The Green Bay Packers might have been smart to address their quarterback need early in the offseason. By trading with the Browns on March 9 to get backup QB DeShone Kizer, the Packers beat the free agency rush on QBs.
On March 14, there were 33 quarterbacks thrust onto the marketplace – mostly backups, but also a few blue-chippers. With the signing of Matt Cassel by the Detroit Lions, the list has now been pared down to nine (in order of desirability): Jay Cutler, Matt Moore, Austin Davis, Derek Anderson, T.J. Yates, Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemons, Ryan Mallet and Scott Tolzien.
Moore, Davis, Anderson, and Sanchez will probably find a home somewhere. Davis is the only one under age 30. Jay Cutler is seemingly more interested in sportscasting than playing. Clemmons (34) and Tolzien (30) might either retire or stay in shape pending some mid-season QB injuries.
The Vikings have both a new starter and backup: Kurt Cousins and Trevor Siemian, the latter just acquired by trade from the Broncos. All three of their 2017 QBs quickly found new teams.
After Green Bay got a new backup, Detroit snatched the Cassel on a one-year deal. He’s been with six prior teams over 13 years.
On the first day of free agency, the Bears backed up their hope for the future, Mitch Trubisky, with Chase Daniel. I previously thought Daniel was one of the better free agent backup prospects. The Bears are paying him well: two years, $10 million, $7 million guaranteed.
I don’t know all the scuttlebutt on New England trading its fine backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, to San Francisco, though I assume Garoppolo wanted a chance to start, not just keep track of Tom Brady’s helmet on the sideline. Because the trade took place after Jimmy G was with the Pats for eight games, he received an extra $107,000 because the Pats reached the Super Bowl. The rest is the thing of dreams: after winning five straight games with the 49ers, Garoppolo was awarded with a five-year $137.5 million contract.
New England’s current backup is veteran Brian Hoyer. Hoyer signed for three years shortly after Jimmy G departed.
The Patriots appear to have plans in the works for replacing Tom Brady, who will be 41 when the regular season starts. On April 4, the Pats made a surprise move by trading top-tier wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Rams – as if L.A. isn’t loaded enough – in exchange for the Rams first-round draft pick, No. 23 overall.
It’s not much of a secret the Pats are stockpiling draft picks in order to get one of the top QBs in the upcoming draft. More on that next time, as it might involve the Packers.