I’m not sure I can come up with 20 names for that list.

  68. breadmeatcheese says: Mar 7, 2016 9:16 AM

    QBs would do a lot better if they played the same style offense their entire life. Why would a baseball prospect play softball their entire life.

    Football is the only sport where players play essentially a different game at each level.

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