The NFL never sleeps. If you don’t believe me, think about this: already, teams are looking at this April’s Draft. Not only that, but most teams have developed a free agent big board. As soon as free agency starts on March 14, teams that can spend heavily, will spend heavily.
Quarterback is the most important position on the football field. That’s why NFL teams that need a quarterback will spend gobs of money in free agency to get their quarterback. Check out a list of the biggest likely free agent QBs to get paid this season.
NFL 2018 QB Free Agent Predictions
Cleveland Browns will sign QB A.J. McCarron
The Browns could draft UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, or Wyoming’s Josh Allen. With the first pick in the NFL Draft, coach Hue Jackson could decide to go for the next great signal-caller.
But…why? The fact is that Cleveland wanted to trade for A.J. McCarron during the middle of the season. I’m still not sure what happened that prevented the Browns from grabbing McCarron. The problem with A.J. McCarron right now, today, is that he might or might not be an unrestricted free agent. The Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL league office believe that McCarron is a restricted free agent.
The Cleveland Browns, A.J. McCarron, and his agent feel that he’s an unrestricted free agent. Hue Jackson knows that the Philadelphia Eagles just won a Super Bowl with a back-up QB. If Jackson wanted McCarron during the regular season, why wouldn’t he want McCarron right now?
Signing A.J. McCarron means that: a) the Browns have no hopes that DeShone Kizer becomes a starter in the NFL, b) the Browns want to try and win football games right now, and c) unlike everyone else in the NFL, Jackson isn’t sold on Rosen, Darnold, Mayfield, or Allen.
My gut tells me that this week A.J. McCarron is declared an unrestricted free agent. I also feel the Cleveland Browns go after A.J. as soon as it strikes midnight on March 14.
Washington will trade QB Kirk Cousins to the New York Jets
There’s a lot of talk about where Kirk Cousins will go. He won’t get anywhere at first. Yes, the Washington Redskins made a trade for 33-year-old QB Alex Smith. I get that. But, Dan Snyder and the powers that be in Washington’s organization also know that there’s no rule that says you can’t place the franchise tag on the same player two seasons in a row.
There’s another thing Snyder knows. Kirk Cousins has a lot of value. Just because you’ve settled on Smith as your QB, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to part ways with your most valuable player for nothing. Washington’s going to place the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. Then, they’re going to trade Cousins to the New York Jets.
The Redskins need a lot more than just great quarterback play to catch the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. Washington could use the Jets’ sixth pick in Round 1 to get closer to Philly. Or, they could use the pick to grab one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. Then, they could have Smith help groom that QB to become the face of the franchise in two to three seasons.
The Jets could win football games right now. The defense might be one of the best in the NFL next season. Todd Bowles is an underrated head coach. J-E-T-S went 5 and 11 with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty as their quarterbacks. I think Cousins to NYJ happens.
Minnesota Vikings will keep QB Case Keenum
What a season it was for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings ended up in the NFC Championship Game. Hey, sure, the eventual Super Bowl 52 winning Philadelphia Eagles dominated the Vikings in the NFC Championship. So, what? The fact that Minnesota dominated the NFC North Division, beat the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, and got all the way to the NFC Championship is a big deal.
It’s tough for plenty of NFL franchises to even sniff the playoffs. If Minnesota’s best cornerback, Xavier Rhodes, hadn’t been hurt in the NFC Championship, who knows? The point is that Minnesota isn’t that far away from winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
That’s why the only thing Minnesota is really going to do is resign Case Keenum to a long-term contract. Teddy Bridgwater could still be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s coming off a two-year absence due to a horrific injury. Sam Bradford has a lot of talent. He always has. But, he’s also always been injury prone throughout his entire career.
Keenum is one of the reasons Minnesota so thoroughly dominated their NFC North rivals. Keenum is one of the reasons the Vikings made it all the way to the NFC Championship. He’s the man they’ll give the reigns of the offense too. The last thing Minny wants to do is mess with success.
Buffalo Bills will sign QB Sam Bradford
Doesn’t it just feel like Sam Bradford and the Buffalo Bills will be a match made in heaven? The problem with Tyrod Taylor is that Buffalo is a rushing team that relies on the passing attack.
Bradford is a pocket quarterback. The Bills traded for WR Kelvin Benjamin during the season. Benjamin could be a solid WR1. With Bradford throwing the football to him, Benjamin should be a solid WR1. If the Bills have decided to draft a QB, they probably won’t sign Bradford.
They most definitely should, though. If they do sign Bradford, they could draft a WR in Round 1. When Sam Bradford’s healthy, he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. After signing Bradford, they should also sign Trevor Siemian to back him up.
More later on what Denver does with Siemian.
Arizona Cardinals will sign QB Eli Manning
This one is a no-brainer. The Cardinals must grab a veteran QB while Larry Fitzgerald remains on the football field. Arizona is a veteran team. Signing Manning, which can only happen if the Giants cut him since Eli’s got a no-trade clause, makes all the sense in the world.
I’m not saying Arizona doesn’t draft a QB. I’m saying they sign Manning and draft a QB. Why not? Manning could help the Cardinals win games. Arizona, no doubt, is moving to a more run-oriented offense. Why not sign Eli? Eli’s a winner. That means something, right?
Philadelphia Eagles will sign QB Nick Foles…
Philadelphia should sign QB Nick Foles to a long-term deal. That gives them a ton of options once they do that. I believe Foles should be a starter somewhere in the NFL. By resigning Foles to a long-term deal, Howie Roseman, like he did with Sam Bradford, could trade Foles for a bunch of draft picks.
…Then, they will trade Foles to the Denver Broncos…
If the Eagles do sign Foles to a long-term deal, they could trade Foles to the Denver Broncos. Brock Osweiler isn’t the answer. Neither is Trevor Siemian. Nor, it appears, is Paxton Lynch. The Broncos could waste their exceptional defense by drafting a QB. They could decide to simply roll with one of their 3 bad quarterbacks this season.
Or, they could make a play for Nick Foles. To me, the answer’s obvious.
…Or, Philly keeps Foles and decides who their franchise quarterback should be
This is what the Philadelphia Eagles should do. Yes, Carson Wentz was on his way to becoming the NFL MVP. But, like I often remind my friends, Drew Beldsoe was the starter in New England before Tom Brady won a Super Bowl.
Bill Belichick dropped Drew Bledsoe like a hot potato. Nick Foles dominated one of the best coached defenses in the NFL to win Super Bowl 52. He didn’t just beat Matt Patricia’s defense, he dominated it. Also, he didn’t just not make a mistake. He blew up Patricia’s D. Foles is a real starting QB.
There’s no rule that says the Eagles must stick with Wentz. Wentz goes into this season off an injury. Even if he comes back 100%, is he better than Nick Foles? I don’t know. If I’m Roseman and Doug Pederson, I’m considering all my options.