NFL Free Agency: A Look at the Top QBs on the Market
The Super Bowl may have concluded just under a month ago, but the NFL has a relatively quick turnaround to the 2021 season. The new league year is officially underway on March 17, and with that comes the start of free agency. Beginning on March 15, a two-day window opens where teams are able to have open negotiations with players and their agents in regards to contracts.
Today, we will examine the top free agents at the quarterback position.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Even coming off a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury, Dak Prescott is in line for a major pay day, whether it’s from the Dallas Cowboys or an outside competitor. Prescott is arguably the top overall free agent in the 2021 class, so it’s only fitting that he’s the top option at quarterback.
It looks likely Prescott will be playing with a star on his helmet come August, either in the form of both sides coming to a long-term contract agreement or the franchise tag being placed on Prescott for the second consecutive year at the price of $37.7 million. He appears to have the leverage in contract negotiations as the Cowboys regressed immensely without him orchestrating the offense.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins
No one will argue that Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of most successful journeyman quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He is known for having a high football IQ and is considered a great leader and mentor on the field.
It would be wise for the Miami Dolphins to re-sign Fitzpatrick to a team-friendly deal and continue mentoring Tua Tagovailoa in his progressions as the starter for the Dolphins, but Fitzpatrick may want to move on and start for another franchise. He is not considered a long-term solution at the position but is an excellent option as a bridge quarterback.
Prediction: Washington Football Team
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
The marriage between Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears has been turbulent, to say the least. After beginning the season 2-0, Trubisky was benched during Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons in favor of Nick Foles. Luckily for him, he got another opportunity after Foles was injured in Week 10. Trubisky played well down the stretch, and the Bears scored 30 points on four separate occasions, but they still failed to do anything of note in the playoffs after starting 5-1.
The Bears could re-sign Trubisky, but it looks like both sides will want a fresh start. Look for Trubisky to take a lesser role wherever he lands.
Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston is one of the most polarizing players in the 2021 free agent class. He is only 27 years old and isn’t too far removed from being the top overall selection in the 2015 NFL draft. He may not be the most accurate quarterback in the league after becoming the first player in history to find his way into the 30/30 club (30 touchdowns, 30 interceptions) in 2020, but he still possesses the intangibles needed to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
It’s hard to envision the New Orleans Saints not retaining Winston, considering Drew Brees is contemplating retirement. If the Saints allow Winston to test free agency, he should have plenty of suitors.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
Austin Boley is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism