Fifth in a multi-part series on free-agent fits at various positions leading into the start of free agency March 12.
Players under contract for 2013: Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Mike Kafka
Level of need: Low
Projected top target: Brady Quinn (Chiefs)
Why Quinn fits: He has a background with Patriots coaches Josh McDaniels (Denver, 2010) and Brian Daboll (Kansas City, 2012). If the Patriots are looking to add an experienced free-agent backup to the mix -- which doesn’t seem like a major need -- this connection makes him a leading candidate.
Other names of note: Derek Anderson (Panthers), Jason Campbell (Bears), David Carr (Giants), Kellen Clemens (Rams), Chase Daniel (Saints), Bruce Gradkowski (Bengals), Rex Grossman (Redskins), Josh Johnson (Browns), Matt Leinart (Raiders), Luke McCown (Falcons), Drew Stanton (Colts), Tyler Thigpen (Bills)
Market conditions: The Dolphins’ re-signing of Matt Moore highlighted the value of having a strong No. 2 signal-caller, and how the demand seems greater than the supply. Not a lot of sure-fire options available.
Questions to answer at position: Does Ryan Mallett generate any trade interest? … Can Kafka stick as No. 3 on the depth chart?
YOUR TURN: Which of these would you like to see in a Patriots uniform? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog entry.