With Brandon Weeden and Matt Flynn being named the starting quarterbacks by the Browns and Seahawks the past couple of days before even a single preseason snap, one has to wonder what the future holds for the previous starters of those two franchises.
For Tarvaris Jackson, it should come as no surprise. He played extremely poor in 2011 and the team signed Matt Flynn to a lucrative multi-year deal. That doesn’t usually spell success for your immediate future. So what, life as a backup quarterback in the NFL isn’t so bad, right? Well, if that was true, perhaps Jackson would agree. But the rumor is that he has in fact been demoted to the third unit behind rookie Russell Wilson.
To be honest, Jackson has never really done anything above average as an NFL starting quarterback. He had some good run in Minnesota with a strong defense, but there was a reason the team traded for Sage Rosenfels before eventually going for it all with Brett Favre. Seattle knew they were going nowhere last year and needed a cheap veteran to tough out a year of rebuilding. The sad thing is, 2011 was one of his best years as a starting quarterback in many way.
As for Colt McCoy, you pretty much knew his time was up the moment his father famously told the media that he believed the team was “trying to get Colt killed” by playing him after serious injury concerns. But even if not, you knew it was over the moment they reached in the first round for 28 year old Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State. You don’t go all in on a prospect of his age without having plans to use him immediately.
McCoy showed flashes his rookie season, playing earlier than expected after an injury saw him thrust into the starting role. But last season, his first as the full time starter, saw him suffer through a rough campaign. Behind an anemic running game and mediocre pass-catching threats, he stumbled into a 4-9 record with 11 interceptions in his 13 starts.
After naming Weeden the starter, McCoy let his frustrations with the situation be known, which has several wondering how long before the team takes action. When asked his thoughts on Weeden being named QB1, Colt replied that he feels as if he never got a chance to retain his job. “I haven’t taken any snaps with the first group. I thought coming in it would be a competition” he said.
Team brass has been rumored to not like McCoy’s comments, but understand that this is the first time at any level that he has lost a starting job, so they’re being lenient with the young quarterback.
So are Jackson and McCoy doomed to be footnotes in NFL history as short-lived starting quarterbacks? Probably.
For Jackson, he might ask for his release to go somewhere that he can at least be the first backup to a starter. At least then, you’re still only one unfortunate situation away. As a third stringer, you’re looking at life as a roster move numbers casualty.
For Colt, once he cools off and realizes that life as a backup quarterback isn’t that bad of a gig, he could stick around the league for awhile. He needs to do what he’s told, stay ready and be prepared for his next opportunity. If that’s in Cleveland or not remains to be seen. But someone would likely give him a call to be their backup or possibly even compete.
In my opinion, these are two guys on very different courses. Colt has the opportunity to get better. He played on a team with very minimal amounts of talent and he’s still only been in the league for two years. Whereas Jackson has peaked and he is what he is at this point in his NFL career. Hopefully, he was smart with his money. Because he might not be pulling a paycheck by opening week of the regular season.