The 2017 season is coming to a close and all three of Minnesota’s quarterbacks are free agents. Let’s take a look at the top 10 free agent QBs heading into the offseason.
#10 Drew Stanton
2017 Stats: 894 yards, 6 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, QB Rating: 66.4
Stanton was flushed into a starting role in 2017 after Carson Palmer was put on injured reserve with a season-ending injury. Drew Stanton is by no means a quality starter in this league anymore, but I think he’s the best backup available on this list and he’s more than serviceable enough to get a team through a 2-3 game stretch with the right weapons around him.
#9 Brock Osweiler
2017 Stats: 1,088 Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 5 Interceptions, 72.5 QB Rating
The $100 million dollar man. I promise you he won’t get that contract this time around. Brock Osweiler could start for a few teams in this league, but in my opinion, he’s a career backup. He’s way too sporadic throwing the football and he’s made way too many poor decisions over the course of the past 2 years to be considered for a starting job in 2018, but I will most definitely pay the man $5-6 million per year to come in and be my backup. The Arizona Cardinals is an interesting destination with the hiring of Mike McCoy at Offensive Coordinator. Osweiler and McCoy were together in Denver.
#8 Teddy Bridgewater
2017 Stats: N/A
Stomp on the ground, throw your little hissy fits, do what you have to do. Should Teddy Bridgewater be higher on this list? Yes…but only a healthy one. We only saw a few snaps from #5 and we have no idea what kind of player he’ll be like as a full-time starter again. So I’m taking the safe route. I predict Teddy Bridgewater will be back in Minnesota in 2018 vying for the starting position under center with Case Keenum. Arizona, Denver, New England, and Jacksonville have also been tied to Teddy Bridgewater’s 2018 final destination
#7 Jay Cutler
2017 stats: 2,666 Yards, 19 Touchdowns, 14 Interceptions, QB Rating: 80.8
Jay Cutler stated he wants to play football in 2018. Whether or not he’s back in Miami as Ryan Tannehill’s backup is yet to be determined. There are times when Cutler is on the field and it looks like it’s the last place he’d like to be. He looks like he’s on the field to collect a paycheck and that’s about it. But his talent is undeniable. When Jay Cutler wants to ball…he plays ball. Incredible arm strength with a gunslinger mentality. Going to Miami was a great scheme fit for Cutler with Adam Gase, but I don’t think he was put in the best position to succeed. His running back (Jay Ajayi) was traded away, his wide receivers had a hard time staying healthy, and his offensive line needs a ton of work. Cutler can still be a serviceable starter in this league with the right weaponry around him. Even at age 35.
#6 Josh McCown
2017 Stats: 2,926 Yards, 18 Touchdowns, 9 Interceptions, 94.5 QB Rating
Josh McCown is going to be 39 years old when the 2018 season kicks off in September. Oddly enough he’s actually coming off what seems to be arguably the best season of his career with the Jets. McCown can definitely be a serviceable starter but I’m not sure many teams will want to bring him in as “the guy” going into 2018. I think his best option is to return to New York to be the starter and groom a rookie quarterback for the 2018 season. The free agent class at quarterback is stronger than it’s been in the past and the draft class doesn’t look too shabby either.
#5 Sam Bradford
2017 Stats: 382 Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions, 124.4 QB Rating (2 Games)
I’m confident that Sam Bradford would be a much higher sought out free agent had he played more in 2017. Jay Glazer reported mid-season that there’s a good chance Bradford would never play again because of the damage he’d sustained to his knee. But sure enough, Sam came back late in the season and practiced with the Vikings and looked to be moving well on the field in practice. Pat Shurmur and Sam Bradford have been together since day one back in St. Louis. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Bradford followed Shurmur to New York if the Giants end up parting ways with Eli Manning.
#4 Jimmy Garoppolo
2017 Stats: 1,560 Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 5 Interceptions, 96.2 QB Rating (6 Games)
Don’t read too much into this one. Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t going anywhere and the 49ers are going to pay him whatever he wants this offseason. If the last 6 games of the season were any indication of what 2018 will be like for the 49ers, don’t be surprised if they’re a playoff threat in the NFC. It appears as if San Francisco has finally found their franchise quarterback.
#3 Case Keenum
2017 Stats: 3,547 Yards, 22 Touchdowns, 7 Interceptions, 98.3 QB Rating
A 3rd Vikings quarterback on this list? Yes, indeed. I can’t wait to see what happens with Case Keenum this offseason. Will the Rick Spielman and the Vikings pay him $18 million+ this offseason? Will Keenum follow Pat Shurmur to his new team? A lot of unanswered questions, but if I had to guess I would probably say that Case Keenum will be back in Minnesota next season to battle it out with Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job. The franchise tag is also an option for Keenum.
#2 Kirk Cousins
2017 Stats: 4,093 Yards, 27 Touchdowns, 13 Interceptions, 93.9 QB Rating
Kirk Cousins’ future in Washington is uncertain. It appears that he and Head Coach Jay Gruden have a good relationship despite reports earlier in the season. I would assume that Cousins will be back in Washington but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he takes some visits to see what kind of deals he can get from other teams. The Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars are two teams that have a lot of cap space to work with and last I checked, both are in need of a quarterback, badly.
#1 Drew Brees
2017 Stats: 4,334 Yards, 23 Touchdowns, 8 Interceptions, 103.9 QB Rating
This is another one that I wouldn’t give too much speculation on. Drew Brees is without a doubt the best quarterback on this list but I don’t expect him to leave New Orleans. This will be a deal out of pure respect and thanks. I expect Brees to sign a 3-4 year deal to finish his career out with the Saints. Whether or not he finishes out that contract is yet to be determined but I’d be shocked if the Saints didn’t give Drew Brees what he wants this offseason. He deserves every penny.