Majority of the league going with just two quarterbacks

AP

At a time when everyone agrees there aren’t nearly enough quarterbacks to go around, most of the NFL has decided to only bother with two at a time.

After initial cuts yesterday, 19 teams stuck with just two quarterbacks, though that’s going to change in the next few days.

For instance, the Broncos are about to go to three, as soon as Brock Osweiler’s transaction is processed and he joins Trevor Siemian and the injured Paxton Lynch. And the Rams (Dan Orlovsky) and Chargers (Kellen Clemens) are expected to bring a third quarterback back in soon as well.

There are at least two teams carrying injured quarterbacks on their initial 53 who will likely go on the injured reserve/designated for return list later today (Cincinnati’s Jeff Driskel and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Griffin), and they’ll join the list of teams keeping a pair.

The Vikings will likely go back to three at some point after or if Teddy Bridgewater returns from the physically unable to perform list at some point after the first six weeks.

And then there are the poor Colts, who have four on the roster at the moment, and they may hang a banner for having the most quarterbacks of any team in the league since they hang them for everything else.

This list will continue to evolve over the next few days, but at the moment, here’s a division-by-division look at the quarterback depth charts:

Bills: Tyrod Taylor, Nathan Peterman, T.J. Yates.
Dolphins: Jay Cutler, Matt Moore.
Patriots: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo
Jets: Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg.

Ravens: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett.
Bengals: Andy Dalton, A.J. McCarron, *Jeff Driskel.
Browns: DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan.
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs.

Texans: Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson.
Colts: Andrew Luck, Scott Tolzien, Jacoby Brissett, Stephen Morris.
Jaguars: Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Brandon Allen.
Titans: Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel.

Broncos: Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch.
Chiefs: Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Bray.
Chargers: Philip Rivers, Cardale Jones.
Raiders: Derek Carr, Connor Cook, EJ Manuel.

Cowboys: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush.
Giants: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Davis Webb.
Eagles: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles.
Washington: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy.

Bears: Mike Glennon, Mitchell Trubisky, Mark Sanchez.
Lions: Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock.
Packers: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley.
Vikings: Sam Bradford, Case Keenum.

Falcons: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub.
Panthers: Cam Newton, Derek Anderson.
Saints: Drew Brees, Chase Daniel.
Buccaneers: Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, *-Ryan Griffin.

Cardinals: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert.
Rams: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion.
49ers: Brian Hoyer, C.J. Beathard.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Austin Davis.

(*-Injured, expected to go on IR soon)

43 responses to “Majority of the league going with just two quarterbacks

  1. Just two QBs is crazy – look at the injuries last year. And carrying fewer QBs mean fewer will be developed over the 3yrs many need to be programmed-in. But too many teams have too much money invested in too few big names on their roster, especially at QB! And that means a game in which injuries happen all the time just needs one to ruin not just the season, but possibly massively risk the next two also while you try to develop the next backup guy.

  2. I’m actually kind of surprised that the Vikings even bother to keep a backup QB.
    After all, they have plenty of 1st and 4th round picks for middling band-aids if need be.

  3. I now hope you write about all of the those poor, unemployed, quarterbacks instead of Kaepernick because there are several out there that are far better than he is!

  4. I have confidence Hundley can do enough to keep the Packers on-track if Rodgers goes down. I hope they can keep both Callahan and Hill on the practice squad too, especially Hill. He looked very good in the preseason and Hundley looks ready right now.

  5. “And then there are the poor Colts, who have four on the roster at the moment, and they may hang a banner for having the most quarterbacks of any team in the league since they hang them for everything else.”

    Nice dig at them..lol

  6. 2 QBs makes perfect sense. Why waste a precious roster spot on a guy who barely holds a clip board. In the unfortunate circumstance that your #2 gets hurt, how effective is #3 really going to be? Surely there’s someone on the team who can hand the ball off. I don’t recall seeing many #3 QBs lighting it up. Save the roster spot for someone who plays special teams and sign one of the many capable unemployed QBs for the next week if needed.

  7. llcamino says:
    September 3, 2017 at 10:26 am
    2 QBs makes perfect sense. Why waste a precious roster spot on a guy who barely holds a clip board. In the unfortunate circumstance that your #2 gets hurt, how effective is #3 really going to be? Surely there’s someone on the team who can hand the ball off. I don’t recall seeing many #3 QBs lighting it up. Save the roster spot for someone who plays special teams and sign one of the many capable unemployed QBs for the next week if needed.
    ___________________________

    That’s fine if you are in a rebuild year. BUT, if you are serious about making a run for the SB, then you do not want to just throw away the season if ANY position player goes down, let alone the QB!!!! If the starting QB is sooooooo critical to winning, then common sense should prevail and also reflect that ANY QB who is playing is critical to winning. The QB needs to know more than any other position on the team. Timing is required more so than any other position on the field. So, it is just goes to follow that position yourself to NOT MISS An unnecessary BEAT by having at least two guys ready to step in and keep the flow until the number one can get back. These games are often close in the NFL so every advantage goes to the one who is prepared to win. It’s just not the smartest move to have only one backup if you are serious about the SB run. For most other positions you can easily bring in another veteran and they can play selective plays until they are up to speed.

  8. The reasoning is simple. All teams have 3rd and even 4th on the Practice Squad. If the Starter goes down they have one waiting for the Backup and then at that point scan the Waiver for a decent experienced Vet QB sitting at home. It is not a great plan, but it works. How would paying a 3rd to hold a clipboard and take up a roster spot be any better?

  9. How many times will a starter go down and the backup takes them to the playoffs? Fairly often

    How many times does a starter and the backup go down and the 3rd QB takes them to the playoffs? Not very often

    I’d like to see the W-L of backups vs 3rd string QBs on the roster and those that just get picked up off the street to see if there is really any value to holding a roster spot for 3.

    And ,of course, to mention the elephant kneeling in the room, most fans might forgive a team that picked up Mr. Cuban Pigsocks if they lose their starter and don’t have a backup.

  10. streetyson says:
    Just two QBs is crazy – look at the injuries last year. And carrying fewer QBs mean fewer will be developed over the 3yrs many need to be programmed-in.


    During any given week starters get at least 85 percent of all practice snaps, and the rest go to the No. 2 guy. No third-string QB gets meaningful reps in his team’s offense; not in practice, and certainly not in games.
    If you’re a No. 3 QB guy your only chance for development is sitting in meetings and running the scout team. You do both of those things whether you’re on the active roster or on the practice team. The only difference is the practice guy just doesn’t suit up and hold a clipboard on game day.
    Teams that keep three QBs on the active roster are usually ones that have three they like, and are afraid of losing one off the practice squad, or teams that don’t have a clear-cut starter that’s head-and-shoulders above the other two.
    If you keep just two QBs and one gets injured you call up the practice team QB.
    Now, if you keep only two and have no QB on the practice team that’s another story. But I’d guess that’s a rare occurrence.

  11. “How does Derek Anderson still have a job?” Easy. Check his numbers as a back-up, compared to other back-ups over the same time. Pay attention to what his teammates say. He’s solid in the role.

  12. stellarperformance says:
    September 3, 2017 at 9:31 am
    I have confidence Hundley can do enough to keep the Packers on-track if Rodgers goes
    down. ////
    A little early to be drinking? Naw man… Rodgers goes down and the packers are done and everyone else knows it. He is your team! Hundley isn’t very good. And that top 25 defense isn’t going to help.

  13. There is less need for 3 quarterbacks because the league has gone out of its way to protect quarterbacks from late hits and illegal hits. Helmet to helmet contact, hitting the quarterback in the head or on the knee, even hitting them in the chest with the helmet will draw a penalty. In some cases, perfectly legal hits draw penalties. Ahmad Brooks of the 49ers hit Drew Brees legally, and he drew a 15 yard penalty and a fine. The fine was appealed and overturned, but the Niners lost the game because the penalty extended a scoring drive. As a result, Tank Carradine, who drew a 15 yard penalty when he hit the quarterback in the chest with his helmet on a sack, was immediately pulled from the game and saw little action the rest of the year in 2014.

    Teams are now telling pass rushers not to hit quarterbacks late or illegally.

  14. Colts need 4 QBs since they decided to bring back the entire offensive line that finished last year and yielded 44 sacks (28th in the league). Last year the front office blamed this on Andrew Luck because he agreed to the large contract they offered him.

  15. wafflestomp says:
    September 3, 2017 at 9:11 am
    I’m actually kind of surprised that the Vikings even bother to keep a backup QB.
    After all, they have plenty of 1st and 4th round picks for middling band-aids if need be.

    ///////////

    Man, you are totally infatuated with the Vikings. I’m sure you’ll come out of the closet and be a bandwagon Viking fan when rodgers retires or demands a trade.

  16. If both of your QBs are healthy than why not use that third spot for extra depth/special teams elsewhere? Yeah injuries happen but what is the likelihood of both guys at the most protected position on the field getting knocked out in the same game? The Ravens have ran with two QBs for literally all but one season since they drafted Flacco in ’08.

  17. The rules protecting the passer makes the chance that both the starter and backup go down much more unlikely. Teams are now calculating that they can get better value from another player in another position instead of a 3rd string QB. The only teams that should worry are those who have quarterbacks who either hold onto the ball too long or run with it more than average.

  18. The best situation is one of the many receivers who played quarterback in college. Give him a few dozen reps at QB each week so he’s at least somewhat comfortable running the offense, but still valuable in a primary, full-time capacity when at least one of the other two is upright. He’ll be a lot further ahead than whatever guy you can pull off the streets if and when he’s needed in addition to his primary role.

  19. With a turn style OL, and 1st round bust Goof. The Rams should be busy picking up QB’s
    just to finish the season.

  20. So blane gabbert whom beat out Kap for a job is a 3rd string QB in a league that barely has any 3rd string QBs.

    Kap must be really good at QB then.

  21. If the players union really cared about players they would do something to be helping the handful of guys on the bubble. That is, they would be doing something to expand roster sizes, etc. Those are the guys they could make a real difference for.

  22. “So blane gabbert whom beat out Kap for a job is a 3rd string QB in a league that barely has any 3rd string QBs.

    Kap must be really good at QB then.”

    Actually, the year before that, Kaep was benched for Gabby after throwing for 4 yards in ONE HALF. Kaep looked decent at times in Chip Kelly’s college system that defenses have caught up to and produced q losing record in his last few years. In his first year in fhat system, Foles had even better numbers than Kaep (27 TDs/2 Int) on a winning team. This just in: Foles, despite thiose numbers, is NOT a good QB either! But he has a job because he has WAY less baggage which is important for a backup QB!

  23. osubrndn says:
    September 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    So blane gabbert whom beat out Kap for a job is a 3rd string QB in a league that barely has any 3rd string QBs.

    Kap must be really good at QB then.

    ———————————————————————————————
    not sure that logic works considering both of Manziels backups are starters on other teams now so Johnny Football should be getting ready for his Hall of Fame jacket by that line of thinking.

    Pretty sure the coach that made that decision in all those cases lost their jobs.

  24. For most teams, there is a fairly big dropoff from your 1st to your 2nd QB. Chances of winning games drops if your starter is out. If you have to drop to a 3rd QB, your season is likely toast. So, why keep a guy, especially if you don’t think he is any better than a FA you could sign later?

  25. @mrfrostyj, Johnny Footnote started only a couple of games during his pathetically brief career; he was only named the official team starter for one. There is no comparison to Kaep, who was officially the face of the franchise, started for several years and had recently signed a longterm contract.

    He also asked out of that contract he signed, voluntarily leaving $15M on the table along with some obvious conclusions about his judgment and lack of common sense. (sure he’d have been cut regardless based his crummy play his final seasons, but he’d be sitting home a lot richer.)

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