Evan Silva

Offseason Low Down

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The 2011 Quarterback Market

Tuesday, May 10, 2011




3. Caleb Hanie, Bears

Scouting Report: Hanie became a national name in the NFC Championship, but he was already well known to Bears fans for his impressive preseasons. In three years of exhibition games, Hanie has completed 70-of-116 passes (60.3%) for 843 yards (7.27 YPA), and a 6:4 TD-to-INT ratio. He's chipped in 5.2 yards per rush. A sleeper favorite of ESPN's Mel Kiper after the 2008 draft, Hanie is athletic and strong-armed with a quick release. He has a reputation for forcing passes into coverage, which was evident against the Packers but hasn't been in the preseason.

Availability: Hanie is a restricted free agent with three accrued years, meaning he won't be unrestricted regardless of a new CBA. But he may still be available. The Bears only gave Hanie an original pick tender, so interested teams could sign him to an offer sheet without having to cough up any compensation. Fifth-round pick Nate Enderle is Mike Martz's new developmental passer.

Prediction: Bears on his one-year restricted tender.

4. Matt Leinart, Texans

Scouting Report: QB prospects eligible for the draft are often criticized for exhibiting a "sense of entitlement." It's a perfect description for Leinart. Even after losing his starting job to Derek Anderson last fall, then failing to unseat Dan Orlovsky for the No. 2 spot on Houston's depth chart, Leinart has campaigned loudly for a starting job this spring, claiming he's "paid his dues." In Leinart's best case scenario, he'll be given a chance to compete for a backup job. The former top-ten pick holds a career 14:20 TD-to-INT ratio, 6.5 YPA, and 57.1 completion rate. He plays with no sense of urgency, lacks athleticism, and his throwing velocity is not starting-caliber.

Availability: The Texans extended Leinart an original pick tender in February, but drafted T.J. Yates to sit behind Matt Schaub and Orlovsky. Yates will cost far less than Leinart's $1.2-1.3 million tender, so it will probably be rescinded after the lockout. Leinart would then become an unrestricted free agent. Old college coach Pete Carroll's team is a connectable dot, but it's telling that the Seahawks showed no interest in Leinart last September. Only Houston and Oakland did.

Prediction: Raiders on a one-year, $1 million contract.

5. Brodie Croyle, Chiefs

Scouting Report: The 85th pick in the 2006 draft, Croyle's career has been marred by injuries, inaccuracy, and a total lack of success. He's winless in 10 starts with eight touchdowns, nine interceptions, and five fumbles. Croyle has completed just 56.7 percent of his passes with a 5.2 YPA. Though strong armed and fairly athletic, Croyle is exceptionally prone to knuckleheaded errors. In his lone start last year, Croyle completed 7-of-17 passes for 40 yards in a 31-0 loss.

Availability: Whether Croyle was tendered before March 3 isn't totally clear, but it's believed he did receive an "original pick" designation. Still, he's on notice after the Chiefs drafted Ricky Stanzi in the fifth round. Croyle's offensive coordinator in Kansas City was current Bills coach Chan Gailey, although Gailey's offense was far more productive with Tyler Thigpen than Croyle.

Prediction: Vikings on a one-year, $850,000 contract.

Other three- to five-year restricted quarterbacks: Drew Stanton, Kellen Clemens, Matt Moore, Jordan Palmer.

Trade Candidates

1. Kevin Kolb, Eagles

Scouting Report: Not yet 27, Kolb has spent his first four NFL seasons as a backup, but it's not a role he's been effective in. In six career appearances off the bench, he's completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 368 yards (4.6 YPA) and a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio. By comparison, Kolb is a 59.5 percent passer with a YPA that jumps to 6.61 with eight touchdowns (one rush) and eight picks in six starts. Kolb has adequate arm strength, athleticism, and size (6'3/218). He's been a far more aggressive quarterback with a full week to prepare as a starter. To acquire, Kolb will cost valuable pick and/or player compensation, in addition to a pricey new deal. He's in a contract year.

Availability: Despite their inability to move Kolb during the draft due to lockout rules, the Eagles must trade him now because Kolb's contract is up after this season. Kolb will be a starter in 2011, probably with the Cardinals or Seahawks. Philadelphia is expected to demand a 2012 first-round pick and a starter on defense, which from Arizona could be someone like cornerback Greg Toler or from the Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane in a sign-and-trade deal.

Prediction: Cardinals via trade.

2. Kyle Orton, Broncos

Scouting Report: Orton is 32-29 lifetime going on age 29. He is an excellent decision maker (71:48 TD-to-INT ratio), though that sometimes comes at the expense of aggressiveness. Orton is a heady player with a strong arm, but not athletic (5.09 forty time) and can be subject to late-season fades. In his first 11 games over the last three years, Orton has completed 61.6 percent of his passes with a 7.35 YPA, 45:19 TD-to-INT ratio, and 16-15 record. The rest of the way, his completion rate falls to 56.9 with an ugly 5.97 YPA, 14 touchdowns, 14 picks, four wins, and seven losses. Still, Orton has shown that he can be a top-15 NFL quarterback at 100 percent.

Availability: During the draft, VP of Player Personnel John Elway strongly indicated that the Broncos want Tim Tebow to be their Week 1 starter. That makes Orton an $8.88 million projected backup, who's also in a contract year. The Broncos need to trade him now. Orton has played in several different offenses, from vertical schemes under Ron Turner to a passer-friendly shotgun attack for Josh McDaniels. Orton should be available for a third- to fourth-round pick.

Prediction: Dolphins via trade.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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