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5 Best Free Agent Quarterbacks

Mark Fordham for Bookies.com

Mark Fordham  | 6 mins

5 Best Free Agent Quarterbacks

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With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the offseason is in full swing, which means that rumors abound about players landing on new teams in free agency, via trade or the draft. 

NFL teams are free to speak to unrestricted free agents from March 13, when the legal tampering period begins at noon ET. Teams can then announce signings from March 15 at 16:00 ET. The one notable exception to that rule in the quarterback market this year is Derek Carr. The four-time Pro Bowler was released by the Las Vegas Raiders last week, so he is free to sign for any team now.

As teams try to climb from the bottom of the league into one of the favorites for the Super Bowl on NFL betting sites, there are some who could use a new quarterback to spring into contention next season. Some quarterbacks will move the needle more than others, so at Bookmakers, we are listing the five best QBs who are likely to be available this spring.

Three caveats to this list are that the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and Seattle Seahawks’ Geno Smith would feature in this list as impending unrestricted free agents. However, they will almost certainly sign long-term contracts or have the franchise tag applied to them before hitting free agency.

Derek Carr

The biggest domino to fall in free agency at quarterback is Carr. The nine-year veteran is likely to be the most coveted quarterback on the free market this offseason. He has already reportedly met with the New York Jets but don’t expect his tour of the NFL to finish just yet.

In each of the last five seasons, Carr has at least 3,500 passing yards, and he led the Raiders to the postseason twice during his tenure with the team. The two knocks against him are his lack of a playoff win in nine seasons, and his relative penchant for throwing interceptions - in only three of his nine seasons as a professional has Carr had fewer than 10 interceptions in a season.

That said, NFL betting apps are pricing up his hot free-agent market. The Jets have the initial advantage, but it is believed the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans could all take a run at the quarterback.

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Jimmy Garoppolo

In 2017, the San Francisco 49ers traded their second-round pick in the 2018 draft to the New England Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo. In the process, he won each of his first seven starts in the league, becoming the first quarterback to do so since sure-fire Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Just two years later, he helped the team to the Super Bowl. So, why would he not be re-signing with the 49ers?

One factor is that Garoppolo has a hard time staying healthy - he’s only played a full regular season once in his career. There is also a thought that he is more of a game manager than a game-changer. 

Despite this, his 40-17 record as a starter will be highly sought-after this offseason, and there are a bevy of teams who could use his attributes. The Bucs would suit him perfectly, while a potential wild-card team could be the Tennessee Titans if they decide to cut Ryan Tannehill and his $36.6 million cap hit loose.

Sam Darnold

Once you get past the two big names, the quality in the field drops dramatically. These types of signings will fall into one of two categories: either they are signed as competition for a shaky starter, or they will be signing a contract to be a backup quarterback. If Darnold is being signed as competition for anyone, you can be confident in your NFL picks that said team won’t be one of the favorites for glory on US betting apps.

The 2018 third overall pick will likely be signing for his third team in just six seasons, which indicates how things have gone. He has undoubted talent, but whether he can show anything different from his two stops with the Jets and Panthers is another thing.

If a team wants him to come in and compete for a starting role, there are just a select few franchises who fit that bill. The likes of the Washington Commanders and Atlanta Falcons are not beyond the realms of possibility, but it is more likely he will be signed later on in free agency as a clear No. 2 option.

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Mike White

For one week this season, Mike White looked like the second coming of Joe Montana, and his Jets teammates almost billed him as such. In a 31-10 win over the Chicago Bears on November 27, White was 22-of-28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns. 

The Jets didn’t win a game from that point on this season, and he lasted three more starts that provided a stat line of zero touchdowns thrown to four interceptions.

White has shown he can throw a nice spiral, and he is a real competitor. Will teams gamble on his potential upside and get him to compete for a starting role or be a high-end backup? A team such as the Pittsburgh Steelers could be a good fit if they deem that Mitchell Trubisky’s $10.63 million cap hit, according to Spotrac, is too steep.

Jacoby Brissett

A player like Jacoby Brissett is certainly being signed as a backup at this point in his career and is likely less talented than some of the players left off this list. He has shown in stops with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns that he can start in a pinch and is an all-round good guy that teammates gravitate towards. He has also been used in short-yardage situations a number of times in recent seasons and been pretty successful at it.

He isn’t going to immediately make a team Super Bowl favorites with USA sports betting sites, but he could take meaningful snaps on a team if required while a starter is out, and as seen with the 49ers this season, that is very valuable. 

About the Author

Mark Fordham for Bookies.com
Mark Fordham
Mark spent over a decade as a sports reporter and editor with Goal.com and Bleacher Report. He is now a Content Editor at Bookies.com covering all manner of sports from the Premier League and cricket to the NBA and NFL.