NFL News & Analysis

2022 NFL Free Agency Rankings: Quarterbacks

Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL free agency is a year-round process, as teams scout opposing players in an effort to defeat them during the year and perhaps sign them in the offseason.

Now we're at the end of the 2021-22 NFL season, the free agency picture is coming into focus and teams are beginning to identify potential targets to improve their roster weaknesses.

Here are the top quarterbacks slated to hit free agency in 2022. Click here for PFF's full list of top 100 free agents.

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1. Jameis Winston

PFF Free Agency Rank: 41
2021 Snaps: 370
2021 PFF grade: 74.2 (18th of 37)

Winston suffered an unfortunate ACL tear injury that knocked him out of the second half of the 2021 season after a relatively slow start, but it was one that featured few interceptions and a lot of wins. Winston may never become the gunslinger envisioned when he was selected No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, but his time in New Orleans did illustrate that he can patiently manage an offense and take what’s given to him. Winston was also let down a number of times by the poor collection of wide receivers New Orleans was able to bring in due to their disastrous salary cap situation, but the big question for teams will be his health.

Projected contract: 1 yrs — $7m avg/yr


2. Teddy Bridgewater

PFF Free Agency Rank: 49
2021 Snaps: 844
2021 PFF grade: 73.5 (20th of 37)

Bridgewater is only two years removed from signing a three-year, $63 million contract with the Carolina Panthers and has been more consistent behind a better Broncos offensive line. Bridgewater has out-performed his reworked one-year, $10 million contract and is the only proven starting-caliber quarterback under 30 years old this offseason. That fact alone may dictate his market, depending on how many teams need quarterbacks. And considering the 2022 NFL Draft class is expected to be very underwhelming at the position, he could be in for a decent deal.

Case Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million contract with the Broncos after an NFC Championship game run with the Minnesota Vikings in 201. This contract somewhat mirrors that bridge quarterback deal, though it is not as big because of a potentially flooded veteran quarterback market.

Projected contract: 2 yrs — $20m avg/yr


3. Marcus Mariota

PFF Free Agency Rank: 60
2021 Snaps24
2021 PFF grade: 58.2 (N/A)

For years, the primary goal of quarterbacks in Mariota’s position was to find a team desperate enough for a starter to sign them to an inflated deal in free agency that they’d inevitably regret a year later. While that’s still a goal, there are more potential avenues for players with Mariota’s skill set. With two-quarterback systems cropping up around the NFL, Mariota could attempt to leverage New Orleans Saints weapon Taysom Hill’s recent four-year, $40 million extension with massive upside. Mariota is an infinitely superior passer of the football, and while he’s had a handful of injuries the past few years, he’s still just 28 years old.

Projected contract: 1 yrs — $8m avg/yr


4. Andy Dalton

PFF Free Agency Rank: 113
2021 Snaps412
2021 PFF grade: 67.1 (27th of 37)

Dalton played well enough at times with a poor supporting cast to sign a decent backup contract in a weaker free-agent class at quarterback, despite just five big-time throws to nine turnover-worthy plays.

Projected contract: N/A


5. Ryan Fitzpatrick

PFF Free Agency Rank: 117
2021 Snaps16
2021 PFF grade: 38.9 (N/A)

Fitzpatrick missed almost the entire 2021 season with a nasty hip injury and may join a retirement class of quarterbacks that includes Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, especially if there are no starting opportunities available, which certainly may be the case.

Projected contract: N/A


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6. Mitchell Trubisky

PFF Free Agency Rank: 126
2021 Snaps: 36
2021 PFF grade: 68.4 (N/A)

Mitch Trubisky was a casualty of the 2021 salary cap drop and a strong 2021 draft class at quarterback. Another disappointing season for Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears offense, which led to his firing, may also reflect positively on Trubisky in retrospect. There may be some high-end quarterback trades this offseason, but the free-agent market doesn’t have many options. Trubisky could be paid closer to a higher-end backup after a season spent with the Buffalo Bills working alongside Josh Allen and learning from former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — now the head coach of the New York Giants.

Projected contract: N/A


7. Jacoby Brissett

PFF Free Agency Rank: 144
2021 Snaps: 376
2021 PFF grade: 76.3 (15th of 37)

Brissett’s six starts early this season showed exactly why he deserved to be one of the highest-paid backups in the NFL, as his 77.4 grade and some late-game heroics make his one-year, $5 million deal a relative steal. There may not be any more starting gigs in his future, but he should remain a sought-after backup signal-caller.

Projected contract: N/A


8. Tyrod Taylor

PFF Free Agency Rank: 148
2021 Snaps: 323
2021 PFF grade: 59.2 (N/A)

The streak of young quarterbacks playing well amidst Taylor's veteran presence (Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert) in the quarterback room continued with Davis Mills in Houston, but unfortunately so did Taylor's streak of getting off to a solid start before missing time. Taylor was 31-of-44 (70%), averaged 9.45 yards per attempt and recorded three touchdowns to zero interceptions before a hamstring injury in Week 2 effectively derailed his 2021 campaign. He remains a solid backup quarterback option for any team in need.

Projected contract: N/A


9. Geno Smith

PFF Free Agency Rank: 181
2021 Snaps: 202
2021 PFF grade: 73.9 (N/A)

Smith filled in admirably following Russell Wilson‘s finger injury, earning a 73.9 grade with over 7.4 yards per attempt while accumulating seven big-time throws to just three turnover-worthy plays.

Projected contract: N/A


10. Colt McCoy

PFF Free Agency Rank: 200
2021 Snaps: 211
2021 PFF grade: 55.8 (N/A)

Projected contract: N/A

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