There’s one axiom that almost every football coach, analyst and fan believes about the game today: The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. If a team has a good one, they are a contender. If they don’t, they have no chance of competing for a title.
Thus, landing an elite signal caller is priority No. 1 for every team. While the best place to find one is in the draft, not every team is in a position to snag the next Andrew Luck, and not every franchise is fortunate enough to discover the next Russell Wilson.
So if a team can’t add their quarterback of the future, a guy who can make them a contender for the next decade, they need to find another solution. Enter free agency.
While only a stop-gap measure, free agency can at least help a team keep its head above water. With a competent QB, franchises can accurately evaluate the rest of their roster, avoiding the trap of circling the drain because of incompetence under center.
If a team is in this position, who is available in 2014 to help them? Here’s how the editors of cover32 assess this year’s free agency field:
10. Tarvaris Jackson
We’ve seen enough from Jackson during his seven NFL seasons to determine that he’s not going to be a long-term answer as a starter. His 2011 campaign in Seattle proved that point, despite throwing for more than 3,000 yards. But that much time on an NFL roster also proves that Jackson is at least competent. He can get a team in and out of the huddle, he can make decent decisions and he can move the football. Is he going to win a title? No. But he can play the position adequately.
9. Chad Henne
Henne is far from flashy, as he doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm and he doesn’t make amazing plays with his feet. Thus, he’s kind of just another guy. But, he is a player who has proven he can deal with ugly situations. During his time in Miami and Jacksonville, he’s bravely taken his spot under center every week despite not having much talent around him. In the right situation, with a strong defense and running game, he could win games.