Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Free Agency Forecast: Quarterbacks

The quarterback position is one of the most important spots in all of sports.  Unless a team has a capable quarterback, the odds are against them being successful. There are many teams that have already found their quarterback.  For the rest, there is free agency and the draft.

Top 5 Free Agent Quarterbacks Under 30 Years Old

  • Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Josh Freeman (26)- After being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Freeman got another shot with the Minnesota Vikings last year.  He had a very unimpressive game after being with the team for only the matter of a couple weeks.  A team may want to take a chance on Freeman if they believe that they can correct his mistakes and work with him to restore him to the form he had during his second year in the NFL.

  • Dec 29, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Jacksonville 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    Chad Henne (29)- Entering his 7th year in the NFL, Henne will be looking for a new job.  Prior to his, he had experience playing for both the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Despite his young age and potential, most teams will most likely see him as a high end backup quarterback rather than a starting caliber player.  However, the number of teams looking for a signal caller this year may push Henne into a starting role or camp competition with a rookie.

  • Dec 22, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Flynn (29)- Matt Flynn.  He’s an enigma.  His stock soared after an excellent game with the Green Bay Packers.  Then, the Seahawks brought him in on a big contract, where he was beat out in camp by rookie Russell Wilson.  Then, he was shipped out to Oakland, where nobody ever seems to last very long.  Flynn then returned to Green Bay when they were desperate to make a playoff run.  The Packers may want to retain Flynn, since he looked like the only competent backup they had.

  • Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colt McCoy against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Colt McCoy (27)- McCoy hasn’t started a regular season game since 2011, when the Cleveland Browns gave up on developing him as a quarterback.  After that, he has acted as a backup quarterback for the Browns and the San Francisco 49ers.  McCoy shouldn’t be on many team’s radar as a potential starter, but a team may look to bring him in for competition in training camp to battle for one of the backup positions.

  • Aug 29, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen (7) stands under center during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Steelers 25-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

    Jimmy Clausen (26)- Clausen started for the Carolina Panthers back in 2010.  During his 10 starts, he led the team to just one victory.  Since that season, Clausen has acted as the Panthers’ backup quarterback.  He may interest some teams just because they haven’t seen him in a while and want him as a camp body.  However, Clausen can’t expect his phone to be ringing off the hook with calls from interested general managers.

Top 5 Free Agent Quarterbacks Over 30 Years Old

  • Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passes against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Cassel (31)- Matt Cassel has had his share of failure and success in the NFL.  As Tom Brady’s backup in New England, he impressed the Kansas City Chiefs enough for them to ship a second round draft pick in exchange for his services.  Cassel’s time in Kansas City wasn’t nearly as productive as the team had hoped.  The Chiefs and Cassel ended up parting ways after the 2012 season, when he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings to become part of their QB mess.

  • Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (12) gets set during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Bears 54-11. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    Josh McCown (35)- McCown has been flirting with the idea of retirement, and that could put the brakes on any NFL future for McCown.  But if he does choose to return to football, he should find a healthy market after he was impressive in Chicago while Jay Cutler was injured.  Prior to that, he bounced around as an NFL backup with Arizona, Detroit, Oakland and Carolina.  McCown is best suited for a return to Chicago or to back up a team developing a quarterback.

  • Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) throws prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Michael Vick (34)- We all know the story of Michael Vick.  Exciting player with the Atlanta Falcons who ended up with some time in prison.  Afterwards, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and struggled to hold the starting job away from his backups.  Vick has a lot of experience and could actually be considered younger than his listed age due to being out of football for two years. It will be interesting to see what happens with Vick this offseason.

  • Aug 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Detroit Lions tackle Riley Reiff (71) blocks Buffalo Bills linebacker Jamaal Westerman (93) as quarterback Shaun Hill (14) passes during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Lions beat the Bills 35-13. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

    Shaun Hill (34)- Hill is a career backup.  He has 8 years of experience in the NFL.  He has spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, and Detroit Lions.  Each season, Hill had a positive touchdown to interception ration.  Hill could return to the Lions to act as the backup to Matthew Stafford or he could look to retire.  Either way, any team going after Shaun Hill should expect him to act as a backup for a year or two at the maximum.

  • Nov 17, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (7) throws during pregame warmups against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Tarvaris Jackson (31)- Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, Jackson should be ready to make a splash in free agency.  As Russell Wilson’s backup in Seattle, he didn’t play much.  Still, a team might want to bring him in to evaluate him again.  He spent time with the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings as well as Seattle.  Jackson could find himself the beneficiary of teams looking for a mobile quarterback with championship experience.

So, what have we learned here?  We found out that there isn’t much for teams that are looking for a young quarterback to develop and grow with the franchise.  However, if a team is looking for a quarterback for a season or two to hold down things and compete with a rookie quarterback, there are several good options to look at.

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Tags: Chad Henne Josh Freeman Josh Mccown Matt Cassel Matt Flynn Michael Vick Minnesota Vikings

  • Timothy Solum

    You got to be joking about Tavaris Jackson…he got his ring by riding the bench, and the comment about him having championship experience is another joke. Jackson did nothing in Minnesota, Buffalo, and Seattle and you can ask any Viking fan what they think about Jackson and you will get an ear full. Wasn’t it a near 40 year old QB that had to come into Minnesota and rescue them from the inept Tavaris Jackson? Yes it was. He can test the market all he want’s but he will forever be riding the pine.

    • Burton

      This says a lot more about the other “top” QBs than it does about Jackson. Jackson has been a decent backup his whole career but wasn’t cut out to be a starter. Jackson has better career numbers than Josh McCown & Chad Henne, & Kellen Clemens.

  • holymomentumbatman#84

    You gotta be kidding!! I’m a “beginning to be” desperate Viking fan, am scared to death what Spielman might do about the QB position. BTW, I’m ALSO worried sick about what they’re going to do about filling all of those defensive holes…WITH QUALITY PLAYERS THAT ARE GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BUT, from YOUR LIST of FA QB’s in this article, most of them are just laughers. There are MAYBE 2 that I’d even consider to bring in to Minnesota for 2014. One of those was there in 2013…he’s the one OVER 30 years old, and the other is Matt Flynn. Coincidentally, they both have the same first name. He-he. That’s kinda weird. Anyway, I just don’t see Green Bay letting go of Flynn, so, IMO, that leaves Minnesota ONE OPTION in the free agency market, inasmuch as quality at the position goes, and that’s getting Cassell back…or go drafting away!!! SKOL VIKINGS!!!

  • Jon

    Someone should take a chance on clausen. Guy has too much talent not to at least bring into camp. He was thrown into a horrible situation in carolina and is still young enough to warrant a shot.

  • holymomentumbatman#84

    @Jon: I live in Panther country, and was elated when Clausen became a Panther. I had such high hopes for him here, and thought that, by judging from what kind of QB he was at Notre Dame, he’d surely be a hit at Carolina. You’re right about his not getting a fair shot here, and about his talent. I’m with you, and really hope that he gets a chance with another NFL squad, and is successful there. He’s got the tools, he just needs a chance to show them off with some playing time.