The 2022 NFL free agent quarterback crop is not an elite group, but there are three players that could resurrect their careers on new teams.
The 2022 NFL Free Agent market does not include a player like Tom Brady at quarterback. Heck, there’s not even a Kirk Cousins.
What this year’s NFL free agent market has at the quarterback position is still intriguing, even if it’s only absence that has made the heart grow fonder on some of these players.
Teetering on the edge of reclamation project and NFL Draft bust are three former high draft choices that have a chance — perhaps their last — to resurrect their NFL careers in 2022. Teams that may have the luxury of punting their QB situations to 2023 or beyond should be lined up for the chance to take a shot on one of these three guys.
NFL Free Agent QB no. 1: Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston was the number one overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Coming out of Florida State, Winston was considered an outstanding NFL prospect given his huge arm talent and incredible Heisman season for the Seminoles back in 2013 when he had 40 touchdown passes compared to just 10 interceptions as a freshman.
Although his sophomore campaign included 18 interceptions, the league was still high on Winston and the Buccaneers took him first overall at the age of 21.
Winston made the Pro Bowl as a rookie but as bright as his flashes were with the Bucs early on, his interception percentage continued to climb.
The Bucs stuck with the former top pick through a 30-interception season in 2019. Sure, Winston still had 33 touchdown passes, but the decision to move on in 2020 was extremely easy for Tampa Bay when Tom Brady became available.
Winston had to go latch on elsewhere as a backup in 2020 and landed with the New Orleans Saints. In 2021, he showed incredible improvement with his ball security and overall decision-making, throwing 14 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions on 161 pass attempts to start the season before tearing an ACL.
His touchdown percentage of 8.7 was off the charts, and if he had maintained that pace while throwing the same number of passes he did in his last full regular season (626 in 2019) he would have thrown 55 touchdowns.
Would he have kept that pace? Not likely, but it’s where he was at after six games and change.
Has Winston turned a corner? Can he be trusted as a QB1?
The sample we saw in 2021 indicates to me that Winston may be the most likely of the 2022 NFL Free Agent QBs to resurrect his career with a new team.