With a long list of quarterbacks waving in the wind for 136 days while the lockout kept them wondering where their new home would be, and which team had interest. Finally the NFL’s longest labor dispute came to an end, and free agency has begun. With the madness coming to a close in the not-too-distant future, and the clubs battling for the top players, the quarterback position is one of the first to fly off the board.
Below is the list of quarterbacks that were free agents or available in trade.
Kerry Collins – Tennessee; Filed retirement papers with NFL league office July 2011.
Chad Pennington – Miami; Decided to sit out the 2011 season and joined Fox NFL Game Day crew as an Analyst. Most likely will retire in 2012.
Kellen Clemens – Jets; A backup to Mark Sanchez in New York, he has moved on and accepted a contract to play in Washington with the Redskins. He will battle for the backup spot behind John Beck and Rex Grossman, although Grossman hasn’t officially re-signed yet.
Donovan McNabb – Redskins; Veteran quarterback that struggled with coach Mike Shanahan’s coaching staff. Despite a productive career in Philadelphia, the trade to Washington was not the right move for McNabb. He has lost the rock-arm strength and the aged vet is inconsistent to escape pocket pressure, and lacks the down field running threat of the past. He was traded to Minnesota on Thursday. Aside from Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson, he has limited weapons around him. He first has to beat out rookie Christian Ponder for the starting job.
Alex Smith – 49ers; The most inconsistent quarterback not only in the NFC West, but the NFL. Smith was signed back to his team. Coach Jim Harbaugh saw enough positive plays on tape to push for a one-year contract to get Smith back on track. If not, he will bridge the gap for rookie Colin Kaepernick. He has talented receivers and several good running backs. He must gain the trust of the fans and teammates early with leadership and production.
Tarvaris Jackson – Vikings; Quarterback with good athletic ability, spins a good ball short, intermediate and deep. Now the property of the Seattle Seahawks, will compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the starting gig. While Jackson is not the best quarterback in the NFC West, or in the top fifteen in the NFL, don’t get it twisted with a good running game, pocket protection and play makers on the edge he will beat you.
Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle; This fixture in the northwest was no longer wanted with the arrival of second-year head coach Pete Carroll. Still possesses skills for the position, playtime had dropped off and injuries creeped up on this aged vet. The Seahawks organization rejected the counter offer from his agent by saying they no longer were interested in his services. Tennessee became the landing pad for Hasselbeck, who will compete with Jake Locker for the starting position.
Kevin Kolb – Eagles; The highly anticipated trade finally happened Thursday. Coach Andy Reid and the Eagles traded Kolb to Arizona for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick in 2012. While Kolb showed flashes of elite ability, starting 16 games in the NFL is much different than coming off the bench to finish a game or fill in when it’s an emergency situation.
Other names with possible movement would include Marc Bulger, Trent Edwards, Billy Volek and Matt Moore. These players would make solid backups and in some cases could start for a few teams in an emergency situation, because of past production, playtime and knowledge of the game.