Elite-level players don't often become free agents in the NFL because teams don't want to let them get away. That's especially true at quarterback, where top-tier, franchise-level passers almost never hit the open market.
Aside from Tom Brady (who obviously had some unique circumstances), the last player to do so was Kirk Cousins, and whether or not he belongs in that group is debatable, at best.
While there aren't likely to be any surefire franchise QBs on the market this offseason, save for (maybe) one big name, there are plenty of really interesting guys available. From potential reclamation projects to rock-solid veteran options, here are the top-10 QBs that can hit free agency this offseason.
10. Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (UFA)
9. Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (RFA)
8. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (UFA)
7. Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers (UFA)
6. Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (UFA)
5. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (UFA)
Cam Newton's time as a starting quarterback in the NFL has likely come to an end. It's tough to see anyone handing him a starting job this offseason after he threw for 2,657 yards with 8 touchdowns to 10 interceptions through 15 starts with the New England Patriots. However, he was clearly playing through injuries (unfortunately a recurring theme for Superman) and had arguably the worst supporting cast in the league. Newton also reminded the world of his immense upside a few times, like the Week 2 performance that saw him throw for 397 yards with 3 total TDs. It'd make sense for him to land with a QB-needy organization like the Washington Football Team, but he'll likely have to compete for the starting job wherever he lands.
4. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (UFA)
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (UFA)
2. Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (UFA)
A former No. 1 overall pick, Jameis Winston has all the talent in the world. He's got every tool a QB could want: a huge arm, athleticism and a gunslinger mentality. Unfortunately, that's what usually gets him into trouble. He relies on those gifts way too much and tries to force throws that just aren't there. He's just 27 years old, though. Don't be surprised to see a QB-needy team take a flyer on him this offseason.
1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (UFA)
Dak Prescott would obviously be the crown jewel of the 2021 free-agent group if he actually hit the open market. Conventional wisdom would suggest that Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys do everything in their power to prevent that from happening, though. Still, the negotiations between the two have very publicly not gone well, and Prescott's gruesome injury only complicates matters further. It'd be a shock if Dallas fails to get a deal done, but crazier things have happened.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.