After an offseason filled with trade and free agent rumors, the NFL is finally back. The official start of free agency was March 14, and there has already been a flurry of moves, especially at the quarterback position.

This offseason saw one of the most talented and dynamic quarterback markets in recent memory. Now that some of the dust has settled, here is a ranking of the teams with the most potential at the quarterback position after new acquisitions this week.

No. 1: Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are the clear winners of the week after their acquisition of free agent darling Kirk Cousins. The Vikings hope Cousins can be the final piece to elevate their team to true Super Bowl contenders. Cousins represents a solid upgrade over former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum. Although Keenum was superb in 2017, his success may have been a flash in the pan. As a result, the Vikings opted for Cousins, who is more talented and has demonstrated more consistency over the course of his career. In addition to Cousins, the Vikings traded for Trevor Siemian to give them a serviceable backup at a low salary.

No. 2: Washington Redskins

While the Redskins failed to re-sign Cousins, they did manage to acquire Alex Smith, the second-best quarterback on the market. In 2017, Smith started off hot and appeared to be in the MVP conversation before cooling off as the season progressed.

Still, over the past few years, Smith has demonstrated he is an above-average game manager. He should provide a stabilizing force for the Redskins over the course of the next several years. While it is unlikely Smith will make the Redskins a threat to win the Super Bowl, he will prevent a total collapse in the post-Cousins era.

No. 3: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon to one and two-year contracts, respectively. Throughout his career, Bradford has underwhelmed as a result of constant injuries, which have inhibited his ability to realize his incredible talent. Still, Bradford has the highest upside among the quarterbacks remaining on this list, making him a suitable fit for Arizona, a team that is trying to be a contender in the NFC South right now. The Cardinals also signed Glennon as a backup, to prepare for the possibility of another Bradford injury.

No. 4: Denver Broncos

The Broncos kicked off the free agency period by signing former Viking quarterback Case Keenum to a currently-undisclosed contract. For the Broncos, Keenum is an upgrade over last year’s rotation of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. Yet, Keenum appears to be a short-term solution for a team still searching for its quarterback of the future. Keenum will help make the Broncos more competitive in 2018, but it seems unlikely he will be able to replicate last year’s performance. As a result, it is possible that the Broncos will also draft a second-string quarterback.

No. 5: New York Jets

The Jets are the only ones on the list that seem destined to head into 2018 with the same starting quarterback from 2017. The Jets re-signed Josh McCown, who was a 38-year-old sensation last year, and added more depth by signing former Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Jets elected to sign the veterans on a pair of one-year deals after missing out on the Cousins sweepstakes.

McCown is the starter at the moment. Yet, Bridgewater could surpass McCown if the former can demonstrate some of the promise he displayed before his devastating knee injury in August 2016. While these signings help the quarterback situation in 2018, the Jets will likely draft another quarterback to groom as the heir apparent for 2019.

No. 6: Cleveland Browns

Surprisingly, the Cleveland Browns do not have the worst quarterback outlook on this list. The acquisition of Tyrod Taylor represents a tremendous upgrade over DeShone Kizer, who had an atrocious rookie season. While Taylor is a better option to play immediately, he seems like a questionable fit to pair with the quarterback who the Browns drafted in the first round. Still, Taylor will buy time for a rookie quarterback, so the new draft pick will not be rushed onto the field as Kizer was.

No. 7: Buffalo Bills

Throughout the offseason, the Bills have make explicit their desire to trade up in the draft so they can select a top quarterback. After shipping Taylor off to the Cleveland Browns and making several other trades, the Bills now have the draft capital to execute such a trade. This strategy places tremendous importance on the Bills’ talent evaluation to pick the correct strategy, but the team has reduced some of the risk by signing former Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron to play while the young quarterback matures. Still, the Bills are lower than the Browns on this list because McCarron is less experienced and less talented than Taylor.

Jeffrey Swanson is a junior in the McDonough School of Business. UNDER REVIEW appears every other Friday.

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