NFL free agency 2021: Top 10 NFL quarterbacks available


Here's a look at the top 10 NFL quarterbacks available in free agency this offseason. By Dave Zangaro

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There’s Dak and then there’s everyone else. Forget being the top quarterback free agent … Dak is the top free agent in the entire league this offseason. Of course, if the Cowboys can’t come to a long-term deal with Prescott, they’re going to have to slap a franchise tag on him for the second straight season and then they might have to prepare to lose him after the 2021 season. Prescott was off to an incredible statistical start to his 2020 season before he was lost for the season with an ankle injury in October. Prescott is a two-time Pro Bowler and the Cowboys obviously want to keep him but they haven’t been able to figure out a deal yet.


It’s tough to figure out where Newton fits into the NFL landscape. The former NFL MVP will turn 32 before the 2022 season and is coming off an underwhelming season as the starter in New England. In 2020, he threw for under 2,700 yards with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He certainly doesn’t look like the MVP he was six years ago but can he still be a good starting NFL quarterback? He thinks so. I’m not sure what the rest of the league thinks.


The 38-year-old began the season as the Dolphins starter but eventually gave way to rookie Tua Tagovailoa. While everyone knew that would eventually happen, Fitzpatrick was understandably disappointed because he was playing fairly well before the switch. He ended up starting seven games (he played in nine) for Miami last year and was pretty good. He completed 68.5% of his passes for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. As long as Fitz wants to keep playing in 2021, he’ll have a job.


Like Fitzpatrick, Taylor was supposed to be the starter for the Chargers before the rookie was ready. Taylor started the opener for Los Angeles in 2020. In that one game, Taylor completed 16 of 30 passes for 208 yards in a win. In Week 2, Taylor suffered an injury in warmups and Justin Herbert started in place of him. Herbert never gave the job back on his way to having a Rookie of the Year season. Now Taylor is 31 and looking for a new landing spot. Like Newton, he’s six years removed from being a Pro Bowler, but he’s a high-level backup or a low-level starter in the league.


Dalton, 33, spent the 2020 season as the backup in Dallas, which meant he actually started nine games. In those nine, he had a 4-5 record and was OK. With the Cowboys, he completed nearly 65% of his passes for over 2,100 yard with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. In 2019, his last year with the Bengals, Dalton threw for nearly 3,500 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 picks for an awful team. He’s not the three-time Pro Bowler from earlier in his career, but Dalton is a great backup option.


The former No. 1 overall pick just finished his season with the Saints, who might very well keep him as they explore their options after Drew Brees’s retirement. Winston is an intriguing name because he is a former No. 1 pick who is still just 27 and he has had some success in the NFL. He was a Pro Bowler for the Bucs in 2015 and threw for over 5,000 yards in 2019. Of course, his 88 career interceptions and his staggering 30 interceptions in 2019 are cause for concern. But perhaps in the right system, he could become a decent NFL starter.


The former first-round pick is a hard player to figure out. He has some talent but just hasn’t been very good. There’s a reason the Bears have finally given up on him. In 2020, the Bears were actually 6-3 with him as a starer and he completed 67% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. But four years into his career, it’s hard to think Trubisky is ever going to be a franchise quarterback. Maybe if he lands in the right spot he can find a way to resurrect his career.


Now 28, Brissett was the backup to Philip Rivers with the Colts in 2020. There’s a chance he could return to be a backup to Carson Wentz in 2021, but maybe it’s time for him to move on. With the Colts, he was the full-time starter in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, he replaced an injured Andrew Luck and in 2019, he was the replacement after Luck retired shortly before the season. He has a career record of 12-20 and a career completion percentage of under 60. But he does have some dual threat ability; he rushed for 260 yards in 2017 and 228 in 2019.


Flacco is 36 and is a few years removed from being a full-time starter but still has value as a backup as long as he wants to keep playing. With the hapless Jets in 2020, he started four games and had an 0-4 record, completing 55% of his passes fo r864 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Since going 9-7 as a starter in 2017, Flacco has a 6-15 record as a starter.


After starting five games with the Jaguars in 2020 (they were 0-5), Glennon is a free agent again. It’s hard to believe the Bears once gave this guy a three-year, $45 million contract. With a 6-21 lifetime record, Glennon is 31 now and is a career backup. There are better options, but there are worse options too.

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