In four weeks, the NFL will be flooded with new talent fresh out of college, including several young quarterbacks. Many teams in need of competition at the quarterback position will look to the 2013 NFL Draft to add talent, but for some, the free agency market might have a player capable of being a backup.
Some teams have already struck paydirt on the backup market. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Hasselbeck both performed respectably in starting roles recently, so it's no surprise that they were quickly snatched up by the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, respectively. Fitzpatrick was signed to back up Jake Locker, but could conceivably slide into a starting role should Locker struggle again. Hasselbeck won't see the field next season unless injury befalls Andrew Luck. He completed over 62 percent of his passes last year in eight games last year, however, and should keep the ship steady in case the worst happens.
With those two (and others) off the board, the free agent options for quality backups are limited. Former Titans quarterback Vince Young may be the most intriguing option, but he didn't even play in the 2012 season after failing to make the Bills' roster. He has been focused on a comeback since, and reportedly did very well at the Texas Pro Day. Whether that'll be enough to convince NFL organizations to take a chance on him remains to be seen.
Rex Grossman could also come off the board relatively soon. He spent the last three seasons with the Washington Redskins, and started games in 2010 and 2011. He completed less than 60 percent of his passes over that span, however, and threw 24 interceptions to 23 touchdowns. Still, an NFL team may be willing to take a chance on Grossman, given that he has a ton of experience and ideally won't be seeing the field, anyway.
There is a big dropoff to the rest of the list of free agent quarterbacks. Names like Tyler Thigpen, Byron Leftwich, Matt Leinart and John Skelton don't inspire much hope. Of those four, Leftwich, Leinart and Skelton started at some point last season, and only Skelton completed more than 50 percent of his passes. He also threw just two touchdown passes to nine interceptions, and was recently released from the Arizona Cardinals in favor of Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Lindley. Teams may look to the NFL Draft for a backup ahead of signing any of those remaining names.
Among the teams that could be in the market for a quarterback are the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, along with teams with more established starters like the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers.