- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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There has been a lot of quarterback turnover this offseason in the NFL. In the AFC East, Ryan Fitzpatrick flopped again for the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and was released. The Bills in turn signed veteran Kevin Kolb in free agency to compete with Tarvaris Jackson. The New York Jets also signed David Garrard to compete with the embattled Mark Sanchez.
With that said, this is a good time to update quarterback rankings in the AFC East:
Analysis: I won’t waste too much time on this, because frankly there’s no debating. Brady is by far the best quarterback in the AFC East and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s the biggest reason the Patriots have owned the division for the past dozen years.
Analysis: Yes, the second-year quarterback is already the No. 2 thrower in the division. It’s a show of respect for Tannehill’s ability and potential and also a show of weakness at quarterback in the division. Tannehill’s rookie numbers do not stand out. But he displayed the most natural ability and physical tools that we’ve seen in Miami since Dan Marino. Tannehill also is a winner. He led the Dolphins to seven wins as a rookie despite a lack of talented skill players on offense. This year Tannehill has a very talented supporting cast that includes receivers Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Davone Bess, and pass-catching tight end Dustin Keller.
3. Kevin Kolb, Buffalo Bills
Analysis: Kolb was a major bust with the Arizona Cardinals, but the Bills still see his potential. Kolb has a good arm and some mobility, however he has looked skittish at times due to the beating he’s taken behind a poor offensive line in Arizona. The Bills should be able to protect Kolb better and allow him a chance to succeed. But first he must beat out Jackson, who didn’t make our cut.
4. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins
Analysis: This is not a slight to Moore, but I think he’s one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. Moore is an average starter but a very good backup. He is good enough to keep a team afloat but not good enough to take a team to the next level. Moore is very valuable to the Dolphins and can keep the team going for a few games if Tannehill is injured. He’s a gamer who is decent at everything but not elite at anything in particular.
5. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Analysis: Sanchez has had better days. Three years ago he led the Jets to back-to-back AFC title games. But since then, Sanchez has been on the decline and it’s questionable if he can recover -- at least in a Jets uniform. Sanchez met with the New York media for the first time Monday and sounds excited for the opportunity to start. Sanchez can be serviceable if everything around him is going well, but he cannot lift a team on his own. The Jets found that out the hard way the past two years.
I’m sure there will be plenty of debate. We opened the forum on Twitter earlier this week and got plenty of responses. Other quarterbacks who didn't make the list are Ryan Mallett of the Patriots, Jackson, and Tim Tebow of the Jets.