When Jacksonville re-signing Chad Henne sends shockwaves through the NFL newsroom, the bar has been set ferociously low.
We're a long way from the days of teams courting Peyton Manning, but with a batch of signal-callers set to hit the open market (and others soon to be released), it's time to take a guess at where some of these free-agent passers will wind up:
- Michael Vick: NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport told Around The League that the Henne re-signing rules out Vick for the Jaguars. RapSheet noted this week that the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders are additional options for the 33-year-old passer, but we still believe he'll land with the Jets as a mentor and likely starter ahead of still-under-construction Geno Smith.
- Josh Freeman: Gregg Rosenthal ranked Freeman as the third-best free-agent arm out there, which tells us plenty about what's available. He's a schizophrenic passer who needs strong coaching for a chance to succeed. Just 26, Freeman's powerful arm is tantalizing, but his tendency for head-scratching plays makes him a risky starting prospect. We could see Oakland taking a shot.
- Josh McCown: Rapoport said Thursday on "NFL Total Access" that it "seems unlikely"Jay Cutler's backup would re-sign with the Bears. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jets line up as two "realistic options," but Rotoworld's Evan Silva offered an appropriate caution for teams looking to overpay for a 34-year-old journeyman:
And while we're here, a few under-contract quarterbacks likely to be very free in due time:
- Mark Sanchez: I have a lunch bet with long-agitated Jets enthusiast Dan Hanzus in which I propose that Sanchez will be cut by New York and wind up with the Raiders. When one NFL coach said in January that the embattled Gang Green passer would "be the starter as soon as he walked in the door for us," Oakland immediately came to mind. Former teammate Bart Scott offered the most accurate scouting report, calling The Sanchize a "top backup."
- Matt Schaub: Rapoport reported Saturday that a trio of teams -- including the Browns, Raiders and Jets -- would have interest in the Texans passer if, and when, he's released. O'Brien told us at the combine that he hasn't ruled out keeping Schaub on Houston's roster, but we'd be stunned if they hold on to him.
- Brandon Weeden: This dude needs a fresh start. Weeden has worn out his welcome in Cleveland after two seasons of slow-motion decision-making and bone-headed gaffes. Another team might try him out because of his strong arm, but Weeden is running out of time to make his mark in the NFL. For kicks, I'll suggest the Carolina Panthers as a landing spot for the aging ginger.