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2023 NFL free agency preview: 4 backup quarterbacks the Detroit Lions should consider

The Detroit Lions need a reliable backup behind Jared Goff. Here are four options in free agency.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

With the NFL’s “tampering period” just a week away, for the next few days we’ll be previewing free agency by taking a look at the best players the Detroit Lions should consider at each position of need. We’ve already done cornerbacks and defensive tackles, now it’s time to move to the offensive side of the ball and find a guy that can back up Jared Goff in 2023.

Teddy Bridgewater

Is there a guy you trust more to go out and lead an offense for a week or two than Teddy Bridgewater? I don’t think so. That’s why he tops this list. Bridgwater has been doing just that for years now and the results have been pretty positive.

Bridgewater has a connection with Lions head coach Dan Campbell. Bridgewater started five pretty big games for the Saints when Campbell was the Saints assistant head coach. Those five games were the biggest proof of all that Bridgewater can come in and keep things moving. The Saints went 5-0 in that stretch. Perhaps Campbell being in Detroit can convince Bridgewater to come to Detroit in March.

Jacoby Brissett

The Browns were pretty bad in 2022, but they were arguably better with Brissett than they were with the other guy. Brissett’s career has long been that way. He keeps getting starting spots and then gets replaced by a guy that was once better than him, but is now a name brand player whose play doesn’t live up to the brand anymore.

That’s not to say that Brissett is a good quarterback, but you can make a pretty good argument that he’s not a bad one either. That makes him solid choice to come in and back up Jared Goff.

The interesting thing to me is the difference in play between Goff and Brissett. If, god forbid, Goff were to go down for a few games, Brissett is someone that can come in and not only throw the ball, he can use his feet too. Not at the the highest of heights, but at a higher height than Jared Goff.

John Wolford

This one seems like the most logical choice for multiple reasons. The first being the obvious connection to the Lions front office. Wolford was in Los Angeles with both Brad Holmes and Ray Agnew. That could help bring Wolford in.

The other reason is that I don’t think the Lions are going to be fully in on find their backup quarterback in free agency. I think they go and find a guy like Wolford who can help out here and there if Goff goes down, and they draft a quarterback on day three that they can develop to take Wolford’s place sooner than later.

Gardner Minshew

I have put Minshew on my “Just Say No” lists multiple times in the past because I just don’t see it. I just don’t think Minshew is anything more than a gimmick at this point. My biggest fear is that the Lions sign him and Lions fans beg for the team to put him in the first time Goff misses a throw.

With all that said, much like Wolford, I think Minshew is more than capable of holding down a roster spot while the Lions develop their true backup that they take in the draft. The upside with Minshew is that he at least has a history as a starting quarterback for more than just a few games. He held his own during that time in Jacksonville. Maybe he could hold his own in Detroit if he needed to. Just cool it with the mustache thing. Jeremy Reisman is already holding that gimmick down in Detroit.

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