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NFL Teams Shopping for a Free Agent Quarterback Find Shelf Nearly Empty

Top Five Free Agent Quarterbacks

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Why isn't this a Top 10 list? Well, it's painfully obvious this year that there are not enough available free agent quarterbacks to stretch it that far. Hey, I had a tough time finding five.

With the Super Bowl over, and the spotlight on Baltimore's Joe Flacco and San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick, everybody's wondering about the free agent quarterback flea market.

In a word: Not so good. Sorry, I meant to say three words.

Vick's Game-Changer

There is only one free agent who would be a guaranteed starter because the other expected free agent, Michael Vick, re-signed with Philadelphia. That move is an interesting one and has a trickle-down effect on the entire free agent quarterback situation.

Most observers thought the Eagles would release Vick, who had $15.5 million coming to him. But, the Eagles re-structured his contract, essentially giving him a one-year shot at running new coach Chip Kelly's spread offense.

Vick stands to make as much as $10, according to various news reports, and that increases the value of several other free agents.

Vick is now 32 and certainly not as nimble as he used to be, but he's still got the strong arm, and the one-year deal will give him a shot at running the quick offense as well as give Kelly time to look for a more suitable QB.

With the exception of Flacco, what we have is a short list of possible backups. Still, in the NFL, that is no small thing. Good, solid backups are valuable commodities.

So teams like Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland and Jacksonville, as well as a handful of others who have unsettled questions at quarterback, will be scrutinizing these happy few:

1. Joe Flacco

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Flacco will probably be re-signed by Baltimore, but he is still a free agent until he reaches an agreement with the Ravens.

He is a bona fide starting quarterback in the NFL and is coming off an MVP Super Bowl game, which solidified his reputation as a big-game player.

Still, his regular season stats since entering the NFL don't exactly put him in the "elite" category," though most NFL teams would be very happy to have him on the roster. He has one of the strongest arms in the league.

2. Jason Campbell

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Campbell is the guy you think of when the term "game manager" is tossed around. He isn't going to wow you with his boldness and daring, but neither will he kill you with interceptions and bone-head plays.

He's started in the NFL, for the Redskins, and has good size and a strong arm. Washington started 6-2 in 2008 and Campbell was being mentioned as one of the league's better quarterbacks, but the team fell apart, finishing 8-8.

Campbell was a first-round draft pick who has never really lived up to his potential. He's 31 years old now and probably a backup for life, unless dire circumstances force him in to a starter role.

3. Matt Moore

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Moore has also been a starter in the NFL, taking over the woeful 0-4 Dolphins and "leading" them to a 6-10 finale in 2011.

He was an undrafted free agent in 2007, taken by Dallas, then picked off waivers by Carolina. He didn't play at all in 2008 due to an injury.

He had some good games for Carolina, leading the Panthers to some wins when the starting quarterbacks went down with injuries, then played poorly as the starter in 2010.

Miami signed him in 2011 and he finished as their season MVP when he passed for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Last year, he lost his starting job to rookie Ryan Tannehill, and he could be a solid backup for most NFL teams.

4. Tarvaris Jackson

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Jackson fits in with the new trend toward quick, athletic quarterbacks with good arms, but he does tend to get sacked quite a bit and he is 29 years old now.

Coming out of Alabama State, he was viewed as a raw talent who could be developed. He started 14 games for Seattle in 2011, but none for Buffalo last year. He spent five years in Minnesota, but never did much.

He had a decent tenure with Seattle, and there will probably be a team out there willing to give him a one-year shot.

5. Rex Grossman

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Grossman had 13 starts for Washington in 2011. He's a gambler who loves to throw deep, which makes him prone to interceptions.

This past year, Grossman served as a mentor of sorts for Washington's sensational rookie Robert Griffin III as well as rookie Kirk Cousins.

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