There hasn’t been much of a free agent quarterback market since Peyton Manning signed with Denver back in 2012, and 2015 is no exception. Though this year should be slightly improved from the Kyle Orton, Josh McCown free agent quarterback class of 2014, there is little chance anyone in the group could serve as a reasonable replacement to Jay Cutler.
1. Jake Locker:
The former first round pick and quarterback out of The University of Washington has played in just 30 games over his four career and has failed to develop into a reliable starter despite being selected three picks ahead of J.J Watt in 2011 NFL Draft. While it will be impossible for Tennessee Titan fans to ever view Locker as anything but a bust, if he can stay healthy, he may still be able to satisfy draft day expectations. However, the 26 year old quarterback has played in just 14 games over the past two seasons making him hardly worthwhile for the Bears.
2. Brian Hoyer
Although Hoyer finished with 12 just touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 2014, he still ended his season (7-7) as a starting quarterback. A former pupil of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Hoyer proved himself to be a capable starter for the Browns and showed he’s a game manager as a quarterback. Paired with a quality defense Hoyer could very well help lead a team to The Playoffs. While I don’t think Hoyer is a very good fit for the Bears, his ability not try to do too much and to manage games would certainly be an upgrade over Cutler’s gunslinger mentality.
3. Mark Sanchez
Though Mark Sanchez didn’t end his New York Jets career on the highest of notes, he demonstrated himself to be a quality replacement for Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. While it’s hard to imagine a team will give him a starting job, he will have plenty of suitors as a reliable second string. If Clausen leaves, the Bears would do well to sign Sanchez as a backup.
4. Matt Moore
The quarterback free agency market is once again as shallow a position there is, as Matt Moore remains one of the better options and he hasn’t started in a game since 2011. Though the former undrafted free agent has thrown just ten passes over the past two seasons, the Bears may be interested with John Fox having had coached him from 2008-2010.
5. Ryan Mallet
Another former pupil of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Ryan Mallet, though still very inexperienced, should get intrigue from several teams when he enters free agency. A former potential first round pick out of college, Mallet, though extremely inexperienced, might have one of the highest ceilings out of all the free agent quarterbacks. I wouldn’t mind if the Bears took a shot on Mallet, though he’s obviously not a viable replacement for Cutler.