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2013 NFL Free Agency: Top-10 free-agent quarterbacks

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

We're running through the top 10 2013 NFL free agents on a position-by-position basis. If you disagree witih any of the rankings, let me know in the comments or on Twitter @WillBrinson. Today, we rank the quarterbacks.

The crop of free-agent quarterbacks this offseason is not ... good. One name stands out, but he won't be available for long. Anyone seeking a quarterback from this group had better be doing it to land an average-to-below-average backup, otherwise that team is in serious trouble.

Making matters worse is the fact that the draft class isn't great, either. Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib are all names that don't inspire a ton of "throw them in the fire right away" confidence.

Trade options were limited before the 49ers slung Alex Smith to the Chiefs as well. Now Matt Flynn and Ryan Mallett are the top options via that avenue, and good luck jumping into the market after what the Chiefs paid for Smith.

So if you need a quarterback and don't want to burn an early draft pick on a questionable prospect, you're left with one of the following guys:

1. Joe Flacco, Ravens
But wait -- he's a GREAT PLAYER. This is true. Flacco's placement on this list is temporary because he ain't hitting free agency. If he did, he'd command elite money (YES, ELITE) and there would be a lot of teams scrambling for his services. But there's a 99.9999999 percent chance he returns to the Ravens, either with a new deal or via the franchise tag. I'm only leaving a small window open in case the Ravens forget to fax in the paperwork.
(UPDATE: Flacco is the richest guy in the NFL, having signed a new deal with the Ravens. Or at least will be once this deal is officially finalized. The only thing more depressing than that is the rest of this list.)

2. Matt Moore, Dolphins
Moore could return to Miami, but he's -- and this is no joke -- the best quarterback available who will actually hit the market. Moore has plenty of questions, but if I was running a team like the Vikings or Jaguars (someone with a questionable young guy starting who could use a combo of friendly competition and mentoring), I'd absolutely sign him as a backup quarterback. He's had two stretches in his career where he played at a very high level.

3. Jason Campbell, Bears
Campbell didn't exactly wow when he stepped in for Jay Cutler, but he wasn't Caleb Hanie, either. Still, at age 32, at best he's a decent backup/nightmare stop-gap for someone.

4. Drew Stanton, Colts
Could Stanton have started for the Jets last year? I posed that question at one point on Twitter and got absolutely accosted by Jets fans. The reality is New York eventually turned to Greg McElroy and you have to think they wished they'd stuck with Stanton and left Tim Tebow to some other team's devices. He could garner some interest from a team that doesn't want to invest heavily via the draft or trade.

5. David Garrard, Dolphins
Speaking of the Jets, they're reportedly working out Garrard. So that should bode well for them this season. You could argue he shouldn't be this high, but the reality of the situation is if your team is considering anyone on this list, you're already in a world of trouble quarterback-wise.

6. Brady Quinn, Chiefs
I almost feel a little bad putting Quinn this low. But not really, because I'm the one forced to put this list together in the first place. Quinn is a former first-round pick who never got any real run after a short stint with the Browns and then struggled for the Chiefs when Romeo Crennel decided to flip a coin on the Cassel/Quinn situation in 2012.

7. Brian Hoyer, Cardinals
It appears Hoyer is actually going to end up being an RFA, which means Arizona could keep him. Somewhat surprisingly, he got no action last offseason after the Patriots dumped him. That he's this high says more about the crop of free-agent quarterbacks than it does him. He might've been the Cards' best option last year after Kevin Kolb went down, though.

8. Josh Johnson, Browns
An athletic, still young (26) quarterback who would make a lot of sense as a backup for a team that runs ample amounts of read option. He was with the 49ers before they cut him in 2012. With Alex Smith now traded, he could fit there again for his old San Diego coach, Jim Harbaugh.

9. Rex Grossman, Redskins
Boy. This really escalated quickly, didn't it? Grossman is not even a guy you want as a backup at this point -- he lost that gig in Washington to Kirk Cousins -- but he does have a lot of experience as a starter.

10. David Carr, Giants
Carr, aka Mister Mittens, has a Super Bowl ring. That doesn't seem right, at all. He's 33, though, and I wouldn't trust him to step in. But as far as a backup goes, teams could do worse.

Expected to Add: Matt Cassel, Chiefs

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