Re-evaluating the QB market

After the Alex Smith deal, what can Buffalo, Cleveland and other teams do?

Originally Published: February 27, 2013
By Matt Williamson | ESPN.com
SmithRalph Freso/Getty ImagesWith Alex Smith heading to Kansas City, will the Chiefs take a developmental QB in the draft?

With Alex Smith heading to Kansas City to be the Chiefs starting quarterback, there is one fewer option on the market for QB-needy teams.

So how does the trade between San Francisco and Kansas City alter the landscape for the likes of Buffalo, Arizona and the New York Jets? Where do teams like Cleveland, Jacksonville and Oakland turn now?

With such a large demand from teams looking to upgrade at quarterback, how does the supply shape up in the three main markets: draft, free agency and trade. Here's a look and a few suggestions for fits for those still searching for their Week 1 signal-caller or a backup to push an underperforming starter.

Trade options

With Smith dealt, the names that come to mind for a trade are Seattle's Matt Flynn, New England's Ryan Mallett and Philadelphia's Nick Foles.

Maybe the Patriots would trade the big-armed Mallett to a team like Cleveland in a win-now move and re-sign Matt Cassel, who will reportedly be cut, to back up Tom Brady. Brady's new contract opened up a lot of room for the Patriots to be active in free agency, and adding quality draft picks for Mallet would allow Bill Belichick to be aggressive on draft day. Brady and Belichick can see the Patriots' window closing, so this seems like a feasible situation. Several teams should be in the market for Mallett, a true pocket passer who likely learned a thing or two while sitting in New England's quarterback meeting room.


To see the rest of Matt Williamson's piece on re-evaluating the QB market after the Alex Smith deal, you must be an ESPN Insider.