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Trades offer best options for teams in need of quarterback help

  • By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
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Finding a great quarterback in free agency, via trade or off the scrap heap is difficult. This year is no exception. Here’s a look at my top 10 quarterbacks expected to be available.

1. Carson Palmer

Bengals owner Mike Brown says he'll never trade him, but there will be a few teams calling and making some pretty strong offers for Palmer. One Bengal told me Brown might be softening to the idea of a trade. The building is split on what to do with Palmer.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

2. Kyle Orton

If the Palmer situation is a dead end, Orton would be my next stop. This is another trade situation and an aggressive team should be able to get Orton out of Denver, where Tim Tebow is the future. I like Orton in Washington, Minnesota and I even like him more in Arizona than the next guy on my list...

Chris Schneider/Associated Press

3. Kevin Kolb

Sounds like the guy with a 3-4 record as a starter and more interceptions than touchdowns is headed for Arizona. It will be interesting to see what the compensation package is and if another team gets into the mix at the last minute. Bottom line: The Eagles are going to get a great deal.

Mel Evans/Associated Press

4. Matt Hasselbeck

He could be the first QB signed when free agency begins. Hasselbeck is a perfect fit with a club like Tennessee, where there's a rookie QB (Jake Locker) who doesn't need to be rushed onto the field. The Titans are the odds-on favorite, but don't count out a return to Seattle.

John Froschauer/Associated Press

5. Donovan McNabb

McNabb's contract is not going to permit him to stay in Washington, but his release could be held up because of the language in his deal about when a roster bonus is due. As Brad Childress said to me recently, "Donovan will be ready to go this year and has a chip on his shoulder about how things have gone late in his career." McNabb looks like a great fit in Minnesota but would also work in Carolina or Tennessee.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

6. Vince Young

Upside? He is young and wins games. Downside? He has to repair his image and become a student of the game who works at his craft. I would love to see him replace Kevin Kolb in Philadelphia and reinvent his career.

Frederick Breedon/Associated Press

7. Marc Bulger

Bulger has received a lot of attention this offseason because he is free and clear to sign. Most see him as a quality backup and a short-term answer if the starter went down. He might be able to win a starting spot in a place like Miami, but he probably will take $3 million to be a backup with a good team.

Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

8. Rex Grossman

Grossman might very well be re-signed in Washington and win the starting job. He is seen in a favorable light by Kyle Shanahan, and if Washington doesn't make a deal in free agency, it could be his gig to lose.

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

9. Jake Delhomme

Delhomme is due $5.4 million in base salary in Cleveland and should be a cap casualty. His center in Carolina, Ryan Kalil, is campaigning for his return to the Panthers, but it might be more realistic for Delhomme to head to a team like Denver if the Broncos trade Kyle Orton.

Don Heupel/Associated Press

10. Alex Smith

Everyone expects Smith to re-sign in San Francisco minutes after free agency starts. It will be interesting to see if his agent fields calls from other teams, which could at least push up the price for his services.

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

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