Quarterbacks who should get starter consideration
1. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins
Status: restricted free agent
Possible suitors: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins
With veteran QB Kurt Warner retiring, the Cardinals need to add at least another quarterback with experience to compete against Matt Leinart. Campbell has 52 starts in his five seasons as a pro.
The Bills literally have no idea who will be their starting quarterback next season, so why not go after Campbell, who would be a clear upgrade?
Depending on what the team does with Kyle Orton, the Broncos could pursue Campbell.
The Vikings will need at least a few alternatives if veteran QB Brett Favre retires. Campbell has experience in the West Coast offense.
The Rams are the one team that will probably look hard at acquiring at least two quarterbacks this year, and, as mentioned above, Campbell does have playing experience with the West Coast offense.
Most likely destination: unknown
Comments: It seemed like a foregone conclusion Campbell wouldn't return to the Redskins in 2010, but that was with the previous coaching staff. New head coach Mike Shanahan said at his introductory news conference that he looked forward to working with Campbell, so it's possible he gets another chance with the team, at least for one season.
There's no question Campbell possesses decent talent. If Shanahan does bring him back, he'll need to find a way to shorten up Campbell's release. It would also help if Shanahan significantly improved the offensive line.
Campbell, who turns 29 in late December, has the talent and arm strength to succeed, but he'll need to get support (players, coaches, front office) from those around him if he's to further his career in a positive manner.
2. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos
Status: restricted free agent
Possible suitors: Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams
Like Campbell, Orton would bring experience (45 starts) to competition against the Cardinals' Leinart.
Orton could be an interesting fit in a West Coast scheme for the Rams.
Most likely destination: Denver Broncos
Comments: Orton is in an interesting position. Most teams probably view him only as a solid backup, but because there are next to no good alternatives at quarterback scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, he could get more interest than first thought.
It's hard to imagine he'll get higher than a second-round tender based on his play in 2009. Orton certainly showed enough during last season to get tendered, but he was too inconsistent with his accuracy and touch on the ball. His arm strength was also an issue.
3. Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers
Status: restricted free agent
Possible suitors: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams
The Cardinals need to add some competition for Leinart. They don't have any other quarterbacks on their 80-man roster.
The Bills really have clear starting quarterback at this point, so Moore could be viewed as an upgrade over the current group.
Many league observers believe the Rams will wind up releasing Marc Bulger, so Moore could be a viable replacement. Some personnel evaluators believe he would be a good fit for the West Coast scheme the Rams run.
Most likely destination: Carolina Panthers
Comments: Moore went undrafted in 2007, but signed with the Dallas Cowboys. He was later waived by Dallas and Carolina claimed him.
I recall talking to NFL Matchup Show's Ron Jaworski and Greg Cosell about Moore after the 2007 draft. Jaworski and Cosell said, based on his college tape, Moore had attributes in his game that translated well to the NFL.
Because of the elbow injury starting QB Jake Delhomme suffered during the 2007 season, Moore got pressed into service. He appeared in nine games and started three. While he looked very raw, Moore at least got in some meaningful playing time. Two years later, Delhomme got hurt again, but this time, Moore looked much better. Over his five starts last season, Moore threw on average 25.2 times per game and hit on a solid 62.7 percent of his passes. His TD (8) to INT (1) ratio also was very good. His touch on deeper passes looked to be much improved.
Moore is a tall quarterback with a slightly better than average arm. He probably could use another 10 to 15 pounds of bulk to support his 202-pound frame. Some personnel evaluators believe the 25-year right-hander could start for at least a dozen teams in the league based on his talent and upside.
If Moore gets a second-round tender or lower, it's not out of the question he'll garner attention from other teams.
Others who could find interest for backup purposes
Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins, UFA: He's coming off another shoulder surgery. If his shoulder is sound, he should be able to find a backup job without too much of an issue.
J.P. Losman, Oakland Raiders, UFA: He got meaningful playing experience in the UFL last year, so that game tape should help him find interest around the NFL in a backup role.
A.J. Feeley, Carolina Panthers, UFA: Feeley has experience in a bunch of offensive schemes, so he should find work as a top backup.
Kellen Clemens, New York Jets, RFA: He's set to be restricted without a new collective bargaining agreement. Clemens has been a disappointment for the Jets, but it's possible a team that had a high grade on him coming out of the 2006 draft could make a run at him.
Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings, RFA: He's far from a certainty to take over if Favre retires. It will be interesting to see what level tender Jackson gets. If he gets just a second-round tender, Jackson could find interest elsewhere because of his arm and upside.
Chris Redman, Atlanta Falcons, UFA: He revived his career a few years ago with the Falcons. Redman has shown he's a capable backup that could start for a short period of time if needed.