Predicting NFL potential free-agent quarterbacks' next contracts -- and where they might land in 2022

The NFL is bracing for more seismic quarterback movement this offseason. A little more than half the league is solidified at the position, with either a cornerstone passer or a draft pick still developing into one. But more than a dozen teams at least have questions that must be answered between now and next August.

The tiers are clear-cut:

  • Teams with elite quarterbacks who either want out (Texans) or might want out because of front-office or coaching acrimony (Packers, Seahawks).

  • Teams with accomplished but aging quarterbacks (Steelers, Falcons).

  • Teams with quarterbacks who have shown promise but haven't erased all doubt about the future of the position (Dolphins, Giants, Eagles).

  • Teams forced to play backups because of injury or lack of a stable alternative (Washington, Saints, Panthers).

  • Teams stuck in the middle (Browns, Broncos).

  • Teams with a good quarterback on an untenable cap hit in 2022 (Vikings).

Not every team will make a change. But last year's offseason produced 13 new starters via trade, the draft or free agency, so it's safe to bet most of them will look drastically different on offense. Coupled with the backdrop of a rookie draft class that's considered weak, the supply might not meet the demand. That's where free agency comes into play. Short-term bridge options are plentiful, and a projected 2022 salary cap of nearly $210 million will help QBs get paid. Several quarterbacks with extensive starting experience are playing out one-year deals to varying success.

Since it's too early to forecast what will happen with Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, we sorted through more immediate business -- where those quarterbacks set to hit the open market and a few others who could be available by trade might land. Which are positioned for success in 2022? With insight from personnel evaluators around the league, here's a hard look at the looming quarterback carousel, with a few mock-up deals for those players.

Jump to:
Potential starters | Early out
High-level backups | Wild cards
Other FA options | Trade options


Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints