The 2017 NFL Draft is shaping up to be only the sixth draft in the past 20 years that a quarterback isn’t taken with the No. 1 overall pick. With no elite quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, most would have assumed there would be less quarterback chatter this offseason.
Instead, the opposite has taken place.
Since plenty of veteran signal callers are in dire need of a change of scenery, day 1 of NFL free agency was absolute madness. Let’s take a look at the 5 biggest quarterbacks set to call a new place home in 2017:
1. Brock Osweiler – Cleveland Browns
In the biggest move of the day, the Houston Texans sent Osweiler and a 2018 second round pick to the Cleveland Browns. Houston’s decision to part with Osweiler is the final chapter of what many are calling the worst free agent acquisition in NFL history. Only 365 days ago, Houston declared Osweiler to be the franchise savior, signing him to a four-year, $72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed. With Cleveland owning ample cap space, they will absorb Osweiler’s $16 million salary in 2017 – the key reason Houston had to toss in a second round pick. After Osweiler’s atrocious 2016 season in Houston – a year in which he threw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15) – it’s difficult to imagine the Arizona State product developing into Cleveland’s long-term solution at quarterback. However, the move made sense for both sides, as Cleveland received a valuable pick in next year’s draft, and Houston cleared the way to pursue the next quarterback on this list…
2. Tony Romo – Denver Broncos or Houston Texans… most likely
Although the Cowboys’ all-time passing leader hasn’t officially been traded, no player has been more directly impacted by today’s moves. After Dallas announced that they would be trading the quarterback instead of releasing him (clearly recognizing they could get something in return), Denver and Houston immediately emerged as frontrunners. With Houston trading away Osweiler and the Broncos in talks to trade Trevor Siemian, both teams are in hot pursuit. Add in the madness taking place in Washington, and it’s pretty safe to say Romo will be playing for Denver, Houston or Washington in 2017.
3. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins… for now
There wasn’t supposed to be any drama surrounding Washington and its franchise quarterback. However, a stalemate in long-term contract negotiations has resulted in Cousins asking to be traded. Even though owner Dan Snyder reportedly rebuffed Cousins’ request, it still leaves Washington fans feeling uneasy. Thanks to a second consecutive franchise tag and bidding for quarterbacks at an all-time high, Cousins seems to have the leverage in this scenario. Whether the Pro Bowler gets traded this offseason or not, he doesn’t appear likely to spend his entire career in DC.
4. Mike Glennon – Chicago Bears
Don’t worry if you have no idea who Mike Glennon guy is. Since the start of 2015, he has thrown a grand total of 11 passes (and completed 10 so he must be incredible!) as the back-up to Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay. Despite his lack of in-game experience, the Chicago Bears have agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract ($19 million guaranteed) to make him the team’s starting quarterback. It looks like a reach to say the least, but with everyone in Chicago sick of Jay Cutler’s apathy and Matt Barkley’s willingness to complete passes to the opposing defense, the Bears had limited options. In Glennon, they get a steady, accurate quarterback who works best as a game manager. He’s not going to single-handedly win games, but unlike Chicago’s recent quarterbacks, he won’t lose single-handedly either.
5. Jay Cutler – New York Jets?
To the delight of Bears fans (and Jay Cutler himself), the 33 year-old has been released by Chicago. After eight underwhelming seasons in the Windy City, Cutler will look to turn his career around with a new franchise. Cutler’s talent has never been in question, but his attitude and ability to lead give plenty of teams trepidation. With the market quickly closing on teams in need of a starting quarterback, a Cutler-Jets marriage looks to be the most likely option. Unhappy with the 2016 quarterback stable of Bryce Petty, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Christian Hackenberg, Cutler could be a stop-gap until New York finds its signal caller of the future. Plus, it would only be fitting that Cutler comes to play for the Jets as soon as arch-rival Brandon Marshall leaves.
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