NFL free agency starts in exactly one month, March 18th. This is one of our favorite days during the offseason and it will be especially fun this year because of the talented crop of quarterbacks that are free agents.
There have been rumors swirling throughout since the Super Bowl ended, most notably of course is where Tom Brady will play next season.
So as we get set for free agency, let's predict where the top-five free agent quarterbacks will play next season.
1) TOM BRADY- So much has been made about Brady becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Many teams have been thrown out to land his services and there's even a report out there that the now Las Vegas Raiders are willing to give Brady a two-year, $60 million deal. A few quarterbacks, currently under contract, have been rumored trade targets to replace Brady in Andy Dalton of the Bengals and Matthew Stafford of the Lions. All that is fine and dandy but Brady is not going anywhere. He will finish his career with the Patriots.
2) DAK PRESCOTT- Another signal-caller that has his name thrown around, but for slightly different reasons. With Dak, his rumors have surrounded the amount of money that he wants and feels he deserves. We have heard numbers go as high as $40 million (per year) and as low as the franchise tag at $27 million. Dak is going to be a Dallas Cowboy at the end of the day, it's just a matter of how much.
3) PHILIP RIVERS- He's packed his bags and moved from California to Florida. Many thought it would be a lock that Rivers play for Tampa Bay and Bruce Arians but it is unclear what the Bucs will do with their own free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. Rivers' teammate, Melvin Gordon, said he believed the Colts would be the best fit for Rivers due to Indy's offensive coordinator, Nick Sirianni (Chargers assistant for five years) and his ties with Frank Reich (Colts head coach) who was the quarterbacks coach in San Diego in 2013. That year, Rivers completed just under 70% of his passes, threw for 32 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. The fit makes sense and I agree with Gordon.
4) DREW BREES- This one will impact a couple other quarterbacks as well. The Saints are in a Minnesota Vikings type situation when, a few years ago, all three of their quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater) all hit free agency. Now, Teddy Bridgewater again finds himself a free agent along with Taysom Hill. Hill has said he wants to be a starting quarterback. If Brees comes back, does Hill stay behind and wait for his opportunity once Brees does retire. As for Bridgewater, it seems like the Saints are willing to move away from him and I wrote a blog last week explaining why he and the Bucs make sense. A lot to dissect here.
PREDICTION(S)- DREW BREES AND TAYSOM HILL RETURN TO THE SAINTS, TEDDY BRIDGEWATER GOES TO THE BUCS.
5) RYAN TANNEHILL- The NFL's comeback player of the year had a season nobody saw coming. After coming over from the Dolphins, Tannehill backed up former No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota. Mariota was benched after a 2-4 start in favor of Tannehill and the rest is history. He led the Titans to a surprising playoff berth and upset of the New England Patriots up at Gillette Stadium in the wild-card round. A lot of that was thanks in part to the play of running back (and free agent) Derrick Henry who was a complete monster the last two months of the season. I think you can see what's going to happen here.
Again, free agency begins March 18th and we will find out soon enough where these guys will end up. Franchise tags, trades, and the draft will all impact how things shake up but for now, here are my predictions.