A frenzied, condensed free agency period is officially upon us. With that pesky lockout in the review mirror at this point (for 10 years), teams are moving as fast as they can to make moves that will put them in position to contend and/or improve in some way before the beginning of the season.
On top of that, rumors are also circulating regarding the questionable futures of Philadelphia Eagles passer Kevin Kolb, who for whatever reason, has become one of the most desired -- also: completely unproven -- pieces on the trade block and Denver Broncos quarterback, Kyle Orton.
As always, the madness of NFL transactions can be dizzying and extremely difficult to keep track of, so in a nutshell, here is the most recent status update on the five most talked-about quarterbacks on the market.
Vince Young – Young, as he proven during his tumultuous stand in Tennessee, comes with his fair share of baggage. At the same time, over the course of that chaotic ride under the leadership of Jeff Fisher, Young led the team to a 30-17 mark and watched the team fall to a 15-18 record when he wasn’t at the helm. The guy is a differencemaker, he just needs the right system. The Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins are rumored destinations, with the latter making a lot more sense for all intents and purposes.
Matt Hasselbeck – Hasselbeck’s reign with the Seattle Seahawks has officially come to an end, according to the Seattle Times. Although the veteran passer is the NFL equivalent of a fossil at 35 years old and without a big season to his name since 2007, he appears to be the ideal stopgap for teams trying to usher in a new quarterback slowly. He has Super Bowl experience, is respected amongst players in the league, and is known as extremely coachable. Potential destinations include: the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.
Kyle Orton – Orton is officially on the trading block according to The Denver Post, and that radically changes the available quarterback landscape for all parties involved. Although Orton’s name doesn’t carry the same value as that of the unproven Kolb or the ancient Hasselbeck, the soon-to-be-former Broncos passer can be a serious asset to a number of teams in desperate need for a quarterback. During his stint with Denver, Orton passed for 41 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, all the while essentially having no running game to alleviate some of the offensive burden. Rumored suitors include: the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. The Arizona Cardinals should be on this list, but they are reportedly still too enamored with the prospect of obtaining Kolb or McNabb.
Kevin Kolb – Kolb remains one of the most mesmerizing figures of this whole process because of his relatively short record of success in the league. Despite the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles all but kicked McNabb to the curb in favor of bringing the young Kolb along, he lost the job in seemingly no time to a motivated, hungry Michael Vick. Now, unhappy with this backup status, Kolb wants to move and the Arizona Cardinals are said to be the leading team pining away for his services. Other teams need a passer, but it would be shocking to see this guy end up anywhere but in Arizona before the start of the season.
Donovan McNabb – After being jilted by the Philadelphia Eagles in favor of Kolb, McNabb was supposed to take the Washington Redskins by storm. Only the chemistry never appeared, and clashes with the coaching staff, fans and random boxers made a successful marriage between the Redskins and McNabb impossible. Washington doesn’t want him and McNabb doesn’t want to be there, so expect one of the teams in desperate need of a passer to take a chance on a guy whose reputation precedes him, but hasn’t really shown anything of substance in two years. The Minnesota Vikings are rumored to be very interested in acquiring McNabb’s services, and the Cardinals are looking at him as a plan-B if the Kolb talks don’t work out.