Blog Entry

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:35 am
Posted by Will Brinson

We knew Tuesday's free-agency action wasn't going to be "calm." But man-oh-man did things heat up late, what with the Panthers dropping the equivalent of Charlotte's gross annual income on defensive end Charles Johnson, and the Redskins and Ravens making moves for their own free agents.

If anything, it showed that teams who have favorable relationships with their current players did get a bit of an advantage during this hectic offseason. But what about teams who need to find help -- specifically, quarterback help -- from the outside? Well, there's a market, but it's percolating more often than my coffee pot Tuesday.

So let's break down the values of the three biggest names out there, shall we?

Kevin Kolb
Kolb's the hottest target on the market, but is he the quarterback most guaranteed to succeed with a new team next year? Not necessarily, but it doesn't matter.

His value's done nothing but skyrocket since the lockout began, and it sure does seem like all the reports that he's locked into the Cardinals will come into fruition.

The Cardinals are reportedly keeping their options open -- Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday that Arizona was talking with Denver about Kyle Orton as well as discussing the possibility of adding Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck -- but the reality is they're not just trying to secure a quarterback for 2011.

They're also trying to secure a quarterback for the future and make sure they don't risk losing superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to the open market should he become disgruntled.

Lest you think that matters to the Cardinals, who were in the Super Bowl just a few years ago, wait until push comes to shove and the marketplace starts to bear itself out.

For now, Arizona's front office can pretend to play chicken with the Eagles in a deal for Kolb. Once things become a little clearer and quarterbacks begin aligning with various teams (see: Seattle jumping on the bandwagon that is Tarvaris Jackson) there won't be nearly enough leverage hanging out there for the Cardinals to lean on.

Potential Suitors
: Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins
Best Bet
: It's the Cards by a longshot now that the Seahawks are ruled out. Miami could come sprinting around the turn at the last minute, but at this point it would be a borderline surprise if Kolb wasn't traded to Arizona.

Kyle Orton
Orton's the de facto red herring for the Cards (see: above) apparently, but if you poll most folks, they'll probably at least agree he can be as productive in the right system as Kolb.

In fact, Orton's piled up more than 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns each of the last two years. And get THIS: each of those years equated to a large total of both yardage and touchdowns than Kolb has in his entire career.

Yes I'm aware that Kolb's only started seven games in his four years in the league and, yes, I'm aware that he's had a rough go of things given that no one really saw Michael Vick usurping his would-be throne in Philly.

But none of that bad luck guarantees that he'll succeed any more than someone like Orton who has two clear-cut years of production in the right system.

My counting-stats rant aside, Kolb's still the top guy available, but there's definitely a market for Orton. And one spot that really makes sense is Miami, where the Dolphins have struggled since Dan Marino retired to find a suitable replacement under center.

Those struggles have manifested themselves in the continual wasting of second-round picks and -- lo and behold! -- that's exactly what everyone thinks Denver wants in return for Orton.

Rather than gambling on another rookie down the road, it seems reasonable that Miami could invest another second-rounder in Orton. Unless Stephen Ross is as obsessed with Vince Young as Bud Adams anyway.

Potential Suitors: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals
Best Bet
: The Fins. Orton's a better bet than either Vince Young or Matt Moore and, again, it's "just" a second-rounder.

Donovan McNabb
Which brings us to this guy. Poor Donovan hasn't had the easiest year in the world -- he's been mortified by Mike Shanhan and the Redskins coaching staff on national television (seriously: wouldn't you rather get pansted in DuPont Circle than get yanked mid-game for Rex Grossman?) and basically been castoff into free-agent oblivion.

There's even been talk of retirement. But the talk today has circled primarily around the Vikings. Which -- of course -- is where McNabb was supposed to go all along.

There was no deal finalized on Tuesday and/or even agreed to, but it's looking like Minnesota will bring in McNabb to try and provide a stabilizing veteran presence on the roster.

Christian Ponder's obviously the future, and I agree with my life coach Pete Prisco that he's the best-suited rookie quarterback to succeed from Day 1.

But that doesn't mean rookie coach Leslie Frazier shouldn't have a backup option in place should he find out that Ponder's not ready quite yet.

Plus, the two teams play on Christmas Eve, man. And that's something that just has to happen in terms of potential revenge games that may or may not feature McNabb running over Ponder's foot the week of the game just to get the start.

For all of that to even happen, though, McNabb's going to need to agree to work out a significant change in his contract. But if it gets him out of purgatory Washington, it's worth the lost money.

Potential Suitors: Minnesota Vikings
Best Bet: Vikings. It just doesn't seem likely that the Titans or Dolphins will step up and trade for McNabb. If he's released by Washington, this could all change but for now the Vikings appear to be the clear-cut leader in the clubhouse when it comes to Donovan's services.

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Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:37 am

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

McNabb a "potential great QB"? Really? Potential? The guy is already well past his prime and has been terriible the last two years. Even if you blame last year on the Shanahans, McNabb sucked for his friend and mentor, Andy Reid, the year before. Now, McNabb had several great seasons...or as great as seasons can be without a argument there. But his "potential" was realized years ago. He's not going to be "great" now. He could have a decent year...a productive year...but he isn't going to be the reason a team makes the playoffs. If he hooks up with a good enough team, he just might...might, mind good enough to go along for the ride.     

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:04 am

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Kyle Orton on the Cardinals is the right move. Do not trade for Kolb.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:54 am

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Just get it done Cardinals and get QB Kevin Kolb from the Eagles now so that he can learn the system right away knowing that there is very little time left before the season starts and by doing so even the media have said on ESPN that the NFC West will once again be back in the desert for sure then letting it be back with a run down team like it was last season when the Seahawks won the division with a horribly 7-9 record.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:39 am

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Looks like Minnesota won't be winning a super bowl for at least the next few years.  Donovan won't ever win one.  Also look at some of his embarrassing moments in his career to go along with not winning a super bowl like throwing up on sidelines and getting benched for Rex Grossman during a game and not knowing the rules of an NFL game. 

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:26 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:19 am

Assessing the NFL free agency and trade QB market

Orton- hands down, Kyle orton is the best of the bunch. McNabb is a potential great QB, but he never seems to have a happy lockerroom. There is something to that. Hasselbeck is damaged goods. And Kolb has potential, but he has started about 3 games in his life. Orton is far and away the best one to target.

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