2006 QB's and FA
Good article from NFL.com about the QB moves during the FA.
Quarterbacks dealing with volatile offseason
By Pat Kirwan
NFL.com Senior Analyst
Watch Kirwan's report on offseason happenings
(March 23, 2006) -- Sure, some say that the NFL stands for the "not for long league" and it always applied to coaches and fringe players, but this offseason, things have gotten volatile across the board.
With just two weeks of free agency completed, there are more than 100 veteran players that will be playing for new teams in 2006. Who really knows how many players will have a new address by the time camp rolls around in July and free agency comes to an end? My guess is that a little over 200 players will sign with a different team by the end of this madness.
We have already seen five trades in a league that is not known for trades and we have witnessed a transition player move to a new team ( Steve Hutchinson to Minnesota), not to mention all the spending being done by teams in an attempt to get better overnight. And at the quarterback position, there has always been some movement and change, but not like we are seeing so far in 2006.
Gus Frerotte won nine starts in 2005 but was let go by Miami.
When free agency and trading finally comes to a halt, there is a very good chance that 20 quarterbacks will have changed teams. The first thing that struck me about the group of signal-callers listed below that have left their 2005 team and are now the property of another franchise is that as a group, all they could combine to muster as compensation to their old club was a second- and sixth-round selection! Most were released for financial reasons while some were shown the door because a better option came along, which only time will tell. But the first 18 quarterbacks to leave their team combined for 92 starts in 2005 (and it would have been over 100 if Daunte Culpepper didn't get injured). With the probable release of Joey Harrington and rumors swirling about J.P. Losman and even Steve McNair, there is a solid chance that seven full-time starting quarterbacks in 2005, four part-time starters and 11 backups will be somewhere else this season.
QUARTERBACK MOVES IN 2006
2005 team 2006 team Compensation former team TD/INT 2005 starts
Drew Brees San Diego New Orleans None 24/15 16
Aaron Brooks New Orleans Oakland None 13/17 13
Kerry Collins Oakland TBD None 20/12 15
Todd Collins Kansas City Washington None 0/0 0
Daunte Culpepper Minnesota Miami 2nd-rd. pick 6/12 7
Jay Fiedler N.Y. Jets TBD None 0/0 0
Gus Frerotte Miami St. Louis None 18/13 15
Jeff Garcia Detroit Philadelphia None 3/6 5
Brian Griese Tampa Bay Chicago None 7/7 6
Joey Harrington Detroit TBD TBD 12/12 11
Jon Kitna Cincinnati Detroit None 0/2 0
Tommy Maddox Pittsburgh TBD None 2/4 2
Josh McCown St. Louis Detroit None 9/11 6
Mike McMahon Philadelphia Minnesota None 5/8 7
Craig Nall Green Bay Buffalo None 0/0 0
Patrick Ramsey Washington N.Y. Jets 6th-rd. pick 1/1 1
Sage Rosenfels Miami Houston None 4/3 1
There is no doubt that having 10 new head coaches in 2006 has something to do with the volatility. Minnesota, Oakland, New Orleans and Detroit all changed coaches and they, in turn, changed quarterbacks. As Rod Marinelli in Detroit said, "We have decided to go in a different direction." In Oakland, the Raiders got rid of Kerry Collins (20 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in 2005) for Aaron Brooks (13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions) and they feel good about the change. Gus Frerotte connected on 18 TD passes to just 13 picks and he was quickly replaced by an injured but younger Culpepper, who found the end zone six times in seven games last year, but did manage to find the opposition 12 times. Harrington and David Carr came into the NFL together and have played about the same amount of games: Carr has 60 starts and Harrington has 58. Carr has thrown 48 touchdowns to 53 interceptions and received a three-year extension. Harrington threw 60 touchdowns and 62 picks and is on his way out. The world of the NFL quarterback is finicky to say the least.
Joey Harrington departs Detroit after four seasons.
The interesting storylines that still have to play out at the quarterback position before teams put on the pads are the draft, Brett Favre's decision on his future, and the remaining veterans that could be traded or shown the door. With three quarterbacks in the draft with first-round grades, and a number of teams poised to move up in the draft or take a QB should they fall to them, there is no doubt that when it comes time to pay Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler and Vince Young, a few veteran quarterbacks will be looking for work or they will get the old "permission to seek a trade." Look up at the chart and it's easy to see trades don't happen that often and decent compensation is unrealistic.
The Brett Favre situation for the Packers seems like it can only be solved now by Favre coming back to the Packers. Aaron Rodgers isn't ready to play, the Packers have plenty of cap space to keep Favre and the quality veterans that were available are now gone. I don't see the Packers waking up any time soon and thinking Harrington, or any of the other potential veterans that may come free, as an answer to Favre retiring.
Finally, I think the Falcons had it right when they realized keeping Matt Schaub was a great idea for the future of their club. He's got a reasonable contract, a lot of talent, and the coaches believe they can win with him if he needs to go on the field. I wonder how many teams involved in this wild and volatile QB market this year really feel deep down inside that they will win with the changes they made at quarterback? As one former general manager said to me, "It is amazing how many times the grass looks greener somewhere else.