7 free-agent QBs the Rams could sign to back up Matthew Stafford

The Rams were forced to start four different quarterbacks this season, cycling through backup after backup when Matthew Stafford went down with a neck injury. John Wolford and Bryce Perkins weren’t the answer, which could lead the Rams to make a change behind Stafford this offseason.

The draft is one avenue for finding a new backup quarterback, but free agency will also provide some different options. Here are seven they could consider signing.

Baker Mayfield

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Any chance of Mayfield returning hinges on his market in free agency. If another team wants to bring him in to compete for a starting role, he’d likely jump at that opportunity. The Rams can’t offer that, only the chance to start if Stafford were to get hurt.

Sean McVay would probably love to have Mayfield back after seeing the way he played in limited action this season, particularly with so little time to learn the offense. Mayfield certainly has his flaws, but as a former first overall pick, there’s also plenty of upside and experience that he brings.

Mike White

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It’s possible that the Jets will keep White around as a potential starter in 2023, assuming they move on from Zach Wilson. But if they let him walk, he would make a lot of sense for the Rams, who just hired former Jets OC Mike LaFleur. White can be a high-volume passer and a productive one when given the chance, but he also has to cut down on turnovers and make better decisions.

While not the most mobile quarterback, he’s quick enough to avoid pressure and extend plays with his legs. And he’s on the Stafford level of toughness, so you can bet he’ll try to play through any potential injury he might suffer.

Taylor Heinicke

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Heinicke is another fringe starter who might get a shot in Washington after going 5-3-1 as a starter in nine games last year. In the last two seasons, he’s thrown 32 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions, averaging 211.1 yards per game.

Heinicke is athletic and willing to take chances down the field, sometimes more than he should. But he’s absolutely a quarterback you can win with, going 12-11-1 as a starter in the last two seasons.

Jacoby Brissett

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Brissett played well enough to be a starter again in 2023, but there may not be enough openings for him to get another chance. He certainly won’t get a shot again in Cleveland, though the Browns might want to keep him around as the backup again.

He would be an excellent No. 2 option behind Stafford, but he could be too expensive for the Rams’ taste – especially considering they don’t like to invest much in the backup quarterback position.

Cooper Rush

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Rush led the Cowboys to a 4-1 record while Dak Prescott was out this season, improving his career record to 5-1. He has eight touchdown passes and four interceptions in those six starts, so his numbers aren’t terrible.

Rush is a pretty limited passer with a below-average arm. He’s at his best when the offense can lean on the running game, but he doesn’t make many costly mistakes and usually keeps games competitive.

Jarrett Stidham

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Stidham nearly led the Raiders to an upset victory over the 49ers in Week 17, throwing three touchdown passes and two picks in the 37-34 loss. He followed that up with another loss to the Chiefs in Week 18, his only two starts in the NFL after being a fourth-round pick in 2019.

Stidham looked good against the 49ers but he has limited upside and experience, so the Rams could look elsewhere for someone who has played more than he has. He would also be one of the cheaper options, which would benefit Los Angeles.

Gardner Minshew

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Minshew started two games for the Eagles this season, throwing three touchdown passes and three picks in two losses. The four-year veteran has started 24 games in his career so there’s no lack of experience and he’s not a quarterback who turns the ball over a ton.

Minshew isn’t afraid to take risks with the ball in his hands and shouldn’t be considered a game manager like many other backups are. The Rams could win games with Minshew under center.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire