One of the biggest stories of the NFL offseason will be where the top available signal callers will land, and also which teams (if any) will be left out in the cold going into the upcoming year. First off, here is a look at who should be available during the offseason via free agency or trade.
Another aspect of the whole QB musical chairs will be who is selected where in the NFL Draft. While last year produced numerous starters, this year I only see two with the ability to be quality starters from day 1
While Smith could quite possibly go #1 in the draft and be a first day starter for whatever team selects him, Barkley could go to a team that also selects a free agent and they could compete for the starting job.
Now that we have the Quarterbacks out of the way, now we should take a look at what teams should be in a market for a signal caller. This is by no means all of the teams, but the ones with the most desperate need for one.
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets
Now the fun part. This is a look into how the QB offseason puzzle may shape up for each of the following teams and players.
Kansas City Chiefs-Geno Smith: This team should have the 1st overall pick in the draft, and they need a quarterback. At this time, the QB with the best chance to come in and make a difference in my opinion is Geno Smith. If the Chiefs draft him first overall, they can hand the reins over to him, and focus on building a solid offense around him.
Jacksonville Jaguars-Tim Tebow: This team, despite the record, may not have as terrible a need for a signal caller as some of these other teams. They can afford to take another position early in the draft, and draft a signal caller later in the draft (possibly in second round). This team is rumored to be a strong candidate to sign Tim Tebow to compete with Chad Henne for the starting job, so that will be who we will leave them with for now.
Buffalo Bills-Matt Barkley: It is fairly obvious that the Bills will need to find a new franchise quarterback. Their owner has already hinted that they would be looking in the draft to find a new signal caller, and one must think they would be looking at a big name to sell to their fan base that they are going in the right direction. Their draft position currently shows that they could be in position to take a quarterback like Matt Barkley and have him battle Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job next year.
Arizona Cardinals-Mark Sanchez: This 2012 year could be/should be the final straw for Mark Sanchez in New York. If the Jets were smart, they would try to trade Sanchez to Arizona and try to convince them to pick up at least a bigger portion of Sanchez guaranteed money than what would normally be negotiated. The Cardinals QB situation is one of the worst in the NFL in quite some time. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most dangerous weapons in the league and he has absolutely nobody to throw to him. The Cardinals can sell to their fan base that Mark Sanchez is getting a fresh start to battle with other QBs for the starting spot, and hopefully push him (as well as the others) to become better and help the team move to the next level.
Philadelphia Eagles-Alex Smith: This might be a bit of a reach, but this is a logical reach if there ever was one. The Eagles do not want to go into the 2013 year with Nick Foles as their starter. If they do, then their year is already a lost one. The one thing they do want among anything, is stability. Although Alex Smith does not offer the biggest upside in the world, he does offer some sort of stability to a position that has been highly unstable with Michael Vick taking snaps the past couple years. If the Eagles could find enough ammunition, the could convince the 49ers to part with their QB.
New York Jets-Michael Vick: The Tebow-Sanchez experiment hopefully is over. This team, who could also be in the running for a trade for Alex Smith, might eventually turn to another former NFC QB in Michael Vick. Vick would offer the big name that the Jets seem to always be after in an attempt to win headlines. He could also run an offense that could have more spread concepts (the offense they were intending for Tebow). The Jets could also look to the draft to find another QB to compete or be a backup to Vick in round 2.