With the 2020-21 NFL season in the closing stages, select franchises are looking towards the 2021 free agency class in hopes of filling voids of their respective rosters. With that, we will begin our series with the top available quarterbacks:
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Honorable Mentions: Andy Dalton, Dwayne Haskins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Philip Rivers
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Sidelined for the 2020 season under the New Orleans Saints, Winston is just one year removed from leading the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30). When Drew Brees was placed on Injured Reserve, most suggested that Winston would be thrown in under center. However, the team went 3-1 under the command of Taysom Hill. There will be plenty of suitors for the 26-year old in free agency, but it will be unlikely that he will see an immediate starting role.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Competing alongside Nick Foles as the starter for the Chicago Bears, Trubisky has shown his brightest and darkest moments with this franchise. Since being selected with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the expectations have been overwhelming at times. This season, Trubisky has totaled 1,336 passing yards and 13 touchdowns in six starts. Much like Winston, his age of 26 will be beneficial for looming suitors. However, the likelihood of being named a Week 1 starter for the 2021 season is questionable at best.
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
Behind Philip Rivers for a season, we often forget that Brissett was a formidable starter during the 2019 season. Although the Colts went 7-8 that year, he maintained a TD:INT ratio of 3:1 and totaled almost 3,000 passing yards. Entering his age 29 season, he is more likely to be named a start over Winston and Trubisky. He is clearly more of a game manager and already has experience playing behind Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, and Rivers to this point.
Cam Newton, New England Patriots
During the offseason, the Patriots took a low-risk, high-reward gamble on Cam Newton. This past season, Newton totaled 2,657 passing yards and eight touchdowns. However, that has come with 10 interceptions and an additional five fumbles. Despite being a dual-threat quarterback, Newton hasn’t accumulated 3,500+ passing yards in four consecutive seasons. Newton, 31, has regular season, playoff, and Super Bowl experience, but isn’t the same quarterback he was in year’s past.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Due for a massive payday, Dak Prescott found himself with a fractured and dislocated ankle in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Since then, his future has been in obvious question. Up until his injury, Prescott had posted 1,846 passing yards and nine touchdowns. He is clearly the top available quarterback entering free agency, and is unlikely to take a major discount, even with the looming injury.
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