Ranking the Worst Quarterbacks in the NFL
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Ever since the NFL was formed, we have seen many great quarterbacks grace the field, such as Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Tom Brady. All of these players have gone on to have legendary careers and there is no doubt that Favre, Manning and Brady will have busts in Canton very soon.
Unfortunately, for every Marino, Manning, Favre and Montana, there's a JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Joey Harrington. It's quite a shame that every quarterback can't become a Pro Bowler or a Hall of Fame-caliber player, but that's just the way it works in the NFL. If there's anything we've learned from the NFL, nothing is a "sure thing".
No matter what the position is, a player doesn't have to be a late-round draft choice or an undrafted free agent to be considered a "bad" player. Over the course of the league's run, we've seen undrafted free agents such as Wes Welker, James Harrison, Antonio Gates, Priest Holmes and Kurt Warner come in and completely dominate. Clearly, it doesn't matter where you're taken, if at all.
Unfortunately, when a player is selected in the first- or second-round, there is much more pressure to perform or succeed, rather than the pressure placed on a player that is chosen in the sixth- or seventh-round. Some players can't seem to get it right and falter under pressure and eventually have the word "bust" under the name forever.
Over the last decade or so, there have been numerous first-round quarterback "busts" such as the aforementioned Russell and Harrington, David Carr, Kyle Boller, J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey. None of these players were able to get the job done on the field, especially Russell. And in all honesty, Carr really wasn't given the opportunity to succeed with such a poor offensive line, but that's a different story for a different day.
There are many reasons as to why some quarterbacks don't succeed. Some include lack of focus or failure to learn the system, while some have a mediocre supporting cast. It could be as simple as that the player just wasn't good to begin with and the hype turned out to be people blowing smoke.
Most of the quarterbacks in this slideshow, if not all, have suffered from one or more of these problems. There is no doubt that they have failed when given the opportunity to "strut their stuff". As seen in the next fourteen slides, these are the quarterbacks that have fizzled when it comes to playing at the professional level.
Painter was unbelievably bad last season for the Colts
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With the making of this list, I have to first give some criteria. There aren't many rules to it, but with those few rules, it thins out the pack quite a bit.
- A quarterback must have at least eight total starts in the last four seasons
Why? Well, because it's the right thing to do. It's not fair to put quarterbacks on this list such as Joe Webb, Stephen McGee, Josh Johnson, Rusty Smith and others because even though they have at least one career start, they don't have much experience. Moreover, it's definitely not fair to put players like Dan LeFevour, Thaddeus Lewis, Ryan Mallett, Graham Harrell or John Parker Wilson on this list because even though they've been in the NFL for at least one year, none of those players have even attempted a pass.
Just like the quarterbacks I just named, I'm not able to put quarterbacks such as B.J. Coleman, Kellen Moore, Chandler Harnish or Jarrett Lee on here because they just got drafted or signed as undrafted free agents last month. As we all know, the 2012 NFL season hasn't even started yet (and won't for a few months, unfortunately). The point I'm trying to make is that it's not fair to judge a player when he hasn't been given the opportunity to show what he's got.
- Every quarterback must currently be on a team
Why? It's a very simple question. It doesn't make any sense, nor is it fair, to include a player on this list like Joey Harrington, Brian Brohm, Brodie Croyle, JaMarcus Russell or Charlie Frye. None of those five quarterbacks are currently on an NFL team, so if the title of the slideshow is "Ranking the Worst Quarterbacks in the NFL", why would they be on this list? That's about as far as the explanation goes, as it's a very simple point.
15. Tim Tebow, New York Jets
Tebow was all the rage last season
Teams: Denver Broncos, New York Jets
Career Statistics: 8-6 W-L, 167-for-353 (47.3%), 2,383 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 75.1 quarterback rating, 887 rushing yards, 12 rushing touchdowns
If you watched ESPN or SportsCenter at all last season, chances are you saw or heard someone talking about the infamous Tim Tebow. The quarterback, then of the Broncos, apparently took the NFL by storm after he was handed the starting reins after Kyle Orton played poorly to start the year.
Tebow, a former Heisman winner and National Champion at Florida, started his first game of the year against the Dolphins in Week 6. After being down 15-0 in the fourth quarter, Tebow managed to bring his team back with touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas and Daniel Fells -- after the latter, Tebow successfully converted a two-point conversion. The Broncos won in overtime with a 52-yard field goal by Matt Prater. However, the following week, Tebow and Co. lost to the Lions, 45-10.
After a 38-24 win at Oakland the following week, the Broncos headed to Kansas City to play their division rival. Tebow managed to lead the team to a 17-10 win after completing just 2 for 8 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. With that game, Tebow became the fifth quarterback since 1980 to throw all of his team's passes, complete two or fewer and still win -- Ken Stabler completed just one of six passes in 1981 in an Oilers' victory over Cincinnati.
Over the next four games, against the Jets, Chargers, Vikings and Bears, Tebow managed to lead his team to victory after being behind at some point in the fourth quarter -- All four of those games were won by exactly three points. With that four-game stretch, the hype was officially here even though it could be argued that the defense factored in more than Tebow's offensive capabilities.
The Broncos would go on to lose their remaining three games, 23-41 to New England, 14-40 against Buffalo and an embarrasing 3-7 loss to Kansas City. However, the Broncos still managed to win the division and faced off against Pittsburgh in the first-round. On the first play of overtime, Tebow threw a quick pass to Demaryius Thomas, who ran 80 yards for a touchdown, giving the Broncos the 29-23 victory. Denver faced off against the Patriots the following weekend, but were routed, 45-10. Tebowmania was officially over.
In the offseason, the Broncos signed former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to a five-year, $96 million contract. This made Tebow expendable and soon after the signing, the former Gator was traded to the Jets in exchange for two draft picks. Mark Sanchez will likely be the team's starter heading into the season, but Tebow will likely be utilized a great amount throughout the campaign.
I never understood what was so great about Tebow. Yes, he turned the Broncos from cellar-dwellers to division champions, but the team's defense played a major role in that turnaround. Although he could run, Tebow was awful when it came to passing the ball and his mechanics. Since starting his first game of the year against Miami and ending with their playoff defeat by the Patriots, Tebow managed to only complete more than 54-percent of his passes once. Yes, just once. And that was their 35-32 win over Minnesota, when he completed 10 of 15 passes (66.7 percent). That's just one in thirteen starts.
I do realize that Tebow did help his team win games, but there was no way he would be able to do that forever. It became evident at the end of the season that teams had figured out his offensive game because his Broncos lost their final three games. There's no doubt that he did a great job, but I still don't think he's all that he's cracked up to be. Tebow still has a lot to work on if he wants to get off of this list, starting with his mechanics.
14. Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
Jackson has good legs, but that's about it
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Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks
Career Statistics: 17-17 W-L, 625-for-1,053 (59.4%), 7,075 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, 35 interceptions, 77.7 quarterback rating
Tarvaris Jackson, out of the small Alabama State, was one of two quarterbacks chosen in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft -- the other player is also on this list.
Somehow, Jackson has been given multiple opportunities to start and simply put, he's just not a good quarterback. He has poor decision-making skills and is very turnover-prone. For the Vikings in 2007, Jackson started twelve games, going 8-4 in those starts. He threw for 1,911 yards during that season, while also accumulating nine touchdowns and twelve interceptions.
He would go on to start five games for the team the following season with Gus Frerotte starting the other eleven contests. Jackson did have a stellar campaign however, as he threw for 1,056 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 95.4. During the offseason, the team signed Brett Favre, thus putting Jackson in a reserve role. He'd start just one game from 2009-2010 before the Vikings announced they would not tender him a new contract offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
Pete Carroll's Seahawks quickly grabbed him up and put him in a quarterback battle with Charlie Whitehurst, a player that had rarely seen the field since being selected with the 81st overall pick by the Chargers in 2006. Jackson beat him out in training camp for the starting nod, however.
During the 2011 campaign, Jackson started 14 games, while throwing for a career-high 3,091 yards. He also threw for 14 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, while leading the Seahawks to a 7-7 record in those starts. However, Jackson was sacked 42 times during the season for a league-worst 293 yards.
During the offseason, the Seahawks went out and signed former Packers back-up Matt Flynn to a contract. Flynn played exceedingly well last season when given the opportunity, so it's likely that Flynn, one of the most prized free-agent quarterbacks, will be the team's starter heading into the 2012 season. Jackson will likely be his back-up and if Flynn struggles, the former Alabama State quarterback will probably be the starter.
Although his stats aren't as bad as some of the players on this list, Jackson is not a starting quarterback. He just isn't. He will never be one of those players that will successfully lead his team deep into the playoffs for Super Bowl contention. Jackson is likely one of the better back-ups in the league, but I can't see him becoming a full-fledged starter unless someone goes down with an injury. Simply put, Jackson just has too many negatives in his game.
13. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Henne could never get things rolling in Miami
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Teams: Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars
Career Statistics: 13-18 W-L, 646-for-1,065 (60.7%), 7,114 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, 75.7 quarterback rating
I really hate to put Chad Henne on this list because I like the former Wolverine. He was a very talented quarterback at Michigan and I thought he had a bright future in the NFL. Unfortunately, he got taken by the Miami Dolphins in the second round, a team that is still trying to recover from the retirement of Dan Marino, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
Since Marino retired after the 1999 season, the franchise has seen an array of quarterbacks such as Henne, Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Matt Moore, Chad Pennington, Gus Frerotte, A.J. Feeley, John Beck, Trent Green, Sage Rosenfels and a few others. Needless to say, they've been looking for a quarterback and they think they found their future in Ryan Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in this year's draft.
At one point in time, the front office believed that Henne was their future franchise quarterback. That proved to not be the case, as he struggled during his tenure with the Dolphins. He was handed the starting reins after the third game of the 2009 season because of Chad Pennington's torn rotator cuff and dislocated shoulder. He'd start the remaining thirteen games, while leading the Dolphins to a surprising 7-6 record. During that span, Henne completed 274 of his 451 passes (60.8%) for 2,878 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
The following season, Henne started 14 games for the Dolphins, leading them to a 6-8 record in that span. He completed 301 of his 490 attempts (61.4%) for 3,301 yards with 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Although they weren't the best statistics in the world, Henne had played better than some of the previous players for the Dolphins that had lined up under center.
Henne got off to a phenomenal start in 2011, as he threw for a career-high 416 yards in the Dolphins' season-opening game against the Patriots. Unfortunately, Henne's total was overshadowed by Tom Brady's astounding 517 passing yards, as the Patriots won 38-24.
The following two games, Henne threw for 170 and 255 yards, respectively. Unfortunately, the Dolphins lost both of those games as well, as they started the season 0-3. The next week against San Diego, Henne injured his shoulder on Miami's second possession of the game. He was diagnosed with a separated shoulder and had to undergo surgery. Henne was placed on injured reserve and was forced to miss the rest of the season.
Despite decent stats, Henne has played as well as some people had hoped. As stated above, I really like Henne and it's a shame that he hasn't played like a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Luckily, Henne is still young and has plenty of time to turn his career around. But he won't be able to do it in Miami, as the team decided not to re-sign him after the 2011 season was over. The Jaguars snatched him up and Henne will now serve as a back-up to the second-year pro, Blaine Gabbert.
With a decent back-up, it is entirely plausbile that we see a good amount of Henne this season. Gabbert could struggle at some point during the upcoming season and if he does, Henne's name will be called, even though he hasn't been a great quarterback since coming to the NFL.
12. Rex Grossman, Washington Redskins
Pick, Sack, Fumble, Completion, Sack, Incompletion, Fumble -- That's how he works
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Teams: Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins
Career Statistics: 25-22 W-L, 863-for-1,562 (55.2%), 10,232 passing yards, 56 touchdowns, 60 interceptions, 71.4 quarterback rating
The only quarterback on this list with a winning record, Grossman has been one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks of recent memory. However, the one thing that vastly helps Grossman is that he has the distinction of being the only quarterback on this list to lead his team to a Super Bowl appearance.
Though it was mainly due to the team's third-ranked defense, Grossman was able to help lead the Bears to Super Bowl XLI where they lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 29-17. Toward the end of the game, Grossman threw a costly interception to Colts defensive back Kelvin Hayden, who returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. Grossman's costly turnover gave the Colts a 12-point lead, an advantage they wouldn't relinquish.
To rewind quite a bit, the Bears tabbed Grossman with the 22nd overall pick in the 2003 draft. After struggling with injuries and starting just seven games over his first three seasons, the artist formerly known as "Sexy Rexy" became the team's full-fledged starter for the 2006 season. Grossman and Co. finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and went into the playoffs with fierce competitiveness. The Bears narrowly beat the Seahawks in their first playoff game, but were able to dominate the Saints in every facet of the NFC Championship Game, as they won 39-14. As stated above, they fell to the Colts in the Super Bowl.
After two lackluster campaigns and eight starts, the Bears' front office decided not to retain him. Grossman eventually decided to sign with Houston, where the quarterback attempted a career-low nine passes. The team did not re-sign him and Grossman then signed a one-year deal with Washington. He started just three games that season. In 2011, the Redskins re-signed Grossman and soon announced the signing of John Beck, immediately placing him in a starting battle with Grossman. The latter eventually won it, as he started thirteen games last season, compiling a 5-8 record with 3,151 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, tied for third-most in the league.
Since arriving in the NFL, Grossman has been somewhat plagued with injuries, thus earning such nicknames as "Rex Glassman" and "Wrecks Grossman". However, when he was actually on the field, Grossman always seemed to manage to do more wrongs than rights. Grossman has never managed to compile a passer rating higher than 82 and in his two seasons that he started at least thirteen games, he finished the year with ratings of 73.9 (2006) and 72.4 (2011). Also, Grossman has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career (60 to 56) and has fumbled the ball 32 times, including eight in 2006 and last season.
Grossman was a highly-touted prospect when he came out of Florida, but he just hasn't been able to keep it together, thus earning a spot on this list. Luckily for "Sexy Rexy", there are eleven quarterbacks ahead of him.
11. Tyler Thigpen, Buffalo Bills
Thigpen actually hasn't been that bad since coming to the NFL
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Teams: Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills
Career Statistics: 1-11 W-L, 272-for-504 (54.0%), 3,192 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 72.5 quarterback rating
I really, really didn't want to put Tyler Thigpen on this list, but because of his paltry 1-11 career record, I felt that it was too meager to ignore. Like a couple of quarterbacks on this list, Thigpen has had a very weak supporting cast.
The 217th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Thigpen only attempted six passes during his rookie season. Unfortunately for him, the 2008 Chiefs were a giant mess. The former Coastal Carolina quarterback started eleven games in his sophomore season, while the Chiefs went 1-10 in the process. Damon Huard (1-2) and Brodie Croyle (0-2) started the other five games.
If you look at Thigpen's stats that season, he didn't play that bad. He completed 230 of 420 passes for 2,608 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions but unfortunately for him, Thigpen's teammates didn't play that well. Outside of Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez, who both had 1,000-yard seasons, the Chiefs were very thin with Mark Bradley, Devard Darling, Will Franklin, a very young Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith and Larry Johnson, who was deteroriating and of course, very selfish and non-compliant.
In terms of yardage given up, the Chiefs had the second-worst defense in the NFL with the 0-16 Lions having the worst defense. So needless to say, if it weren't for the Lions' horrible season, the Chiefs would have likely been the league's worst team with little fault going to Thigpen.
After Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington went down with an injury, Miami acquired Thigpen from Kansas City in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. He didn't appear until the final week of the season after Chad Henne and back-up Pat White went down with injuries. He started a game for Miami in 2010 before heading for Buffalo in 2011 on a three-year contract. He attempted just eight passes last season while Ryan Fitzpatrick took most of the snaps.
Although Thigpen's stats aren't that bad, his win-loss record is what kills him. He has shown that he can be a serviceable quarterback at the professional level, but he has to have a solid supporting cast around him. He cannot do it all by himself or with just one other player, but Thigpen has to have a decent team that can help him. Since his record is meager, he makes this list, even though I don't think he deserves it.
10. Trent Edwards, Philadelphia Eagles
Edwards has been as mediocre as they come since his professional debut
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Teams: Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles
Career Statistics: 14-19 W-L, 561-for-927 (60.5%), 6,019 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 30 interceptions, 75.4 quarterback rating
Edwards was another one of those players, like Chad Henne, that I thought had a decent shot at becoming a quality quarterback at the professional level. The 92nd overall selection in 2007 by Buffalo, Edwards had to immediately come in and start nine games during his rookie campaign. He was able to lead Buffalo to a 5-4 record in those starts, while throwing for 1,630 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.
After J.P. Losman's mediocre play in his seven starts, Edwards was handed the starting reins for the 2008 season. He led the Bills to a surprising 4-0 start that season, but they'd falter down the road, as the team would go 3-7 in his remaining ten starts. For his sophomore season, Edwards completed 65.5-percent of his passes for a career-high 2,699 yards. During his campaign, he also threw eleven touchdowns and ten interceptions. His 85.4 quarterback rating was better than a number of quarterbacks including Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.
Many thought that Edwards would have a breakout campaign in 2009, but that just wasn't the case. He stumbled out of the gate, as Buffalo lost four of their first five games. His worst game came against Miami in Week 4, as Edwards compiled a season-low passer rating of 51.0, threw a season game-high three interceptions, was sacked six times and recorded his only fumble of the year. Because of his inconsistency and failure to properly use receivers Lee Evans and Terrell Owens, Bills fans starting calling him "Captain Checkdown". The Bills decided to keep him for another season, however.
After two very inconsistent and poorly-played games, the coaching staff benched Edwards in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Edwards would then be waived Sept. 27. The next day, he was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville and immediately became David Garrard's primary back-up. After an injury to Garrard, Edwards started just one game in 2010.
He became a free agent after the season and was signed by the Raiders on July 30. He was released on Sept. 3 during the final cuts. He didn't play at all during the 2011 season, but signed with the Eagles on Feb. 23, 2012.
Since his "breakout season" in 2008, Edwards has slowly become a really mediocre quarterback. It doesn't look like he'll ever be a full-fledged starter again. Along with falling exponentially, he has become one of the league's worst quarterbacks with starting experience.
9. Dan Orlovsky, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Orlovsky's had the pleasure of playing for some bad teams
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Teams: Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Career Statistics: 2-10 W-L, 272-for-465 (58.5%), 2,880 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 75.9 quarterback rating
Since coming into the NFL from Connecticut, Orlovsky has had a rough go of it. The Lions tabbed him with the 145th overall selection and needless to say, the Lions weren't the same team they are now. Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh were either in college or high school, while Joey Harrington, Roy Williams and Shaun Rogers were occupying their positions.
Orlovsky, stuck behind Harrington and Jeff Garcia, only competed seven of seventeen passes during his rookie season. Those seven completions resulted in 63 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He wouldn't attempt another pass until the infamous 2008 season.
Orlovsky started seven games that year for Detroit and failed to win a single game. In the other nine games he didn't start, the Lions also failed to win. Their season was the first time in NFL history that a team failed to win a game in a 16-game schedule -- the Buccaneers went 0-14 in 1976, their inaugural season in the NFL.
In 2008, Orlovsky didn't play that bad, as he completed 143 of 255 passes (56.1 percent) for 1,616 passing yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. After the season concluded, Orlovsky told the front office that he'd rather explore the free agent market than re-sign with the Lions as a back-up. He signed a three-year, $9 million contract with Houston, but was beat out by Rex Grossman for the primary back-up gig. In two seasons with Houston, he didn't attempt a pass.
Prior to the 2011 season, Orlovsky announced that he had signed with the Indianapolis Colts. After Peyton Manning was unlikely to play for the entire season, that left Orlovsky, Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter. Collins won the job and then went down with an injury. Painter then came in and failed epically, as the Colts got off to an 0-11 start. Orlovsky was then given the starting reins and helped lead the team to a 2-3 record in his five starts, while throwing for 1,201 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. After the season ended, the Colts didn't retain the quarterback and instead, he latched on with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal.
I wish I didn't have to even put Orlovsky on this list because he has had such a poor supporting cast since entering the NFL. The Lions were plain awful in the mid- to late-2000s and the 2011 Colts were horrendous as well. Although he has just a 2-10 career record, some of it is really not his fault.
Orlovsky is not that bad of a quarterback by any means, but it doesn't help that he has such a low winning percentage, despite putting up decent stats. If it weren't for his paltry record, Orlovsky likely wouldn't even be on this list, much like the aforementioned Tyler Thigpen.
8. Matt Leinart, Oakland Raiders
Leinart's been a dud since entering the NFL
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Teams: Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders
Career Statistics: 8-10 W-L, 350-for-608 (57.6%), 3,950 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 71.6 quarterback rating
Leinart was one of the most intriguing college prospects while he was still attending USC, as he threw for 10,693 yards, 99 touchdowns and just 23 interceptions in just three seasons as a Trojan. Leinart also captured the Heisman Trophy in 2004 when he accumulated 3,322 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. After three stellar campaigns at USC, Leinart was undoubtedly a top-to-middle first-round prospect in the 2006 draft.
A left-handed quarterback, many people thought he could have a career like Jacksonville's Mark Brunell, Cincinnati's Boomer Esiason or the 49ers' Steve Young, a former Super Bowl champion. On the other hand, some people thought he could end up having a similar career to former Detroit Lions quarterback Scott Mitchell, former Raiders bust Todd Marinovich or former Bears bust Cade McNown. I was among the group that ultimately decided that he would be compared to the latter.
In the 2006 draft, Leinart's name was finally called by the Arizona Cardinals with the tenth-overall selection and the second quarterback off the board (Vince Young). He started eleven games during his rookie season, throwing for 2,547 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Cardinals were 4-7 under Leinart and his 74 quarterback rating.
The following season, Leinart started just five games, as Kurt Warner was able to supplant him as the team's starting quarterback. Warner would hold that honor until he retired and from 2008 to 2009, Leinart started just one contest. After losing the starting job to Derek Anderson prior to the 2010 season, he was released and ultimately signed with the Texans.
Leinart rarely played in Houston, as Matt Schaub was undoubtedly the starter. When Schaub went down with a season-ending injury last season, Leinart was in line to take the starting gig. In his first start of the season against Jacksonville, Leinart went down with a fractured collarbone, successfully ending his season. It was the third time in his last eight starts that he had suffered a season-ending injury.
The Texans' front office decided not to retain him, making him a free agent. On May 1, the Raiders announced that they had come to terms with the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Once thought to be a team's future franchise quarterback, Leinart just couldn't reach his ceiling. Since entering the NFL, he has had troubles with durability and injuries, which has seriously hampered his career. Unfortunately, when Leinart was healthy and on the field, he didn't fare that well either.
His mediocre play since being drafted has earned him a spot in the league's worst quarterbacks category and a spot in the recent busts category. Luckily for Leinart, he is just 28 years old, so he still has some time to turn his career around.
7. Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs
Quinn's (9) been getting used to that pose since coming to the NFL
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Teams: Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs
Career Statistics: 3-9 W-L, 184-353 (52.1%), 1,902 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 66.8 quarterback rating
Brady, Brady, Brady. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Quinn, at one point in time, was considered to be one of the most NFL-ready quarterbacks to come along in a long time. In the 2007 draft, Quinn was considered a top-five selection, but managed to slip all the way to 22nd by the Cleveland Browns.
After playing sparingly and only throwing eight passes during his rookie campaign, Quinn came back and started three games in 2008 -- the 2008 season was a weird one for the Browns, as they started Quinn, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski throughout the season. For Romeo Crennel's Browns, Quinn completed just 45 of 89 passes (50.6%) for 518 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The following season, the former Notre Dame star started a career-best nine games for the Browns. In their Week 11 match-up against Detroit, Quinn undoubtedly had the best game of his career, as he was also a part of one of the most exciting gun-slinging duels of recent memory.
Quinn was fantastic throughout the game, as he completed 21 of 33 passes (63.3%) for a career-high 304 yards and a career-best four touchdowns. Stafford, on the other hand, was just as phenomenal as he threw for 422 yards with five touchdowns. Despite Quinn's spectacular game, the Browns lost 38-37 on a Stafford-to-Pettigrew touchdown as time expired. Without a doubt, that Browns-Lions match-up was one of the best games of the year, even though both teams were 1-8 entering the game.
Over the 2009 season, Quinn completed 136 of 256 attempts for 1,339 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. That would be his last season in Cleveland, as he was dealt to Denver in exchange for running back Peyton Hillis, a sixth-round pick and a conditional late-round pick in the 2012 draft. However, the quarterback would not play a single down in either 2010 or 2011.
After the season concluded, the Broncos elected to not re-sign him, thus making him a free agent. He fled to Denver's division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, where he has been reunited with Romeo Crennel, his coach in Cleveland.
Once tabbed as a future Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, Quinn's career has gone in the other direction. He will likely never become a starter again at the professional level, which is a shame. His mediocre play has led him to become one of the league's worst quarterbacks with starting experience. But at least Quinn hasn't had a career like JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 pick in 2007 and the only quarterback chosen ahead of him in the draft.
6. John Beck, Houston Texans
Beck has played poorly when given the opportunity
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Teams: Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans
Career Statistics: 0-7 W-L, 140-for-239 (58.6%), 1,417 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 67.6 quarterback rating
A former second-round selection, Beck was a member of the Washington Redskins before the 2012 draft started in late April, but after the selections of Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, it made him expendable. After the pick of Cousins was made, the Redskins' front office decided to sever ties with the former BYU quarterback. Beck then signed with the Houston Texans to battle with T.J. Yates for the primary back-up role.
The quarterback had a stellar senior season at Brigham Young, as he threw for 3,885 yards with 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Because of his great campaign, the Dolphins selected him with the 40th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Like numerous other players over the last decade or so, Beck was thought to be the Dolphins' franchise quarterback, but it just didn't work out.
He started four games in 2007 for Miami, completing 60 of 107 attempts (56.1%). He was only able to accumulate 553 passing yards in those four starts, with one touchdown and three interceptions. Beck also failed to win a game during that span, as the Dolphins went 0-4 in Beck's starts.
Beck didn't play a single down in 2008 and was released by the Dolphins on Apr. 27, 2009 after just two seasons in South Beach. A few days after his dismissal, he latched on with the Baltimore Ravens. Like his 2008 campaign, he would not play a single snap in 2009 or 2010. After the 2010 season finished, the Ravens felt they had no use for Beck, as they traded him to the Redskins for Doug Dutch, an undrafted cornerback from the 2009 class.
The Redskins then announced they had signed Beck to a contract extension worth $2.25 million over two years that would keep him in Washington through the 2012-13 season. After his arrival, head coach Mike Shanahan proclaimed that Beck would battle Rex Grossman for the starting gig. Grossman ended up beating him out for the nod, making Beck the primary back-up. Prior to their Week 7 match-up against Carolina, Shanahan named Beck the starter.
In his first start since his rookie campaign, Beck completed 22 of his 37 passes for 279 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Redskins lost however, 33-20. He'd start the next two games for Washington,and complete 50 of 80 passes for 462 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
In those games, the Redskins were outscored 42-11, including a 23-0 loss to Buffalo. After the game against San Francisco, Beck was benched again in favor of Grossman. Grossman would remain the starter for the rest of the season, as well.
Now a free agent, it appears as though Beck will likely never become a starter again unless he's battling a player that's on this list. Beck is just not a good quarterback, as evidenced by his statistics. In seven starts, he has yet to yield a victory for his team but in his favor, the 2007 Dolphins and 2011 Redskins weren't great teams. In those seven losses, Beck's team has lost by 10, 3, 27, 21, 13, 23 and 8 points.
He just hasn't been that good on the field and I'm sure it's been embarrassing. I really can't see him ever becoming a starter again, as he has put himself among the elite "Worst Quarterbacks" category.
5. Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams
Clemens has shown he wasn't worth a second-round selection
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Teams: New York Jets, Washington Redskins (Never Played), Houston Texans (Never Played), St. Louis Rams
Career Statistics: 4-8 W-L, 195-for-375 (52.0%), 2,232 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 63.1 quarterback rating
I'll be the first to tell you that evaluating Clemens was one of the biggest gaffes I've ever made since I started watching professional football. I thought Clemens had decent starting potential and could have become a better player than the three prized quarterbacks Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler. Boy, was I wrong.
Clemens was selected with the 49th overall selection by the New York Jets, becoming the fourth quarterback off the board behind the three aforementioned players. Even though he was a second-round selection, he would still need some work and would likely need some time to develop.
Clemens was a quality player while attending Oregon, especially in his senior season. During his last campaign at Eugene, Clemens led the Ducks to the Holiday Bowl, where they would lose to Oklahoma, 17-14. In his 2005 season, Clemens completed 185 of his 289 passes (64.0 percent) for 2,406 yards with 19 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.
Entering his rookie season in the NFL, Clemens would be stuck behind Chad Pennington on the depth chart. Pennington had led the Jets to mild success since taking over the starting reins. The quarterback rarely saw the field during his rookie season, as he attempted just one pass.
In 2007, Pennington suffered an injury in their season-opening game. This led to Clemens starting the following week, the first of eight starts during his sophomore season. Clemens openly struggled as the team's starting quarterback, as he completed just 130 of his 250 attempts (52.0 percent). Additionally, he was only able to amass 1,427 passing yards with five touchdowns and ten interceptions. He ended the season with a paltry 60.9 quarterback rating.
Over the next three seasons for the Jets, Clemens would just start one more contest, as the front office apparently didn't like what they saw. He was released following the 2010 season and quickly latched on with the Redskins. However, Clemens was released a little over a month after his arrival. On Nov. 23, Clemens signed with the Texans but was released by the team on Dec. 6 to make room for the newly-acquired Jeff Garcia. The following day, the Rams claimed him off waivers.
With injuries to Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley, the Rams thrusted Clemens into the starting lineup for the Rams' game against Cincinnati. Although he had been with the team for just eleven days, Clemens had perhaps the best game of his NFL career, as he completed 25 of his 36 passes (69.4 percent). He also threw for 229 yards and one touchdown, which amounted to a career-best 95.4 quarterback rating.
He'd start the next two games for the Rams, a road game against Pittsburgh and a home visit against the 49ers. Clemens faltered in both starts, as he managed to complete just 23 of 55 passes (41.8 percent). He was also only able to accumulate 317 passing yards in both starts with one touchdown and one interception. However, after the season was over, the front office announced that they would retain Clemens and have him serve as Bradford's main back-up.
Although he has started just twelve games over his career and thrown just 375 passes, Clemens is arguably one of the league's worst quarterbacks. Since coming to the NFL, he has played rather poorly, some of which is not his fault. Clemens has shown some potential, but he had always seemed to mess it up somehow when he was on the field.
He never completed more than 70-percent of his passes in any of his games, nor had he ever finished a game with a quarterback rating higher than 96. Additionally, in eight of his twelve career starts, Clemens finished with a rating lower than 68.
Needless to say, Clemens hasn't done exceedingly well since his professional debut. The 2006 draft was just tremendously bad when it came to quarterbacks, as Clemens, Leinart, Vince Young, Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Brodie Croyle all had their names called in the first three rounds. Clearly, the class wasn't good to quarterbacks. Clemens is one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL right now, without a doubt. He still has plenty of time to turn it around, but I wouldn't count on it.
4. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gabbert played horribly during his rookie campaign
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Career Statistics: 4-10 W-L, 210-413 (50.8%), 2,214 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 65.4 quarterback rating
I realize that it is somewhat difficult to put a player on this list that has been in the NFL for just one season. But honestly, I believe he is one of the league's worst quarterbacks. It is not entirely his fault however, as he had the worst receiving corps in the NFL last season.
Gabbert really had no help whatsoever last year, which hurt him drastically as the season rolled along. Unfortunately, Gabbert also seemed to regress as the season continued, which doesn't bode well for his NFL career.
The former Missouri Tiger was selected with the tenth-overall pick by Jacksonville in last year's draft. Some analysts had considered Gabbert the most complete quarterback and at one point, he was thought to be the No. 1 selection in the draft. Of course, that didn't happen as the Panthers chose former Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton with the pick. The Titans chose Washington quarterback Jake Locker with the eighth-overall pick, making Gabbert the third signal-caller chosen in the first ten picks.
Although many people thought Gabbert would succeed in his rookie campaign, he just didn't have the receiving corps to do it. With a corps that consisted of Mike Thomas, Taylor Price, Jarrett Dillard, Jason Hill, Chastin West, Cecil Shorts III and Kassim Osgood, things aren't going to go well unless your name is perhaps Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees. The Jaguars won just four games under Gabbert, including a 41-14 shellacking of Tampa Bay in Week 13.
Gabbert seemed to regress as the season continued. He was able to throw more than just one touchdown in two starts, which came in back-to-back weeks against San Diego and Tampa Bay. Additionally, in 13 of Gabbert's 14 starts, the quarterback did not complete more than 58-percent of his passes -- the only game that he went over that mark was when he completed 14 of 21 passes (66.6%) in their 17-3 win over Indianapolis.
During this year's draft, the Jaguars traded up to the No. 5 selection to take Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, who was widely considered to be the best receiving prospect in the draft. They also signed Laurent Robinson to a five-year, $32.5 million contract in free agency to hopefully give Gabbert another option. However, I fully believe that Robinson was a one-year wonder and I think he'll falter in Jacksonville.
As of right now, Gabbert is one of the league's worst quarterbacks. Even though he had a horrible receiving corps during his rookie campaign, he still could have done better. Unfortunately, I still believe Gabbert will not have a great 2012 campaign even with Blackmon and Robinson now on the roster. I do not think that Gabbert will ever have a solid career and eventually, he will be viewed as one of the biggest busts of recent memory.
3. Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers
AR: "How you doing, Derek?" Derek: "Good, the bench was warm today."
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Teams: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers
Career Statistics: 18-25 W-L, 756-for-1,436 (52.6%), 9,148 passing yards, 53 touchdowns, 55 interceptions, 68.8 quarterback rating
Derek Anderson once had an extremely bright future. After starting just three games in 2006, Anderson was handed the starting gig with the Cleveland Browns in 2007. Anderson had an amazing campaign, as he starting fifteen games while leading them to a 10-5 record, their first winning season since 2002.
During the process, Anderson completed just 56.5-percent of his passes, but he threw for 3,787 yards with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Because of his stellar play, Anderson was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Anderson's trip to the Pro Bowl was the first for a Browns quarterback since Brian Sipe's selection in 1980.
However, Anderson's 2007 campaign proved to be just a fluke. He struggled mightily for the following two seasons, compiling a 6-10 record, along with just 2,503 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He was subsequently released following the 2009 season and latched on with Arizona. During his only season in the desert, Anderson led the team to a 2-7 record. Over the season, he completed just 51.7-percent of his passes for 2,065 yards, 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The Cardinals decided to sever ties with Anderson following the season and he signed with Carolina. He didn't throw a single pass last season, while backing up Cam Newton and battling with Jimmy Clausen. After his stupendous 2007 season, Anderson's career has gone down hill. Since that campaign, he has led his teams to an 8-17 mark with 19 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
It's a shame because I like Anderson and wish he would get his game together and come back as a starting quarterback. He showed that he has solid potential and I believe he can still play like that. Unfortunately, since then, Anderson has played horribly and because of that, he has become one of the league's worst quarterbacks.
2. Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers
Clausen wasn't worth a second-round pick
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Team: Carolina Panthers
Career Statistics: 1-9 W-L, 157-for-299 (52.5%), 1,558 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 58.4 quarterback rating
Prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen was tabbed as a possible first-round prospect. He eventually fell in the draft as he was tabbed with the 48th overall selection by the Carolina Panthers. He was immediately thrown into a quarterback competition with Matt Moore and Brian St. Pierre.
Over the course of the 2010 season, Clausen would start ten games for the Panthers. During those ten games, Clausen showed us that he was not worth a second-round pick, even though he didn't have much of a supporting cast. After participating in thirteen games and starting ten of those contests, Clausen lead the Panthers to a 1-9 record. They would eventually finish the season with the league's worst record and would select Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick. The selection of Newton practically meant that Clausen would have a very, very hard time supplanting him as the team's starting quarterback.
Now it appears that Clausen will never be the team's starting quarterback after Newton's record-setting rookie campaign. He will likely have to relish in the back-up role. It is a very strong possibility that Clausen could find work with another team as their starter, but that's deemed unlikely.
Simply put, Clausen isn't a solid prospect for a starting gig. He always had that puzzled look on his face during his rookie season and additionally, Clausen always seemed to look confused and would continually make mistakes. It may have had to do with him being a rookie, but I believe that's just the way he plays football.
If Clausen ever wants to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player, he will have a lot of work to do. But I don't see that happening and he will remain as one of the league's worst quarterbacks.
1. Curtis Painter, Baltimore Ravens
Painter was horrendous last season for the 2-14 Colts
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens
Career Statistics: 0-8 W-L, 132-for-243 (51.7%), 1,624 passing yards, 6 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 60.6 quarterback rating
I'll be the first to tell you that I'm a Colts fan and I love my team. For twelve years, I've been devoted to the Colts, while bleeding blue and white in the process. When Peyton Manning wasn't expected to play last season, I braced for impact because I knew it was going to be a rocky season. I didn't expect it to be a 2-14 season though, but I will take Andrew Luck as a consolation prize. Anyway, when the Colts decided to start Curtis Painter, I was iffy about the situation. After watching him play, I was amazed by his ability to mess up in some shape, form or fashion. For the first time in my life, I was embarrassed to be a Colts fan. Watching him play like that made me loathe him. He quickly became the second Colts player I ever felt that way about, joining Anthony Gonzalez. I couldn't believe that a quarterback could be that bad after sitting on the bench, learning from one of best quarterbacks ever in Manning. It was awful.
To start the 2011 season, the Colts ultimately decided to start the old, washed-up Kerry Collins. After Collins' horrible play in the first three games of the season, the coaching staff decided to start Painter instead. The former Purdue quarterback wouldn't fare much better.
Over the next eight games, Painter was just downright awful. He failed to help lead the Colts to a victory, while playing some paltry competition, including Tampa Bay (17-24), Kansas City (24-28)Jacksonville (3-17) and Carolina (19-27). In the nine games he participated in, Painter compiled a 66.6 quarterback rating, while completing just 132 of 243 passes (54.3-percent). Painter also threw for just 1,541 yards with six touchdowns and nine interceptions. Additionally, in five of his eight starts, the quarterback finished the game with a rating under 61. Also, in six of his eight starts, Painter failed to complete more than 56-percent of his passes. In other words, Painter was awful.
That's why he earns the No. 1 spot on this list. Painter is not a good quarterback and he will never develop into a solid option. Watching him quarterback for the Colts was painful and embarrassing. It was amazing to see a quarterback play so poorly when he was under the wing of one of the best quarterbacks of all-time (Manning). Even Dan Orlovsky, who hadn't been with the team that long, was able to come in a do a better job, while also leading the Colts to their first and only victories of the season. Painter, without a doubt, is the worst quarterback currently in the NFL with starting experience.