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Tag:Josh Johnson
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:01 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Quarterback rankings

The 2012 free-agent quarterback class is an, um, diverse group. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the quarterbacks.

Though the list of free-agent quarterbacks for 2012 isn't necessarily the greatest crop of players in NFL history, it does have the potential to be one of the most intriguing in years, because of one man: Peyton Manning. Manning's saga is well-documented at this point; the back-and-forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay dominated the freaking Super Bowl.

Releasing him into the wild seems like a mere matter of timing. So we're going to take that assumption and add Manning to our lists of free agents. We're also including the Saints Drew Brees and 49ers Alex Smith on this list, since both are technically unrestricted free agents, until they receive the franchise tag from their respective teams. There's a better likelihood of Jimmy Clausen unseating Cam Newton than there is Brees not returning to New Orleans, but maybe someone in the Saints office will forget to fax in the franchise-tag paperwork.


Brees offseason could be interesting.  (Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees

Breakdown: The biggest problem for the Saints isn't that Brees might leave. He's not going to unless something really ridiculous happens. The biggest problem for the Saints is that if they're forced to use the franchise tag on Brees, they could end up losing Carl Nicks and Marques Colston. That won't make Brees any happier when it gets down to brass-tack negotiating.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints

2. Peyton Manning

Breakdown: Perhaps you've heard of Manning before. He's third all-time in passing yards (54,828). He's third all-time in passing touchdowns (399). He's won more MVPs than anyone in NFL history (four). And he's second in his own family with Super Bowl rings (one). That last item isn't a shot at Manning, though. It's the reason we believe he's not done when it comes to football, and that he'll come back to the game supremely motivated. No one knows whether or not he'll be fully healthy by the time the 2012 season begins. We do know he won't be fully healthy by the time March 13 rolls around, though. Which means that anyone who signs him will be engaging in a serious high-risk, high-reward game of chicken with Manning's neck.
Potential Landing Spots: Cardinals, Dolphins, Seahawks, Jets, Redskins

3. Matt Flynn

Breakdown: Flynn's attempted just 132 passes at the professional level, but 81 of them are pretty impressive. Those came in the only two starts of his career, when Flynn managed to go 55 of 81 for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. There are concerns that Flynn can't make every throw (right now) and that he might be a product of Green Bay's system. But that system's in Miami now, as former Packers quarterbacks coach Joe Philbin is the Dolphins head coach. If Miami doesn't make a run at Flynn when free agency opens up, that should be a big red flag for anyone else interested in Aaron Rodgers backup.
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins

4. Alex Smith

Breakdown: Smith resurrected his career under new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and, in the span of about two playoff minutes against the Saints, nearly flipped the entire narrative of his career. As it is, Smith's improvement in 2011 is impressive; according to Pro Football Focus, he had the third-highest accuracy percentage in the NFL (factoring in drops, throwaways and spikes) last year, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Smith's said he isn't interested in leaving San Francisco, and Harbaugh's gotten his back publicly, even though there's zero chance they'll use the franchise tag on him.
Potential Landing Spots: 49ers
Henne could surprise in the right spot. (Getty Images)

5. Chad Henne

Breakdown: Miami drafting a quarterback in the second round: an April tradition unlike any other! But no, seriously, Henne's in a long line of signal-callers that the Dolphins took in the second round who didn't pan out. He's had serious problems with interceptions; Henne's got a 3.5 percent INT rate over his career and only nine of his 36 NFL games have not featured him throwing a pick. And Henne tends to look particularly robotic at times in the pocket (these things go hand in hand). But he's only 26 and it's not fair to blame him for all of Miami's woes the past three years. Henne can make all the throws and flashed some serious potential at times during his tenure in South Beach. He's the highest-upside backup quarterback out there and he's got several former coaches -- Brian Daboll, Tony Sparano -- coaching in spots that could use a backup quarterback.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Jets, Broncos

6. Jason Campbell

Breakdown: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for Campbell. The former Auburn star and first-round pick has had roughly 25 offensive coordinators since he started taking snaps in college and he's about to start out on his third NFL roster once the free-agency shuffling begins anew this year. He's 30 and hasn't played a full season in the past two years, either because of injury or being benched. The latter was for Bruce Gradkowski, so it's hard to tell what's worse for his reputation. He makes a lot of sense for a team that wants someone to push their starter without making a stink in the locker room.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Eagles, Jets

NFL Free Agency

7. Kyle Orton

Breakdown: Orton's was a "winner" with the Bears, he was a stat-hog for a season with the Broncos, he flirted with the Dolphins and finally he was a streak-killer with the Chiefs. He's not going to be anyone's starter in 2011, unless Washington seriously misplays everything in free agency and the draft (not out of the question). But he's an above-average backup in the NFL and could certainly compete with the starters that various teams -- KC, Washington, Jacksonville, for example -- will trot out in 2011. Orton doesn't want to deal with being a "stop-gap option" but it's unlikely he'll have a choice next year.
Potential Landing Spots:
Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, Broncos

8. David Garrard

Breakdown: Pete Prisco's second-favorite quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after the Jaguars cut him and he underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his back. There was interest in the 34-year-old last year after teams lost quarterbacks to injury, but he decided to recover from the surgery instead. While that's the smart move, Garrard won't find the market as friendly for his services this time, especially since his agent said on February 15 Garrard would be ready in "four to six weeks." Expect someone with a steady starter and tenuous backup to look to Garrard.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Broncos, Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders

9. Shaun Hill

Breakdown: Hill's 32 and not exactly a spring chicken. But he performed admirably in place of Matthew Stafford in 2010 and the fit between he and the Lions is a nice one. The Lions are tight with cap space, but Hill appears to like where he's at, and it's not like he'd break the bank in another location anyway.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions
VY's likely to remain a backup. (Getty Images)

10. Vince Young

Breakdown: Now seems like a good time to remind you that the guy who coined "Dream Team" in Philly was indeed the backup quarterback and someone on a one-year contract. His personality and turnovers will cause a problem for teams looking to sign him. Unless that team happens to run the read-option offense and could really use a mobile quarterback with success in the NFL to step in and freelance if/when Tim Tebow gets hurt/melts down.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos

11. Rex Grossman

Breakdown: Did you know that Rex Grossman is actually "Rex Grossman III"? Poor Mike Shanahan had RG3 on his roster the whole time and didn't even know it. Sigh. Anyway, Grossman's not going to attract a lot of attention on the market, and nor should he. As the old saying goes, though, "love the one you're with." And Grossman and the Shanahans are with each other, even if Rex isn't starting next year. It would be surprising to see him playing anywhere else in 2012.
Potential Landing Spots: Redskins

HONORABLE MENTION

Unrestricted Free Agents: Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst, Donovan McNabb, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Caleb Hanie, Charlie Batch, Kellen Clemens

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:32 am
 

Josh Freeman had minor setback Friday

FreemanBy Josh Katzowitz

With Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman out last Sunday because of a right shoulder injury, Josh Johnson subbed in for him and did OK in Tampa Bay’s 38-19 loss to the Panthers -- which, by the way, showed beyond a doubt that Tampa Bay is finished for the season.

Though Freeman was scheduled to be back Sunday in time for the Jaguars game, he had a setback Friday that has put his ability to play today in doubt.

That’s according to the St. Petersburg Times, which writes that Freeman couldn’t finish practice Friday because of the pain.

"The arm is still in some pain, but it feels better than it did last week," Freeman told the newspaper Saturday. "I'm hoping it feels okay to play."

If not, the Buccaneers will turn back to Johnson, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 229 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing for a team-high 45 yards last week. The problem is that Johnson dislocated his non-throwing shoulder last week, though that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep him from starting if his team needs him -- he only missed one play last week before trainers popped his shoulder back into place.

Freeman said his shoulder felt better after throwing Saturday, so it’ll be a gametime decision as to whether he can play.




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Posted on: December 4, 2011 11:23 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 11:34 am
 

Josh Freeman out for Bucs Sunday, Johnson starts

Posted by Will Brinson

Late Saturday, the Buccaneers decided to promote current third-string quarterback Rudy Carpenter to the active roster, an ominous sign for Tampa Bay fans, since it seemed likely that starter Josh Freeman would miss Sunday's game against Carolina.

That is exactly the case, as the Buccaneers announced on Sunday that Freeman will be inactive against the Panthers in Tampa Bay.

Freeman's absence means Josh Johnson will get the starting nod for the Bucs. Johnson's played in six games for the Bucs this season, though he's only attempted seven passes, completing two of them for 14 yards. He's also attempted five rushes for 17 yards, as most of his usage this year has been out of Wildcat-type formations, or when Freeman's been banged up.

Johnson hasn't started a game since 2009, when he began the season as the Bucs starter, losing the first four games before Tampa Bay decided to insert Freeman as a rookie.

The change at quarterback resulted in an early move in Vegas as well, as the Panthers went from three-point underdogs to one-point favorites with the news that Freeman wouldn't play.

That's a pretty accurate portrayal of the difference between Johnson and Freeman, and if the Bucs lose to the lowly (?) Panthers, don't be surprised to hear more chatter about Raheem Morris on the hot seat.


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Posted on: September 21, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 8:34 pm
 

Week 3 Top Ten with a Twist: second-year players

Green Bay LB C. Matthews already has six sacks through two games this year (AP).
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In my experiences, it’s never too early to hype somebody, no matter how early it is in the season or in a career. Sure, you run the risk of overhype, but then again, who cares? That’s partially what makes following and covering NFL football so much fun. Let the compliments and hyperbole fly and see where everything falls (either in the sky with the stars or on the floor with the garbage).

This week, we’re examining the second-year players who have impressed us the most this season. Some were not stars last season, but in their second years have shown they are, in fact, pretty good – if not great – players. Some were Pro Bowlers last year who have continued their strong play. Some have finally emerged this year. And some who were really special last year but have done next to nothing this season weren’t included.

This is the list in which we celebrate those who haven’t fallen into the so-called sophomore slump. Of course, it’s only two games into the season. Still plenty of time for those compliments to fall from the heavens and thud to the turf.

Sanchez 10. Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets: Listen, I know he’s not the greatest QB out there. He’s got a career 54.7 completion percentage, and he’s got 15 career TDs against 20 INTs. But I saw him in last year’s playoffs manage his team to the AFC championship game as a rookie, and he has the backing of New York’s management. He’s not going to be the next Peyton Manning, but he’s showing improvement. And Sanchez (21 of 30 for 220 yards and three TDs) outplayed Tom Brady last Sunday to beat the Patriots. Maybe an AFC East title isn’t out of the question.

9. Johnny Knox, WR, Bears:
Knox is a member of the powerful triumvirate of players from Abilene Christian who are making an impact in the NFL today (Bengals RB Bernard Scott and Bears S Danieal Manning are the others). He had a solid rookie season on offense, but he really shined on special teams, making the Pro Bowl as a KO returner. He’s made seven catches this year so far, and you saw his ability on the 59-yard pass from Jay Cutler last week when Knox used his pure speed to burn Dallas CB Mike Jenkins and make the catch.

8. Pat McAfee/Kevin Huber, P, Colts/Bengals:
Finally, some love for the punters (though we don’t give enough love to give these two an entry of their own). These two were the best punters in the Big East in their final collegiate seasons – McAfee at West Virginia and Huber at Cincinnati – and they’ve translated those skills into the NFL. McAfee averaged 44.3 yards last year, and though his yards per punt numbers have fallen a bit, he’s dropped five punts inside the 20-yard line. Huber, meanwhile, has upped his average yardage to 44.7.

McCoy 7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles:
Last season, McCoy scored four rushing touchdowns and he caught 40 passes. Already this season, he’s scored four rushing touchdowns and caught nine passes. Plus, he’s averaging a ridiculous 6.7 yards per rush. He scored three touchdowns in the Eagles win against the Lions on Sunday, and it was the first time a Philadelphia RB has accomplished that since 1995.

6. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos:
Remember how big a loss it could have been when Moreno went down with an injury in the preseason – we asked if Correll Buckhalter or (yikes) LenDale White could take over those No. 1 reps – but since he’s returned, Moreno has reminded Broncos fans why they were so worried about his injury prognosis in the first place. After all, he leads the team with 182 total yards of offense.

5. Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers: Behind Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson last year, Freeman didn’t get any playing time until midway through the season, where he took over the starting role. He kept his starting position throughout the offseason, but he promptly fractured the thumb on his throwing hand in the preseason and missed some time. But since he’s returned, he’s been quite good, and Tampa Bay surprisingly is 2-0. This, even though Freeman is just 22 years old.

4. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants:
With a solid rookie season, Nicks was a guy who could be expected to make contributions behind Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. Don’t think anybody expected this. Of Nicks’ six catches on the year, four of them have gone for touchdowns. After catching three of them in Week 1, he rolled his ankle and was questionable for last Sunday. But he returned for the Colts game and secured another one late in that contest. He’s becoming a dangerous receiving threat.

3. Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins:
After Washington drafted him with the No. 13 pick overall in the 2009 Draft, Orakpo had a huge rookie season, recording 11 sacks and earning a Pro Bowl berth. Orakpo’s stats aren’t quite as big so far this year, but he’s still causing plenty of fear among opposing offensive lineman. He’s blitzing more often than last year, and against Dallas in Week 1, he forced Alex Barron into three holding penalties, including the game-winner.

Foster 2. Arian Foster, RB, Texans:
Did anybody see this coming? Especially after last season when he was just a practice squad player in Houston? Well, who would have thought Foster had the 33-carry, 231-yard, three-touchdown career day he had in Week 1 vs. the Colts? Yeah, he came down to earth a little bit Sunday (19 carries for 69 yards and three catches for 69 yards), but still, is there a more exciting RB in the game right now?

1. Clay Matthews, LB, Packers:
He’s been the most dominant defensive player in the NFL this year. He’s got six sacks already this season, and already, there’s talk about him breaking the sack record (um, chances are, this won’t happen). But considering he had 10 sacks last year and is already more than halfway to matching that mark, that’s an awfully impressive figure. And he’s got an impressive head of blonde hair.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 9:59 am
 

Hot Routes 8.31.10: No retractions here

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Lawyers for Chargers WR Vincent Jackson are demanding a retraction from the San Diego Union-Tribune after publishing a story in which it claimed Jackson was receiving financial support from his agents while he’s not in training camp. Pro Football Talk has the story. I’ll refrain from saying anything more, because I certainly don’t want to receive any kind of correspondence from Jackson’s lawyers.

- Buccaneers starting QB Josh Freeman had the cast from his thumb removed , and Tampa Bay says he’s right on schedule to return for the season opener. When your backups are Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter, that’s a pretty good piece of news.

- Browns rookie RB Montario Hardesty finally will make his preseason debut Thursday, and to say his teammates are interested in seeing how he produces is a bit of an understatement. Though Jerome Harrison downplays it in this story, I’m sure he’s more interested than just about anybody.

- Former Bengals LB Rashad Jeanty, who was released by Cincinnati on Monday after failing a physical, is known as a good dude in the locker room and a great teammate. But man, his agents are pissed with the team’s training staff. This does not make Cincinnati’s trainers look very good, especially coming on the heels of the Antonio Bryant disaster.

- Before I read this story, I didn’t give credence to the thought that Vikings backup QB Tarvaris Jackson’s No. 2 job might be in jeopardy to Sage Rosenfels. Apparently, coach Brad Childress agrees. He says nothing most likely will change on his depth chart at the QB spot.

- Raiders QB Jason Campbell participated in Oakland’s walk-through on Monday and he performed the same drills as all other quarterbacks. Campbell suffered a “stinger” and a wrist injury during last Saturday’s game against San Francisco.

- Former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is officially a member of the next season of “Dancing with the Stars.” I don’t think he’ll be the odds-on favorite to win the competition, though. After all, Jennifer Grey from “Dirty Dancing” also is competing.

-Packets OLB Brad Jones likely only will play in one preseason game because the shoulder he injured Aug. 19 still is giving him problems. But despite the fact he’s been fitted with a shoulder harness, he says he feels great about where he stands. In fact, he said his new piece of equipment makes him look a little like Robocop. And as we all know, Robocop was pretty badass.

- It’s a big day for former Ohio State star RB Maurice Clarett, as he’s signed with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks . The NFL dream lives on. Not bad for a guy who spent more than three years in prison.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 3:07 pm
 

Josh Freeman could be back for opener

J. Freeman, with a bandaged thumb, passed along words of wisdom to J. Johnson (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Buccaneers seem confident that QB Josh Freeman – who broke the tip of his thumb on his throwing hand Saturday – will return for the team’s season opener. He’ll just have to play in a little bit of pain.

Until then, though, GM Mark Domenik, filling in for the absent Raheem Morris at the team’s news conference, told reporters he would like to sign another quarterback in the meantime.

As the St. Petersburg Times writes, that quarterback could be undrafted rookie free agent Jevan Snead – who was released by Tampa Bay at the end of last month.

“It is a broken bone in his thumb, so he's just got to let that actually fuse back together,” Domenik said. “But it's a lot about the swelling, it's about being able to grasp the football, to hold onto it and be accurate with the ball. But this week, he's going to be extremely limited to almost doing nothing, just to give him a chance to really get his body healthy and move forward from there.

"Injuries are part of it and you deal with that in every aspect of the game. I think every sport handles injuries the same way. It's just part of the nature of the beast. You just continue to prepare the guys behind them and I think our coaching staff has done a very good job with our two young quarterbacks in Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter. I think they both played their best game this last week, so you just have to prepare the guys behind them to step up if that were to happen. But certainly, we're looking forward to Josh being out there against the Cleveland Browns.''

As we pointed out here , having to play Johnson or Carpenter during the regular season wouldn’t be the ideal situation, considering Johnson is 0-4 as a starter and Carpenter has never played in an NFL game.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: August 22, 2010 10:19 am
 

Hot Routes 8.22.10: Injuries and rookie hazing

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

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-In Baltimore’s win against the Redskins, Terrell Suggs – coming off, by his standards, an unimpressive year – had a good showing . He credits an offseason diet in which he came to training camp considerably lighter.

-Of course, Suggs’ explosion could also be credited to the fact that Redskins rookie LT Trent Williams, who was burned much of the night by Suggs, sustained an elbow contusion . He said the injury would not keep him out long.

-Seahawks RB Leon Washington, who suffered a season-ending injury last year while playing for the Jets, made his Seattle debut an impressive one, rushed for an 11-yard TD (overall, he carried the ball four times for 19 yards). Afterward, Washington declared that he felt healthy.

-Last night, we told you Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman was done for the preseason after fracturing the tip of his thumb. Freeman is just relieved it’s not a more serious injury . His backup, Josh Johnson, went 6 for 10 for 133 yards and a TD. Third-stringer Rudy Carpenter also performed well, completing 8 of 11 attempts for 79 yards and the game-winning score.

-According to Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette, the Dolphins exposed the Jaguars defense during Miami’s one-point win Saturday night. Miami and QB Chad Henne scored on four-straight possessions against Jacksonville’s No. 1 defense.

-In case you figured the injuries to A.J. Feeley’s thumb and elbow would catapult rookie Sam Bradford into the starting QB slot, you might have to rethink that theory . After the game, Feeley said he expects to be back for the team’s next preseason game. The X-rays on his thumb and elbow were negative.

-Neither Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw nor S Antrel Rolle started New York’s game Saturday night, because both were late to team meetings. “I've been around long enough to understand there are consequences, so I took it like a man,” Rolle said.

-And while we’re on the Giants, let’s talk for a second about RB Brandon Jacobs and his stiff neck that kept him from playing. According to Tom Coughlin, the injury came out of nowhere. Apparently, Jacobs hurt himself by doing shrugs while working out.

-If Ben Roethlisberger had his choice, he would have played the entire Steelers-Jets game. Alas, he was just happy to be back on the field.

-Speaking of Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette thinks the battle for the center spot is finished. Give the job to dominant rookie Maurkice Pouncey now, Bouchette writes.

-Brian Urlacher said the calf injury he sustained on the first series of the Bears game was not a big deal .

-The art of the rookie hazing is not dead in Tennessee. On Saturday, the Titans splashed all of safety Robert Johnson’s non-uniform clothes into the cold tub . Johnson’s cell phone was spared, but not his $160 pair of Jordan’s. The hazing was totally unexpected for Johnson, he said.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 9:52 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 10:00 pm
 

Josh Freeman is done for preseason

J. Freeman sits on the sidelines after hurting his thumb Saturday night (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman fractured the tip of his right thumb in Saturday night’s game vs. the Chiefs, and the team says he’ll be out for the rest of the preseason. As ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas writes, he’s expected to return by the season-opener.

For now, the Buccaneers only have two other quarterbacks on the roster – Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter. That most likely will change early this week.

Think Freeman not playing is a big deal? Yasinskas begs to differ. From his story:

(A)ny sort of setback could push that return date back. If that happens, the Bucs are in real trouble and the decision not to bring in a veteran backup in the offseason could turn out to be a huge error.

Johnson has some ability, but he’s nowhere near ready to be an NFL starter and I’m not sure he’s even a quality No. 2 quarterback. Carpenter’s a guy who was on the bubble because the Bucs have made some rumblings about going into the season with only two quarterbacks – that was before Freeman’s injury.

Now, the Bucs at least have to bring in another quarterback just to help get them through practices. There’s not a lot out there right now. But I think the Freeman injury exposes how thin the Bucs are at quarterback.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com