For one reason or another about half the NFL could use a relatively cheap, fairly young quarterback project. A handful of teams need a starter, another group could use somebody to come in and compete for a starting role, and others could use a capable second stringer.
Backups at the start of 2012, Matt Moore, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, Jason Campbell, Joe Webb, Matt Hasselbeck, Chad Henne, Charlie Batch, and most prominently Colin Kaepernick played important roles during the season. There may be a diamond in the rough available in free agency.
The top five quarterbacks drafted in 1997 were Jim Druckenmiller, Jake Plummer, Danny Wuerffel, Pat Barnes and Mike Cherry. Jake Delhomme went undrafted out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Delhomme signed with the Saints, played in NFL Europe, and was picked up by Carolina prior to the 2003 season.
When Delhomme left New Orleans he had played in six NFL games and thrown three touchdowns. Replacing Rodney Peete at halftime of the Panther's 2003 regular season opener against Jacksonville, Delhomme threw the game winning touchdown to Ricky Proehl, and four months later led Carolina past Philadelphia in the NFC Title game before falling to New England 32-29 in the Super Bowl.
During the 2009 NFL draft Matt Stafford was taken first overall. The next four quarterbacks selected were Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Pat White, and Stephen McGee. Chase Daniel was not picked. After leading Caroll High School in Southlake, TX, one of the best programs in the country, to a 31-1 record in two seasons as a starter, Daniel went out to the University of Missouri where he won the Cotton Bowl and shattered the Tigers record book in a variety of passing categories. He was signed by the Redskins, released, and scooped up by New Orleans.
In three seasons on the active roster with the Saints Daniel has completed seven passes in nine attempts for 55 yards with neither a touchdown nor an interception. He has played very well in the preseason and the bottom line is nobody knows exactly how good he is. However, Daniel is a free agent, will not command a huge contract, and this year’s draft is not full of top rated quarterbacks.
Would you rather trade an asset and overpay Matt Flynn or Alex Smith, sign a retread like Tavaris Jackson, Drew Stanton, Campbell, or Moore, or take a flier on Daniel? Jake Delhomme was not great. He did however lead his team to the Super Bowl.