We've seen it before, a backup quarterback gets clean-up duty or starts a meaningless game, and the next thing you know, he's the must-have player in free agency. NFL depth charts are filled with guys like these, they know their team's offensive system, they get their reps throughout the week, but it's only after a backup QB's stock value is out of control do we all start talking trades.
The media is great for this, inflating value is part of their job, and when half the league is struggling at the QB position, we all fall in love with the idea of trading for the next best thing.
I used the name Kevin Kolb for the QB comparison in the title of this article, but I could have easily referenced Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Charlie Whitehurst or even A.J. Feely. The history of trading for the backup quarterback ends more often in disaster than it does in getting a Drew Brees and countless winning seasons.
Granted, Matt Flynn did some pretty amazing things in his brief stint at the helm for the Green Bay Packers. Back in 2010, Flynn made his first NFL start against the New England Patriots after Aaron Rodgers was too banged up to go.
Flynn threw three touchdown passes in a thrilling game against the Patriots that came down to the final play. The Packers lost the game 31-27, but the Flynn debut was very impressive.
More recently, Flynn started the 2011 final game of the regular season against the Detroit Lions. He threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the 45-41 victory, both of which set all-time Green Bay Packers records.
The price for Flynn really determines the expectations, and with such an terrible track record for trading backup gunslingers, teams would be better off just drafting a guy.
- Eagles traded Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.
- Patriots traded Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel to Chiefs for second-round pick.
- Eagles Traded Donovan McNabb for second-round pick.
- Eagles traded A.J. Feeley to Dolphins for 2005 second-round pick.
I left out the outrageous price for Palmer, but do you see the trend here?
The going rate is usually a second-rounder, where as last year the Cincinnati Bengals struck gold with Andy Dalton in the second. I agree there's even more uncertainly in the NFL draft, but with the talent level and preparation that this new breed of NFL rookies brings to the table, the risk seems worth the gamble.