2024 NFL free agent rankings: A list of the top 5 quarterbacks

2024 NFL free agent rankings: A list of the top 5 quarterbacks

As NFL fans look ahead to next month’s free agency period, some of the top quarterback options remain at the forefront.

This free agent class isn’t as star-studded as it has been in years past, but there are some interesting names that could solidify as starters for the 2024 campaign.

As each NFL club prepares to upgrade their rosters for next season, let’s rank the top five quarterback candidates in free agency starting with his No. 5 spot.

5. Jacoby Brissett

There’s an argument to be made that players like Sam Darnold, Mitch Trubisky, and Tyrod Taylor are No. 5 on this list and aren’t the best group to pick from. But there’s more to Jacoby Brissett’s 18-30 record as a starter than meets the eye.

Despite having a 4-13 record the previous season, he did not play much with the Washington Commanders, who used youngster Sam Howell the entire time. In contrast, Brissett was 4-7 with the Cleveland Browns in 2022 while Deshaun Watson filled out his suspension. In 16 games (11 starts), he threw for 2,608 yards with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Brissett is an accurate passer (over 62% passing completion rate over the past three seasons) and has proven he can do whatever it takes to get a first down and give his team a chance to win. He doesn’t have the X-factor like other quarterbacks, but his work ethic and performance on the field make him a respected figure in the locker room.

For starters, it is typically used as a future-proofing residue. But Brissett could be a good backup if needed, like he was with the Browns, so he’ll probably end up on some team somewhere.

4. Gardner Minshew

The 27-year-old gunslinger isn’t afraid of any moment, even though he took over the starting role for the Indianapolis Colts after rookie Anthony Richardson went down for the year.

Gardner Minshew went 7-6 as a starter with 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 62.2% completion percentage, leading Indy closer to the playoffs. He’s also a sneaky player, running for three touchdowns and getting seven first downs with those feet last season.

“Minshew Mania” has been bouncing around the NFL world since joining the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, but his performance last season shows he has the qualities needed to get the job done on game day. He’s proven he’s ready and could be a great fit for him to compete. Take, for example, Kenny Pickett, who will take the Pittsburgh Steelers job next season.

3. Ryan Tannehill

Regarding the Steelers, a team wishing to compete with a current starting or acquire a new starter could find the perfect fit in seasoned veteran Ryan Tannehill, who has years of postseason experience under his belt.

Tannehill is in his 12th season in the NFL and finished his first 6 seasons with the Miami Dolphins before transferring to the Tennessee Titans. Former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel decided to hand over the reins to rookie Will Levis last season, but Levis had a lost year adjusting to the league.

Instead, Tannehill is looking for his third NFL team. This is a team where he can earn a starting spot with a good camp. As a starter, he had a regular season record of 81-70, proving he could score with both his arms and legs.

In addition to the Steelers, teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to take advantage of the offensive weapons already on their roster as well as those coming up. They need an experienced quarterback again next season. Tannehill could be the right person for one of those jobs.

2. Baker Mayfield

The only reason the Bucs were considered as a team seeking a seasoned quarterback was because Baker Mayfield was signed to a one-year, prove-it contract the previous year. And he certainly proved it, leading Tampa Bay into the playoffs and dominatingly defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 32–9 at home.

With Tom Brady’s retirement from football, the Bucs had a lot of questions last offseason and selected the 2018 No. 1 overall pick as their next quarterback. It was a one-year tryout for Mayfield, who won the NFC South with a 9-8 record and should now have solid recognition in the front office.

Mayfield has thrown for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, showing incredible aggression with his feet when needed, and the Bucs will be one of the worst teams in 2023. This surprised those who had expected it to be a failure. If he doesn’t return to the Bucks, other teams will need to call his agent to see if his performance in 2023 is a good fit for them.

1. Kirk Cousins ​​

This should go without saying, but the four-time Pro Bowler is currently injured due to a torn Achilles tendon suffered last season against the Green Bay Packers.

Even with Justin Jefferson out for several weeks with a hamstring injury, the Vikings looked like they were on their way to the playoffs as Kirk Cousins ​​dropped coins all over the field. Cousins ​​threw for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in just eight games, completing just under 70%. Minnesota went 4-4 in those games.

Well, no one would be surprised if Cousins ​​returns to Minnesota next season and continues to be their franchise man. He spent six seasons in the North, compiling a 50-37-1 regular season record but not much success in the playoffs.

Cousins ​​returns to the team along with Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson and his team could face some of the league’s best NFC teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, who won in prime time last year with center Cousins ​​in attendance.

But don’t rule out other quarterback-hungry teams like the Falcons, who have everything they need, insisting on letting Cousins ​​do the job with his weapons. They just need the right quarterback to lead under new head coach Raheem Morris.

The only caveat for Cousins ​​is how the 35-year-old returns from his Achilles injury. The team needs to feel confident about investing in him, and word of his impending free agency should spread quickly.

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