This segment originally started as a two-part series to outline some of the best quarterbacks, new and old, in the NFL. However there is still too many quarterbacks that haven’t been given their fair share of conversation. So this will look at the rest of the best. And by ‘best’, we mean simply the other starters in the league. Because chances are some of the guys on this list wont be behind center when the end of the season comes.
Cam Newton was close to being mentioned in the last segment. It feels like Newton is somewhere on the fence of being on the level of RG III, but just as easily being on par with Josh Freeman too. Newton looked great in his rookie season and the expectations were high last year. But not only did Cam fail to live up to expectations last year, but he also became detrimental to the rest of his team. After loses (and there was a bunch of them), Newton didn’t handle himself like a starting quarterback would. He would put a towel over his head and get snippy with reporters. Even worse, he continually threw other members of the Panthers under the bus. Cam has a ton of talent and a frame that makes him a dual-threat unlike any other in the league. But he has got to have the maturity that matches his stature. Chances are his job behind center is safe, but the rest of the Panthers may not be if their team doesn’t succeed this year.
How about Carson Palmer and Matt Flynn? Just a few years ago both of these guys were living happy with their respective teams. Palmer was behind center of the division winning Cincinnati Bengals and Matt Flynn only needed to start one game in place of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, before inking a new contract in Seattle. However with the emergence of Russell Wilson in Seattle, Flynn quickly fell to the second string and didn’t see much playing time. Palmer on the other hand was traded to Oakland last year after things fell apart in Cincinnati. Needless to say, Palmer never got in going in Oakland, probably due in part because of the amount of pressure that was coming from Terrelle Pryor. Well irony is sweet as Palmer was traded to Seattle divisional foe, Arizona, where he hopes to start in place of a departing Kevin Kolb. Flynn, on the other hand, ended up in Oakland and will now battle Pryor to be the starting QB for the Raiders. Bottom line is, both of these guys could be on their last leg to have success as a starting quarterback. A failing season would certainly put both of these guys towards the back of any depth chart on any team in the league.
As this quarterback content comes to an end, its only fair to mention three other guys to keep an eye on this year. As mentioned in the last paragraph, Kevin Kolb moved on from his time in Arizona and has found his way to Buffalo. Kolb rose to prominence after coming in for Michael Vick a few years ago in Philadelphia. Unfortunately he hasn’t had the same success and his opportunities may be running short. If he can’t succeed in Buffalo, this could be the end of the road for Kolb as a starter in the NFL. Next up to watch is Mark Sanchez. At the time of this writing, the Jets have just signed Brady Quinn and Sanchez could be on his way out of New York. I suppose fans wouldn’t expect anything else from a New York team, so its only right there is so much drama before the season has even started. But if Sanchez needs to move onto his next team, it’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone, gives him a chance at a new start. And lastly, Blaine Gabbert. We really only mention Gabbert because he has hands down been one of the worst quarterbacks (even Tebow haters agree) in the league since he entered it two years ago. But with as bad as things are in Jacksonville, he doesn’t have much pressure to succeed. However he now has three-years experience under his belt that may pay off this year. If it doesn’t, Jacksonville may be looking at some of the other guys mentioned here for their next QB.
Well, there you have it. What started as a simple breakdown of just the most talented quarterbacks in the league, turned into a blog about some of the most important quarterbacks to watch this season. As always, it should be entertaining to see how these quarterbacks do this year. And as expected with every year, there may even be some surprise players who didn’t even make this list.