2019 Free Agency Preview: Quarterbacks

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With free agency set to begin in mid-March, Redskins.com previews the 2019 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus starts with the quarterbacks.

The Redskins quarterback situation for next season is very murky. Starting quarterback Alex Smith's availability for 2019 is looking less likely due to the leg injury that he suffered against the Texans. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy also suffered a leg injury late in the season, though he should be ready for spring practices.

Late season additions Josh Johnson and Mark Sanchez are both set to become free agents in mid-March.

Here are the top five free agents at the position, along with a full list below.

Teddy Bridgewater

After spending the 2018 season as Drew Brees’ backup in New Orleans, Teddy Bridgewater will hit the free agency waters. Bridgewater, the 26-year-old former first-round pick, has not seen much playing time since his second NFL season in 2015. Bridgewater missed the vast majority of the 2016 and 2017 seasons with a gruesome knee injury.

In his first two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Bridgewater shined as a potential superstar quarterback. In 29 games, 28 of which he started, Bridgewater threw for 6,150 yards and 28 touchdowns completing 65 percent of his passes. Bridgewater also had 91 carries for 404 yards and four touchdowns. In 2015, Bridgewater was named to the Pro Bowl at just 24 years old.

In September 2016, Bridgewater hurt his knee during a Vikings’ team practice. He missed the entirety of the 2016 season and appeared in one game in 2017. Last offseason, Bridgewater signed with the New York Jets before being traded to the New Orleans Saints. He appeared in five games last year, starting one.

Take a look at some of the top free agent quarterbacks in the NFL this offseason.

Tyrod Taylor

Despite being supplanted by rookie Baker Mayfield midseason, Tyrod Taylor is still one of the better quarterbacks on the free agency market.

After spending his first four seasons as the backup in Baltimore, Taylor signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2015. Taylor would beat out E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassell and be named starting quarterback. In his first year as a starter, Taylor passed for 3,305 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also ran for 568 yards and four touchdowns on 104 carries. This was good enough for Taylor to be named to a Pro Bowl.

In the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Taylor combined to throw for 5,822 yards and 31 touchdowns while completing 62.1 percent of his passes. Taylor used his mobility to run for 1,007 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 rushing attempts for those two seasons.

In the 2018 offseason, Taylor was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Taylor started the first three games of the season, throwing for 473 yards and two touchdowns, with 125 rushing yards and a touchdown, before being replaced by first-overall pick Baker Mayfield.

Nick Foles

There is a lot of uncertainty around Nick Foles’ free agency. After the Philadelphia Eagles picked up Foles’ option for the 2019 season, Foles waived the option, making himself a free agent.

Foles has spent seven years in the NFL, five of them being with the Eagles on two different stints. In his first stint with Philadelphia, Foles played in 28 games, starting 24, across three seasons. Foles would throw for 6,753 yards and 46 touchdowns on a 61.6 completion percentage during those three years. In 2013, his second season, Foles would be named to the Pro Bowl after throwing for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns while only throwing two interceptions. That season against Oakland, Foles tied an NFL record by throwing for seven touchdowns in a single game.

After his first three seasons with the Eagles, Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams where he would be the starter for one year. Foles would go onto sign with the Kansas City Chiefs the next season, where he would be a backup, before re-signing with the Eagles in the 2017 offseason.

In 2017, after starter Carson Wentz tore his ACL, Foles took over as the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Foles led them to their first-ever Super Bowl victory, being named Super Bowl MVP in the Eagles 41-33 win over the Patriots. This past year, Foles served as the backup to Wentz again, although Foles once again took over in the playoffs due to injury. Foles led the Eagles to a win over the Bears but fell to the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

After 14 years in the NFL, “Fitz-Magic” is still alive and rolling. In his 14 NFL seasons, Ryan Fitzpatrick has played for seven different teams and started 126 of the 141 games he has played in.

Fitzpatrick has spent the last two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, splitting time as a starter and backup. He signed with the Buccaneers in the 2017 offseason to be the backup to Jameis Winston. In 2017, Fitzpatrick would start three games that Winston missed due to injury.

In 2018, after Winston was suspended to start the year, Fitzpatrick was named the opening week starter for the Buccaneers and shined in the role. In the first three games of the year, Fitzpatrick threw for 1,250 yards and 11 touchdowns. Fitzpatrick would then stutter in the Buccaneers' fourth game and get replaced by Winston. Fitzpatrick would start three more games for Tampa Bay after that, throwing for 816 yards and four touchdowns in those three games. That brought his 2018 total to 2,366 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries.

Trevor Siemian

After being picked with one of the last picks of the 2015 NFL Draft, Trevor Siemian would spend three seasons with the Denver Broncos. In Siemian’s first season, he was the backup for future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. Before the 2016 season, Siemian would beat out Paxton Lynch and Mark Sanchez for the starting job.

In 2016, Siemian started 14 games for the Broncos, throwing for 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns on with a 59.5 completion percentage. Siemian’s best game that year was a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns while completing 20 of his 34 pass attempts.

Siemian would win the Broncos’ starting job again in 2017 and started 10 games that year for Denver, where he threw for 2,285 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 50 percent of his passes. Siemian also showed some mobility that year, running for 127 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

In the 2018 offseason, Siemian was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he would serve as the backup to former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins for the entirety of the 2018 season.

Other notable free agent quarterbacks: Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Griffin

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