Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
Nov 26, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) watches the game against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

2023 NFL free agency: Top 5 quarterbacks available

It’ll soon be 2023 NFL free agency. As a result it’s time to look at which quarterbacks are going to be top of the market this offseason.

For the purposes of making a real list, we’re not including names such as the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks, because both will either be retained on the salary cap or through long-term deals prior to free agency.

5. Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater is 30 years old and has some pelts on the proverbial wall. A former first-round pick, Bridgewater has started in a playoff game, is a Pro Bowler and is respected across the league as one of the better locker room guys around. That said, he’s been injury prone throughout his career and is better suited as a backup who can be a spot starter.

 

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4. Taylor Heinicke

Heinicke is the equal of a Quad-A baseball player. He’s better than most backups but isn’t good enough to be the starter on a really good team. Heinicke has limited arm talent and will put the ball in harm’s way more often than is acceptable, but he would be a nice signing for a team looking for a bridge to the future.

3. Jimmy Garoppolo

Only 31 years old, there’s still a chance some of Garoppolo’s best football remains ahead of him. The San Francisco 49ers are moving on this offseason while trying to figure out their future with Brock Purdy and Trey Lance. In free agency, Garoppolo could land a decent payday as a short-stint starter or a very high-end backup. There’s a litany of teams who make sense, including the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders, who both have ties to Garoppolo through their coaching staffs.

2. Daniel Jones

Jones could end up being tagged by the New York Giants, but it’s not a near-certainty as it is with Lamar Jackson and Geno Smith. After struggling throughout the first three years of his time with Big Blue, Jones broke out under offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and head coach Brian Daboll. Last year, Jones threw for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns against five interceptions. Can he continue to evolve?

 

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1. Derek Carr

Carr is already free to sign with any team after the Raiders released him earlier this week. The four-time Pro Bowler is going to get a significant contract as a long-term starter who can elevate a middling team into a serious playoff contender. At 31 years old, Carr is a quality quarterback who should have a lot of game left in him.

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