Opinion: Starting-caliber quarterbacks the hottest commodities in free agency; breaking down the signings

It took less than 48 hours for NFL teams to essentially deplete the quarterback talent pool that free agency had to offer. Well before the clock struck 4 p.m. on Wednesday to commence the opening of the league year and official signing period, the leading starting-caliber options all had reached agreement with teams. They did so with little fanfare. 

That’s because the 2021 market offered no potential for blockbuster quarterback signings. Instead, the bulk of this year’s free agent quarterbacks fall in the bridge quarterback category. The trade market featured all of the drama, as the Detroit Lions swapped Matthew Stafford for the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff, and the Philadelphia Eagles shipped Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for draft picks.

And the potential for trades lingers still as uncertainty looms over Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, and Sam Darnold and the New York Jets. The Russell Wilson/Seahawks scrutiny hasn’t totally died, but Seattle appears determined to keep its franchise quarterback.

Next month’s draft will feature great intrigue at the position. But free agent signings seemingly have brought clarity to routes many teams have and plan to take to solidify their most important position both for the short and long term.

Here’s a look at this week’s quarterback signings and what they could mean for the squads and players involved.


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