Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The backup QB carousel about to turn
By Pat Yasinskas
It is possible the NFC South could have four new backup quarterbacks in 2013.
Three of the division’s No. 2 quarterbacks from 2013 are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and the fourth team has said it would like to increase the competition at quarterback.
Atlanta’s Luke McCown, Carolina’s Derek Anderson and New Orleans’ Chase Daniel all can become unrestricted free agents. I’d say the chances Anderson moves on are very high.
It’s not that the Panthers are unhappy with Anderson. But, for a team with a nightmare cap situation, keeping the veteran probably would be too costly. Besides, the Panthers have Jimmy Clausen still under contract (at a reasonable rate) and it makes financial sense to simply move Clausen up to the No. 2 quarterback behind Cam Newton. Anderson had close ties to former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who became the head coach in Cleveland. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson ends up in Cleveland.
McCown has history with Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, so it’s possible he could be brought back. I don’t see other teams beating down the door to sign McCown, so the Falcons can have him if they want him. But rookie Dominique Davis had a fantastic preseason last year and the Falcons could look to move him up to No. 2 behind Matt Ryan.
I think the Saints would like to keep Daniel as Drew Brees’ backup. The chances of that happening are pretty good. But the Saints don’t have the cap room to pay Daniel much. I think there’s at least a chance that another team could make an attempt to get a guy that has been the understudy to one of the league’s top quarterbacks. I don’t think there are teams out there that view Daniel as a potential starter. But I think there are teams that have more cap room than the Saints and they might be willing to pay Daniel good backup money.
Tampa Bay is the only team that has its backup quarterback from 2012 under contract for next season. That’s Dan Orlovsky. But, as the season ended, coach Greg Schiano said he’d like to bring in more competition for starter Josh Freeman. I think the Bucs still have hope that Freeman can turn into a consistent franchise quarterback. He certainly had some bright moments in 2013, but he didn’t play at a consistently high level. Freeman’s heading into the final year of his contract and the Bucs want someone to push him, maybe even someone that eventually can take over if they decide Freeman isn’t their guy. Orlovsky’s a decent backup, but he has no upside, so I think the Bucs will look for an upgrade.