Philadelphia Eagles News

2010 Free Agency Rankings: Quarterback

Free agency is only a week away and, absent a last-minute extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it will be the first year without a salary cap since 1993. While that sounds great, a player needs six years of service instead of four to become an unrestricted free agent. The final eight playoff teams also have limits as to who they can sign. It's a lot to digest, but here's a look at the top quarterbacks about to hit the open market.

1. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos (RFA)
Orton is a capable veteran. You don't build a team around him, but he is a solid starter. Orton has a career record of 29-20. He's coming off a season where he threw for 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns. Denver will probably want to keep him in 2010.

2. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins (RFA)
The ultimate enigma. Campbell has the ability to be a star quarterback. He is big, mobile and has a strong arm. He makes some throws that will really impress you. Then he turns around and throws a horrible interception or takes a dumb sack. The question with Campbell isn't talent. It is whether his bad habits have set in permanently or if a change of scenery would help him.

3. Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins (UFA)
Solid starter when he's healthy. Missed most of 2009 with a shoulder injury. He's had shoulder problems in the past and that is a major concern. This ranking assumes he'll be healthy by training camp. Teams in need of a veteran starter to help a young player develop will have interest.

4. Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers (RFA)
Interesting player. Has a winning record in his limited starts, but most of those games were won with defense and a strong running game. Moore hasn't impressed me as someone who can lead a passing attack. I do think he has the potential to be an effective starter on a team that is built on running the ball. Played well in place of Jake Delhomme last season and finished with a rating of 98.5.

5. Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions (UFA)
Culpepper was a special starter just five or so years ago. Now he's the top of the scrap heap. Still has good physical ability. Culpepper has a strong arm and can make all the throws. The problem is that he's now been part of some really bad teams and you have to wonder if all that losing and sloppy play hasn't permanently affected him. No team should pursue him as a starter. Also isn't the ideal guy to groom a young player.

6. Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings (RFA)
Showed a lot of promise in 2007. Jackson was 8-4 as a starter. He was a good runner and flashed potential as a passer. He wasn't able to keep the quarterback job in 2008 and then had to sit behind Brett Favre this past season. Jackson is intriguing because he has some experience and has some potential. Some teams could be interested if the Vikings don't ask a lot for him.

7. Bruce Gradkowski, Oakland Raiders (RFA)
The ultimate scrappy quarterback. He won't get any style points, but definitely gets an A for effort. Led the Raiders to a couple of wins down the stretch. That is quite an achievement. The Raiders will want him back so expect them to give Gradkowski a high tender.

8. Troy Smith, Baltimore Ravens (RFA)
Another interesting player. Smith has only thrown 89 career passes. He does have talent. He's been stuck behind a franchise quarterback the last two years and that killed his hope for playing time. Smith started two games as a rookie and showed some potential. No team is likely to look at him as a starter for 2010, but Smith could be of interest as someone to acquire as a backup and future starter. Will the Ravens shop him or want to keep him?

9. David Carr, New York Giants (UFA)
The top pick of the 2002 draft never could become a consistently good quarterback for the Texans, but there were moments where he looked very good. Carr has been a backup for the Giants in the last two seasons and that time has served him well. He got to be part of a good team and play behind a high quality offensive line. Remember that Carr was sacked over and over and over in Houston. He seems to have some confidence back. He's no longer starting material, but looks like a good backup.

10. Rex Grossman, Houston Texans (UFA)
Grossman led a team to the Super Bowl in 2006. He had a fast fall from grace. He was benched in 2007. He barely played the last two years. Grossman still has the physical ability to be a starting quarterback. The question is whether he has the confidence to still run an NFL offense or if the struggles of the last four years are too much to overcome.

-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 9:30 a.m., February 26

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