Around the League: Free Agent Quarterbacks

Chances are the Vikings won't be shopping for a No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback in free agency, but they still might take a peek and see who is available, especially if things digress with their top two QBs. We take a stroll around the league and see what the beat writers think about some of the quarterbacks scheduled for free agency.

  • Chicago Bears QB Jeff Blake, who still has a live arm and quick feet at 35, played his role of veteran mentor to perfection. He seemed content to be an insurance policy and play only when necessary. He's a free agent, but if he's agreeable with his present role, he's the ideal backup to a pair of young players.

  • Green Bay Packers QB Craig Nall's future hinges on whether Brett Favre returns. The four-year backup is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Brian Griese is 30 and coming off a season-ending knee injury. He was 5-1 as a starter before tearing knee ligaments in a game against the Dolphins. His replacement, Chris Simms, showed tremendous promise and upside after going 5-1 in the NFC South, leading the Bucs to a division title. Simms is a restricted free agent and the Bucs would like to sign him to a long-term deal. But Griese is owed a $2.6 million roster bonus in March and his salary cap figure increases to more than $7 million.

  • Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is an unrestricted free agent and coming off a season-ending MCL injury that did not require surgery. The team appears prepared to try to sign him back, but if it does, it has to find a strong backup because of Warner's recent history of injuries. When healthy, Warner appeared to still have some good football left in him.

  • Cardinals QB Josh McCown becomes an unrestricted free agent and does not appear to be in the Cardinals' plans. He may also feel that he has been jacked around by the franchise and prefer to try somewhere else.

  • St. Louis Rams QB Jamie Martin was solid as Marc Bulger's backup, but he will be a free agent, and a possible return will depend on the Rams' new coaching staff.

  • Cincinnati Bengals QB Jon Kitna will likely be allowed to test the unrestricted free agent market. There's a sense that the Bengals have to sacrifice too much of their downfield passing game when Kitna is in the game. Kitna might be back, but he won't get a huge raise from his $1 million base. Baltimore is believed to be interested in him.


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