2012 Offseason Movement: Quarterbacks
By Jason Wood
July 18th, 2012

The offseason movement feature makes yet another appearance. It's one of the few staples of football that you know isn't going anywhere since there will always be players changing teams. Some will end up in better situations, some in worse ones. It's up to us to tell you which ones look good or bad from a preliminary look below. And it's up to you to continue to return to our website over the summer to see how some of these guys look to be panning out with their new teams. If nothing else, this will provide you with a refresher course or keep you informed on something you may have missed in April.

We wish we had a crystal ball to tell you exactly what is going to happen, when it is going to happen, and how much turnover there will be statistically. But the truth is, it's very early in the offseason. The key directive we can give you right now is to stay informed. Players change teams almost daily during the summer months, and a seemingly insignificant move in late August can have a huge impact on both the real NFL and your fantasy league.

We all want to know how Player X will fit in with Team Y. We all want to know how a superstar will react to the first major move of his career, or which journeyman on their last legs will resurrect their stat lines with a move elsewhere. And we can help you with that over time. For now, though, educate yourself on what you see below. Get a good base for how the moves should impact each team, and we'll continue to let you know how they are impacting each team. In the meantime, you can be assured that you won't be that guy at the bar saying something like, "I like Sidney Rice but just don't trust Tarvaris Jackson." while your friends give you blank stares and wonder where you were all offseason.

Quarterbacks by Jason Wood

  1. Peyton Manning - Denver (from Indianapolis)
    • What happened: After neck injuries led to a lost season in 2011, the Colts have made wholesale changes and transitioned to the Andrew Luck era, in the process making Manning the most coveted free agent in league history. A tenacious courtship ended with Manning headed to Mile High armed with a five-year, $96 million contract.

    • What it means: Assuming Manning is healthy - and one has to believe the Broncos wouldn't have signed him to a $96 million deal if he wasn't - Manning completely alters the expectations for the Broncos passing game, likely making receivers like Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas fantasy starters while also re-asserting his own fantasy position as a QB1.

  2. Matt Flynn - Seattle (from Green Bay)
    • What happened: After shining as Aaron Rodgers' understudy in Green Bay, Flynn hit the open market but didn't land the massive deal some expected. Instead, he settled for a three-year, $19.5 million contract in Seattle where he will compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson.

    • What it means: Flynn may not have been a molten hot commodity in free agency but he was easily the best young signal caller on the market, and if he's the player the Seahawks hope, he'll easily outplay Jackson in training camp for the starting job. The Seahawks run an offense that closely resembles the Packers playbook, which bodes well for a fast learning curve.

  3. Chad Henne - Jacksonville (from Miami)
    • What happened: Henne wore out his welcome in Miami but didn't have to leave the state to land his next gig, signing a two-year, $6.8 million contract with the Jaguars. Henne is only 26 years old and has an enviable amount of starting experience, which might play well with new head coach Mike Mularkey.

    • What it means: The Jaguars want Henne to be second year pro Blaine Gabbert's backup, and the only way Henne will start is if Gabbert fails to develop under a new offensive coaching staff. Given how woefully inept Gabbert was in 2011, it's hardly a stretch to think that Henne will get a shot at the job -- but probably not until the season is underway.

  4. Tim Tebow - NY Jets (from Denver)
    • What happened: The most unconventional quarterback success story changed on a dime when Peyton Manning chose the Broncos as his new team. In order to prevent controversy and fan divisiveness, Denver traded Tebow to the Jets to back up Mark Sanchez.

    • What it means: The Jets are setting themselves up for drama and controversy, as Sanchez was given a hefty contract extension this offseason - yet has a lot to prove in 2012 and beyond. If Sanchez struggles early, the pressure will be intense to give Tebow an opportunity. Remember, Tebow's heroics with his feet made him a borderline fantasy QB1 last year, and if he overtakes Sanchez he cannot be underestimated to repeat the feat in 2012.

  5. David Garrard - Miami (from Jacksonville)
    • What happened: Garrard was unceremoniously released a year ago in order allow Blaine Gabbert an uncontested spot at the top job, and teams held off on adding the veteran as he recovered from back injuries. This offseason, Garrard was healthy enough to convince the Dolphins to add him to a mix that includes Matt Moore and rookie first rounder Ryan Tannehill.

    • What it means: Garrard's one-year contract isn't guaranteed and he should be considered a long shot to beat out Matt Moore for the starting job, a role that is only relevant until the Dolphins brass determine Tannehill is ready to take the reins.

  6. Jason Campbell - Chicago (from Oakland)
    • What happened: Determined to avoid last year's debacle after Jay Cutler got hurt, the Bears moved quickly to add the seasoned veteran to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

    • What it means: Campbell has started 70 games in his career and is a career 60.8% passer with more touchdowns (74) than interceptions (50). Although he poses no threat to Jay Cutler's playing time, another injury to the starter would open the door for Campbell to run an offense that will have plenty of weapons, and a run/pass balance that should keep him from having to do too much - which is when he's historically gotten into trouble.

  7. Kyle Orton - Dallas (from Kansas City)
    • What happened: Orton has started games for Chicago, Denver and Kansas City in his seven NFL seasons, yet found no interest in the open market for his services as a potential starter. Instead, Orton replaces Jon Kitna as Tony Romo's backup and earned a three-year, $10.5 million contract in the process.

    • What it means: The Cowboys are chock full of offensive talent and Tony Romo is no stranger to the injury report. Orton has been productive at times, particularly when he doesn't have to carry the offense and would be an intriguing fantasy option as a bye week or injury fill in should Romo get hurt again.

  8. Josh Johnson - San Francisco (from Tampa Bay)
    • What happened: Johnson played sparingly in four seasons in Tampa Bay, but has arguably landed in the best possible situation for him; backing up Alex Smith in San Francisco - reuniting with former college coach Jim Harbaugh.

    • What it means: Johnson threw for 43 touchdowns and only one interception in his final year at the University of San Diego playing under Harbaugh's tutelage, so it's not hard to imagine what Johnson might be capable of running the same offense in San Francisco. Remember, Alex Smith was widely considered a first round bust until last season, too. The question for Johnson is whether he's a legitimate threat to overtake second year man Colin Kaepernick as the number two this year.

  9. Brady Quinn - Kansas City (from Denver)
    • What happened: Tim Tebow isn't the only former Broncos quarterback settling into new digs in 2012, as Brady Quinn landed with division rival Kansas City.

    • What it means: Quinn is hardly someone that should get fantasy owners excited, but he did land in an advantageous situation given Matt Cassel's uninspired performance combined with his recent injury.

  10. Curtis Painter - Baltimore (from Indianapolis)
    • What happened: Painter was one of the starters the Colts trotted out last year in place of Peyton Manning, and he looked woefully overmatched. In spite of his struggles, the Ravens signed him to a one-year deal to compete with Tyrod Taylor for backup duties.

    • What it means: Joe Flacco is young and on the verge of a long-term extension, so neither Painter nor Taylor are compelling fantasy options. But Taylor is unproven and it's theoretically possible Painter could play his way into the number two role - just don't count on it.

  11. Matt Leinart - Oakland (from Houston)
    • What happened: Leinart finds himself in familiar territory after signing with the Oakland Raiders. He will hold the clipboard for Carson Palmer, just as he did years ago when Palmer was running the show for the USC Trojans.

    • What it means: Just because Leinart put up gaudier numbers at USC after replacing Palmer, doesn't mean he stands much of a shot at doing the same at the NFL level. Leinart should consider himself lucky he was able to convince a team to give him a number two job - he is arguably better suited for a QB3 role based on his lack of success to date.

  12. Dan Orlovsky - Tampa Bay (from Indianapolis)
    • What happened: Dan Orlovsky was under center for both of Indianapolis' 2011 victories, and parlayed that modest success into a two-year, $2.5 million deal to serve as the Buccaneers new backup quarterback.

    • What it means: Josh Freeman had a disappointing 2011, but he very much remains the cornerstone of the Bucs' franchise. Orlovsky has experience stepping in for injured starters in both Detroit and Indianapolis, and should prove an adequate emergency backup in place of the departed Josh Johnson.

  13. Caleb Hanie - Denver (from Chicago)
    • What happened: Hanie has only attempted 116 attempts in his career, but the Broncos zeroed in on him as Peyton Manning's backup.

    • What it means: Hanie was 0-4 as a starter in Chicago last year and is a career 50.9% passer. The Broncos appear to be taking a page from the Colts in signing a lackluster and uninspired backup to Peyton Manning - unless the plan is to make rookie Brock Osweiler the number two (with Hanie available strictly in an emergency).

  14. Charlie Whitehurst - San Diego (from Seattle)
    • What happened: Whitehurst never lived up to the hype in Seattle and returns to San Diego, where he will once again back up Philip Rivers.

    • What it means: Rivers has been a workhorse and looks to bounce back this year after an uncharacteristically poor 2011. Whitehurst was once considered an interesting backup option but fantasy owners would do well to consider Whitehurst only in the direst of circumstances.

  15. Trent Edwards - Philadelphia (from Oakland)
    • What happened: Edwards signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Eagles in hopes of resurrecting a career that has gone from potential starter to emergency quarterback/journeyman.

    • What it means: The drafting of Nick Foles threw cold water on the few people that campaigned for Edwards as a deep sleeper in 2012. With Mike Kafka and Foles under contract, Edwards is going to have a Herculean task sticking on the final 53-man roster.

Other notable quarterbacks that changed teams:

  • Rudy Carpenter – Dallas (from Tampa Bay)

  • Jordan Palmer – Jacksonville (from Cincinnati)

  • Drew Stanton – NY Jets (from Detroit)

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