The NFL Playoffs rage on, but for the vast majority of teams they are in full offseason mode. As coaches across the league are relieved of their duties with their specific teams, players who are about to enter free agency are also left wondering what will happen with their football future.
For any player listed below, they are slated to become Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA), which means if they don’t sign a contract before the start of the new league year they are free to sign with the team of their choosing. It also should be noted players who have the franchise tag placed on them would remain under contract for the 2023 season, based on what kind of tag is used.
However, as we sit here right now, here is a list of the top quarterbacks who are slated to be UFAs this offseason. Some are due big-time contracts, which would take them off the list, while others might get tagged in one way or another. Nonetheless, many on the list will be willing to go to the highest bidder once the league tampering period starts on March 13th, and the new league year begins March 15th.
Let’s get to the free agent list...
Tom Brady (45) / Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After the playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys, has Brady played his last game in the NFL? Tough to predict, but there might be a team willing to try and win a title with the 45 year old quarterback.
Lamar Jackson (27) / Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have painted themselves into a corner with Jackson. They have tried to sign him to a long term contract, only to have it shot down by Jackson. Now they face a dilemma. Give Jackson a lengthy, majority guaranteed contract, place a franchise tag on him, or let him walk. It seems unlikely they let him walk, but how they handle this situation will be interesting, to say the least.
It seems like decades ago wince Mayfield was the Cleveland Browns No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft. After the fall out in Cleveland, Mayfield has yet to find a home. Will he remain in Los Angeles? If so, it will likely be as a back-up as Matthew Stafford plans on returning in 2023. Where Mayfield lands will be an interesting storyline this offseason.
Sam Darnold (25) / Carolina Panthers
Like Mayfield, Darnold has yet to find a place to truly call home. He’s shown signs of life throughout his career, but can never sustain quality play over the long term. Depending on who is hired as the Panthers’ head coach could have a lot to do with whether Darnold is brought back next year or is looking for work elsewhere.
Jimmy Garoppolo (31) / San Francisco 49ers
Garoppolo’s shoulder injury prevented a team from taking a risk on him last offseason. He was patient, and after Trey Lance’s season-ending injury he found himself back in the good graces with the 49ers. However, a lower leg injury has him sidelined and his future anything but certain. Garoppolo is on the wrong side of 30, but has shown he can still play when healthy.
Daniel Jones (25) / New York Giants
With Jones leading the Giants past the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, it seems unlikely New York parts ways with the 1st Round pick. Will he land a long term extension, or get franchise tagged? It seems unlikely Jones leaves the Big Apple.
Geno Smith (32) / Seattle Seahawks
Like Jones, the success Smith has shown late in his career is such the Seahawks will likely try to bring back the veteran quarterback for another contract. How they do that will be intriguing, especially with them having a Top 10 pick after trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Smith’s resurgence has been great to see as he led Seattle to a playoff berth.
Mike White (27) / New York Jets
Heading into the season, no one thought much about Mike White. He was behind Zach Wilson and/or Joe Flacco on the Jets’ depth chart, but White proved he can be a valuable commodity when given the chance. He supplanted both Wilson and Flacco as the team’s starting quarterback and won games in that role. Will he get a shot with the Jets again, or with another team?
Mason Rudolph (27) / Pittsburgh Steelers
Rudolph’s start to his NFL career has been anything but smooth. After sitting and watching his entire rookie season, he entered the lineup in Year 2 after Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury ended his season. Rudolph played well, but a combination of injury and poor play resulted in mixed results. Since that season Rudolph hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show what he can do. He didn’t play a single game in 2022, and is likely looking to start fresh elsewhere in 2023.
Jacoby Brissett (30) / Cleveland Browns
The man who was given the starting role in Cleveland with Deshaun Watson on suspension showed plenty during his time with the Browns. Is he an elite level starter? No, but can he win a team games? Absolutely. There is still value in a player like that in today’s NFL, but the question is will he be given a chance to start somewhere, or be relegated to back-up duties?
Other notable free agent quarterbacks:
- Andy Dalton
- Taylor Heinicke
- Blaine Gabbert
- Case Keenum
- Teddy Bridgewater
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest free agency news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.