Washington Redskins v Baltimore Ravens
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 29: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins drops back in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/ Getty Images)
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NFL free agency will be flush with quarterbacks in 2018

The Super Bowl is going to be played on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, and either the New England Patriots or Philadelphia Eagles are going to be enjoying a full year as defending champions afterwards. However, for the other 30 teams that are already home, the challenge to get better is already being dug into.

Looking at the league calendar, the first way to get better is free agency, something that won’t start until March 12 with the legal tampering period. While no player can technically sign with another team until that 72-hour window has expired, handshake deals are done and contracts are drawn up. By the end of that period, a good chunk of the name free agents will be looking at signing on the dotted line.

Some years, the class of available players is weak. That won’t be the case in 2018, with a bevy of high-profile positions loaded with intriguing talent. The quarterbacks are at the head of the table, ranging from Kirk Cousins and Teddy Bridgewater to Case Keenum, Josh McCown, Sam Bradford and, potentially, Blake Bortles. Does someone want to overlook the first few years of Bortles’ career and believe in the man we just saw? It could be one of the more interesting headlines should the Jacksonville Jaguars decide to move on.

None of this is to speak of Eli Manning, who could also be released by the New York Giants. At 37 years old, his talent is diminished but enough is still there to make a run with the right team. Then there is Alex Smith, who won’t be released but could be available via trade over the next few months on a one-year, $20 million contract. For teams that don’t want to get into a bidding war, he’s the right man for the job.

Speaking of bidding wars, Cousins is going to cause exactly that. The Washington Redskins star is going to be 30 years old in August and while he doesn’t have any playoff wins on his rèsume, he does boast a a trio of 4,000-yard seasons that include at least 25 touchdown passes in each. Cousins is likely to shatter every record we’ve seen for contracts, including total value, guaranteed money and average annual value. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Cousins hit $100 million in guarantees, breaking the current mark of $87 million set by Andrew Luck.

Unlike most years, we won’t see Mike Glennon-esque players getting big deals. There will be too many quarterbacks with real value getting paid on both short and long-term contracts, hoping to prove they are the right man to make a mint.

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