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The huge off-season quarterback changes after another wild Free Agency

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nfl free agency 2024 quarterbacks

The NFL saw a relatively tame Trade Deadline towards the back end of last season, but things have certainly delivered since then.

We witnessed a truly wild Super Bowl in February, highlighted by a maiden taste of the league’s new Overtime rules, and now the Free Agency frenzy – a hotly anticipated annual event that precedes the Draft – has lived up to the hype and delivered in spades.

If we could fast forward the next five months, that’d be great. Cos it’s set to be a painful wait seeing so many high profile players in new colours.

And where better to start than at the most important position in sports, quarterback.

NFL Free Agency 2024: Quarterbacks on the move

There may be up to five teams that use a recycled quarterback in the 2024-25 season. Here they are.

Kirk Cousins at the Atlanta Falcons

Kirk Cousins has worked over the NFL again. He is QB1 when it comes to leveraging free agency to its absolute maximum and you certainly can’t hold it against him.

The former Vikings signal-caller, who’s now a 35-year-old that’s coming off a torn Achilles, signed a four-year $180M USD contract that includes $100 million guaranteed. He’ll be 36 by the time next season commences.

The Falcons were a team in need; at the ready to drop a competent passer into a roster that’s pretty much otherwise ready to compete in a shallow NFC.

Cousins is a good QB, with elite passing talent, that is undoubtedly considered above replacement-level as a quarterback… that’s why he negotiates a mean deal when his contract expires — this is now the second time.

But that said, his ceiling has always been questioned and it’s going to be a fascinating watch to see how far he can take a Falcons team that has a decent offensive line, weapons to distribute the ball to and enough for new head coach Raheem Morris to work with on defence.

It’s been a lean few years since the Matt Ryan era ended, but Atlanta, at the very least, has a plan. Even if it’s a costly one.

the quarterback season 2 netflix
Kirk Cousins was a star of Netflix’s debut season of Quarterback.

Russell Wilson at the Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh’s been looking for a definitive Ben Roethlisberger replacement since the beginning of Ben Roethlisberger’s three-year farewell tour. That search continues.

Wilson joins the storied franchise off the back of its predictable failed swing with low-upside prospect Kenny Pickett two years back. It’s a one-year deal on the veteran minimum ($1.2M USD) for Wilson; he and Pickett may actually find themselves in Pre-Season battle for the top job.

Russ looked pretty cooked in Denver. While he appeared to look better in his second season in Colorado, after being slapped with a firm reality check that he’s not the player he once was, Broncos coach Sean Payton made it very clear he was ready to move on.

Wilson, 35, is now the kind of quarterback that will require strong and stable surroundings in order to thrive. It’s a huge wait and see on that one.

Jacoby Brissett at the New England Patriots

Brissett’s back in Boston, where it began for him.

He’s a journeyman veteran that’s proven to be a helpful stopgap option as teams look to transition at the QB position, signing a one-year $8M USD deal.

This is good business from brand new general manager Eliot Wolf, putting less pressure and desperation on their search for the next long-time starter at the position. Wolf spent 14 years in Green Bay witnessing the blueprint for patiently developing quarterback prospects without breaking them; setting them up for success.

Brissett’s presence will help the Patriots execute that process.

Sam Darnold at the Minnesota Vikings

Well this one’s fun.

You don’t have to search too far on the internet to find staunch believers of Darnold’s talent, despite what happened in New York and then Carolina.

In an offence that’s well coached and stacked at receiver, Darnold has a chance to continue his reclamation mission.

The reality is, though, that in a post-Cousins world, the Vikings just needed a ‘bridge quarterback’ as they begin their search for the next franchise guy. There are strong links to JJ McCarthy out of National Champions Michigan, who they may target in the first round of April’s Draft.

Gardner Minshew at the Las Vegas Raiders

Quite like Brissett and Darnold, Gardner Minshew is a somewhat competent option while the franchise figures out what to do next. Minshew has started plenty of games for the Colts, Eagles and Jaguars in the last several seasons, despite never being considered a franchise’s top option.

gardner minshew, nfl free agency 2024

Free Agent QBs that stayed put

So far, we’ve seen an eventful week of QB musical chairs. Only one of the quarterbacks on expiring deals has remained on the team they finished last season with.

Baker Mayfield (Tampa Bay): After helping steer the Buccs to the Divisional Round of the Playoffs earlier this year, Mayfield is returned as Tampa’s starter.

Picture of Phil Prior
Phil Prior
Phil is the editorial lead at Only Sports, bringing more than 12 years of wide-ranging sports media experience to the team. But it’s his unrivalled passion that sets him apart. He also commentates AFL on SEN Radio, plus Rugby on Stan Sport. Find Phil on LinkedIn.

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