15 Redskins' Starting Quarterbacks Since 1999: Where Are They Now?
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In the 14 years since the Washington Redskins last won the NFC East title and current owner Daniel Snyder purchased the franchise, the Redskins have started 15 quarterbacks and only Jason Campbell (2006-09) had more than 33 starts with the team.
With such instability at the quarterback position since 1999, the team has made the playoffs in four seasons with a postseason 2-4 record in that stint. Washington has finished the regular season with seven losing records, two seasons at .500 and four winning seasons.
The ability for a team to become a cohesive unit on offense lies not only with the coach and staff but, more importantly, at the quarterback position.
Owner Dan Snyder has expressed displeasure in the 'Skins failure to make postseason appearances and hasn't been shy in making changes from the top down. Snyder has hired seven different head coaches and only current head coach Mike Shanahan has lasted more than 3 seasons.
Snyder and the team bet the proverbial farm trading up and selectingcurrent quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. With the Redskins winning the 2012 NFC East title, making the playoffs and finishing the regular season 10-6 it appears as long as Griffin can remain healthy, his future looks bright.
Perhaps more appropriately, RG3 will have a future with the Redskins, more so than any of the 15 quarterbacks listed, none of whom remained with the team more than four seasons.
In the following slideshow: a look at the Redskins' starting quarterbacks since 1999, what happened and where they are today.
Brad Johnson: Starter in 1999-2000
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After four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Brad Johnson led the 1999 Redskins to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title, starting every regular season game in the process. Johnson recorded career highs in passing yards, completions and touchdowns in his first year with the team and was also selected to the 2000 Pro Bowl.
The following season, Johnson struggled in his 11 starts and missed several games due to injury and poor performance as the Redskins finished the regular season 8-8 and third in the NFC East.
Johnson and the 'Skins parted ways in 2001 and he signed in the offseason with Tampa Bay—leading the team to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII in the 2002 season and remained with the team until 2004.
He went on to spent two seasons a piece as a backup quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys and retired from the league in February 2009.
Currently, Johnson is a football coach at Prince Avenue Christian School in Athens, Georgia, where his two sons are students/athletes.
Jeff George: Starter in 2000-01
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By the time Jeff George joined the Redskins in 2000, he had already been on four different NFL teams. His play was limited as a Redskins' backup quarterback with only five starts in 2000 and two starts in 2001.
His time with the team was mired in coaching changes as owner Dan Snyder fired Norv Turner following the 2000 season, hired interim coach Terry Robiskie in the offseason and settled upon Marty Schottenheimer to lead the 2001 season.
George was a backup to Brad Johnson in 2000 and never meshed with 2001 coach Schottenheimer, who tried to implement a West Coast offense. Despite signing a $14 million, 4-year contract in 2000, the 'Skins released George two games into the 2001 season.
He bounced between retirement and brief stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and a return to the Oakland Raiders. There was talk of a return to the Minnesota Vikings in August 2010, when George told Minnesota sports radio station KFAN he would step in for Brett Favre should Favre ever retire.
Although he hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game since his days with the Redskins in 2001 and unofficially "retired" in 2006, George considers himself an unsigned free agent.
George has made appearances on the radio and NFL Total Access.
Tony Banks: Starter in 2001
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Tony Banks entered his sixth season in the NFL as the starting quarterback for the Redskins after three seasons with the St Louis Rams and two with the Baltimore Ravens. Having handled the majority of starts with the Rams and Ravens, Banks never had a winning record as a starter until joining the Redskins.
During his one year with the 'Skins, Banks started 14 games and compiled an 8-6 record. He completed 198 of 370 passes (53.5 percent) for 2,386 yards, 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The team finished the 2001 regular season with an 8-8 record, second in the NFC East and missed the playoffs.
Banks was released at the end of the 2001 season and joined the expansion team Houston Texans as a backup to quarterback David Carr. In three seasons with the Texans, Banks played in just 15 games and only three as a starter.
He retired in 2006 and currently works as a college football sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network.
Shane Matthews: Starter in 2002
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After six seasons with the Chicago Bears, Shane Matthews joined his former college coach from Florida Steve Spurrier and the Redskins as the starter in 2002.
Coach Spurrier was fresh off his resignation with the University of Florida when 'Skins owner Dan Snyder lured him to coach the team with a five-year, $25-million contract, the largest in the NFL at the time.
Matthews was joined at the quarterback position with fellow Florida alum Danny Wuerffel and the Redskins top pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, Patrick Ramsey.
His stay with the Redskins was brief as coach Spurrier could not decide on which of the three quarterbacks should lead the team. Matthews started seven of his 31 total NFL starts with the 'Skins which were scattered throughout the season. He left the team after one season.
In 14 seasons in the NFL, Matthews served primarily as a backup quarterback and spent several seasons without ever entering a game. He spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
Matthews retired from the NFL after the 2006 season with 124 of his 492 career completions coming from his one season with the Redskins.
Since retiring to Gainesville, FL, Matthews has been involved in sports radio, conducting football camps and serves as a volunteer coach at his two sons' high school and youth football teams.
In January 2012, Matthews was hired as head coach of Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Tim Tebow's alma mater.
Patrick Ramsey: Starter in 2002-05
Patrick Ramsey was drafted 32 overall in the 2002 NFL Draft and brought promise to a Redskins' team searching for the right fit at the quarterback position.
In his college playing days at Tulane University, Ramsey set school and national records in passing categories and finished his college career with 30 Tulane football records.
With first-year head coach Steve Spurrier at the helm, Ramsey was drafted with the intent of him replacing outgoing quarterback Tony Banks. This plan, as well as Spurrier's "Fun-N-Gun" style offense, did not sit well with Ramsey. He split his playing time with former University of Florida and Spurrier coached quarterbacks Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel.
In his rookie season, Ramsey played in nine games with five starts and completed 51.5 percent of his passes and nine touchdowns. The team finished third in the NFC East and missed the playoffs.
His sophomore year in the NFL was his first full season as the starting quarterback, although statistically it was a disaster. While his totals in games played, pass attempts, yardage and touchdowns all increased significantly, Ramsey was one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league in 2003.
Coach Spurrier was out as head coach following the 2003 season and legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs was brought back to try and right the sinking 'Skins ship.
Ramsey stayed with the team two more seasons, primarily as a backup to Mark Brunell, before leaving to join eight different NFL teams before leaving the league in 2010. He is listed as a free agent despite not having any game experience since a one-game stint with the Denver Broncos in 2008.
Danny Wuerffel: Starter in 2002
I mean this out of no disrespect to Danny Wuerffel who won the Heisman Trophy in 1996, but he was referred to by 'Skins fans as Danny "Woe-ful" during his brief career with the Washington Redskins.
Wuerffel joined Matthews and Ramsey as quarterbacks during the 2002 season and was listed third on the team's depth chart. In seven games, Wuerffel completed a respectful 63 percent of his passes, a career-high, but threw for only 719 yards, three touchdowns, six interceptions and two fumbles.
In his retirement, Wuerffel committed his time to a non-profit, faith-based organization devoted to community and spiritual development in inner cities throughout the Southeast, Desire Street Ministries.
He is active on the speaking circuit and co-authored a book which chronicles his football career at the University of Florida.
His on and off the field commitments have also earned Wuerffel honors such as a highway in Destin, Florida named after him, "Danny Wuerffel Way", by the Florida state legislature. In addition, an annual award in Fort Walton Beach, FL recognizing student athletes for their achievements in sports and their community, "The Wuerffel Trophy", carries his name.
In June 2011, Wuerffel was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system that can cause paralysis.
Tim Hasselbeck: Starter in 2003
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Tim Hasselbeck's NFL career spanned six seasons as he was signed by the Washington Redskins in 2003 for his third year in the NFL. During his abbreviated time on the field as an NFL starting quarterback, Hasselbeck completed 95 passes for 1,012 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions, all with the Redskins.
After an injury to Ramsey against the Dallas Cowboys halfway through the 2003 season, Hasselbeck made his first NFL start the following week in a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The best game of his career and his only win as an NFL starter came against the NFC East rival New York Giants, completing 13 of 19 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
The following week against the Dallas Cowboys, Hasselbeck had one of the worst NFL starts in NFL history. He completed 6 of 26 passes for 56 yards, no touchdowns, four interceptions and was sacked one time. He finished the game with the lowest possible single-game passer rating (0.0) in a 27-0 loss.
He joined the Giants in 2005 and in two seasons accounted for minus-3 yards on two kneel downs. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 with one kneel down for minus-1 yard. Hasselbeck was also on the rosters of the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers, but never made it onto the field.
He never officially retired and lists himself as a free agent quarterback.
Hasselbeck moved into the broadcast booth and made his TV debut in September 2007 as an announcer for FOX Sports. He would later become an NFL analyst with ESPN after a stint with SportsNet New York, Sirius NFL radio, as well as The NFL on ESPN Radio.
Mark Brunell: Starter in 2004-06
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Mark Brunell joined the Washington Redskins as an 11-year veteran of the NFL, having spent nine of 11 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had over 2,000 completions and more than 25,000 yards with the Jaguars.
Redskins' Coach Joe Gibbs knew he was adding a seasoned veteran to join Patrick Ramsey at quarterback and Brunell got the nod as the starter to open the 2004 season. However, his lack of production along with the team's weak performance (3-6) in the first half of the season forced Gibbs to bench Brunell.
In nine games as a Redskins' starter, the 34-year-old Brunell completed less than 50 percent of his passes, accounted for a lowly 1,200 passing yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
Third-year starter Ramsey did not fare any better as the team finished the regular season 6-10, missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season and the team ranked 31 in offense.
The 2005 season started with Brunell on the bench until Ramsey suffered an injury in Week 1, which landed him back into the role as starting quarterback. The team started with three straight wins, lost three of the next nine games before finishing strong with a five-game winning streak.
The late-season surge was good enough for a trip to the playoffs as a Wild Card team, the 'Skins first in six years and earned Brunell a third-place finish as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
After winning just three of their first nine games in 2006, Brunell was benched as the team turned to their previous season's first-round draft pick, Jason Campbell. It would be Brunell's last start for the Redskins before his release from the team following the 2007 season.
Brunell signed with the New Orleans Saints as a backup to Drew Brees during the 2008-09 seasons. He did not play in '08 and was the team's holder for the entire '09 season. He joined the New York Jets in 2010-11 only to find himself in the same backup scenario.
Despite a 19-year NFL career with earnings over $50 million, Brunell has been mired in financial difficulties and facing bankruptcy due in part to bad investments in real estate and fast food franchises according to various media outlets.
Celebrity Net Worth 2013 listed Brunell's estimated net worth $100,000.
In January 2013, Brunell was named head football coach at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, FL—a college prep school with an enrollment of less than 900 students.
Todd Collins: Starter in 2007
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Although he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round in 1995, quarterback Todd Collins' career behind center never took off. In 16 seasons in the NFL, Collins only started more than seven games in a single season once, his third year with the Bills.
Collins joined the Washington Redskins in 2006 as a backup to Jason Campbell and sat his entire first year with the team.
After an injury to Campbell in Week 13 of the 2007 season, Collins entered the game and salvaged a win for a team that had lost four straight games and were still coping with the tragedy surrounding the shooting death of Redskins' safety Sean Taylor.
Collins remained the starter for the three remaining games on the season and led the team in a four-game winning streak and a berth as a NFC Wild Card in the playoffs. The 'Skins lost to the Seattle Seahawks 35-14 in Collins' last NFL start as he completed 29 of 50 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
He remained on the 'Skins roster though he didn't take a snap in 2008 and threw 12 passes in 2009 before his release from the team. His final statistics as a Redskins quarterback were 118 completions for 1,298 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
Collins joined the Chicago Bears in 2010 as a backup to Jay Cutler and played in just three games with 10 completions, including the NFC Championship game, where he was benched after failing to complete a pass.
Collins would not return to the NFL although he was contacted by the Oakland Raiders during the start of the 2011 season.
Jason Campbell: Starter in 2006-09
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If there's anything we do know about Redskins' owner Dan Snyder it's this: if he wants a quarterback he will green light whatever it takes to get him.
Such was the case in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and the same in 2006 with Jason Campbell as the 'Skins traded up in the draft and gave up future first, third and fourth-round picks to select Campbell in the 2006 first round.
Campbell assumed the starting role in Washington after an injury to quarterback Mark Brunell halfway through his rookie season. Except for a four-game span in the last month of the 2007 season, Campbell started every game once he assumed the role in 2006.
His record as a Redskins' starter was marginal at best with a four-season combined total of 20 wins, 32 losses and no playoff appearances as the Redskins finished last in the NFC East in three of his four seasons as a starter.
When the Redskins acquired Donovan McNabb in 2010, Campbell was traded to the Oakland Raiders and never seemed to appear comfortable. His lackluster performance led to less playing time as a starter with the Raiders who eventually benched the onetime PARADE All-American.
Campbell signed with the Chicago Bears in 2012 as a backup to Jay Cutler with limited playing time during the season. He appeared in six games last season with 32 completions for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
During the offseason, Campbell remains an active member of the United Way Chicago's campaign to reduce high school dropout rates in the inner city.
Donovan McNabb: Starter in 2010
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When news of the signing of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb surfaced in April 2010, Redskins fans were in disbelief.
Why would the team take such a big risk on the 11-year veteran who had been the "enemy" for so many seasons? Then, to top it off, why would the franchise agree to terms for an eye-popping $78 million over five-years?
That pessimism and doubt was quickly smashed as Donovan, who was named the regular season starter over fellow newcomers Rex Grossman and John Beck, led the 'Skins to victories over their NFC East rivals Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as well as eventual-Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the first five games of 2010.
The critics quickly became supporters of the six-time Pro Bowler, at least before the luster wore off as the season progressed. McNabb would throw interceptions at key moments in games and appeared to be slowing down. He started the first 13 games until his benching in favor of Rex Grossman in the final month of the 2010 season.
By Week 15, McNabb was third on the quarterback depth chart. His passing statistics during his 13 starts were not at all sub-par—58 percent completion rate and projected to surpass 4,000 yards for the first time in his career. His primary problem was his interceptions (15) outnumbered his touchdowns (14) as the 'Skins finished 6-10 and in last place in their division.
He would finish his short-lived Redskins career with a 5-8 record. To make matters worse for McNabb, the 'Skins had a clause built into his contract that if he wasn't around for the 2011 season the team would only have to pay $3.75 million.
He was traded in the offseason to the Minnesota Vikings for two future sixth-round draft picks. He started for the Vikings in 2011 and after a 1-5 start he was benched for Vikings' rookie Christian Ponder. McNabb retired a short time later.
Currently, McNabb is an analyst for the NFL Network.
John Beck: Starter in 2011
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Four-year backup quarterback John Beck was traded to the Redskins in August 2010 after two-year stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. In his 2007 rookie season with the Dolphins, Beck played in just five games and completed 60-of-107 passes for 559 yards and a touchdown. He never took a snap with the Ravens.
When Beck joined the Redskins in 2010, it was understood that he would be third on the depth chart at quarterback behind starter Donovan McNabb and backup Rex Grossman. He did not play in his first year with the team.
With the departure of McNabb during the 2011 offseason, Beck would battle Rex Grossman for the starting position. Grossman was named the opening day starter, which lasted until Week 7 when head coach Mike Shanahan moved Beck to the starting position.
Beck's numbers were pedestrian at best during his four starts as the Redskins' quarterback, completing 60 percent of his passes for 858 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in four losses. He was soon replaced by Grossman.
Beck has never won a game as a NFL starter.
The Redskins cut Beck after drafting two quarterbacks in 2012—Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. He joined the Houston Texans and was third on the depth chart behind Matt Schaub and TJ Yates. Beck played in two preseason games and was released by the team in Week 4.
Beck currently remains an unsigned free agent.
Rex Grossman: Starter in 2010-11
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Rex Grossman signed a one-year contract with the Redskins in 2010 as a seven-year veteran, having spent his career with the Chicago Bears, who drafted him in the first round in 2003. He spent the 2009 season as a backup for the Houston Texans.
Although his NFL career numbers were minimal, his success as a college quarterback at the University of Florida led many to believe his talents were never utilized properly in Chicago. While at Florida, Grossman was a first-team All-American, AP National Player of the Year and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2001.
As a backup to Donovan McNabb, who struggled in his first season with the 'Skins, Grossman started his first game in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys. Although he threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns while erasing a 20-point deficit, the 'Skins lost the game, but support for Grossman soared.
Following the release of McNabb in the offseason, Grossman re-signed for one year with the 'Skins and started all but three games in the 2011 season. His 5-8 record as a starter was somewhat indicative by his statistics as Grossman threw more interceptions (20) than touchdowns (16).
The Redskins finished last in the NFC East, the team's fifth last-place finish in six seasons.
Change was imminent as the Redskins drafted 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft and quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, a pick they acquired from the Oakland Raiders for the release of Jason Campbell in 2010.
Grossman would re-sign a third, one-year contract and relegated to third on the depth chart behind the two rookie quarterbacks. He did not play in 2012.
Kirk Cousins: Starter in 2012
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The selection of Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL draft came as a surprise to many who follow the Redskins. Why would they draft a quarterback so high in the draft when they secured their starter in RG3?
The answer to that question didn't matter much when Cousins was called upon to lead the team to a come-from-behind overtime win in Week 15 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Following a knee injury to starter RG3 with minutes remaining in the game, Cousins entered and led the 'Skins on a scoring drive and two-point conversion to tie the game and eventual win in overtime.
The following week, as RG3's injury kept him sidelined, Cousins kept the Redskins close in the first half against the Cleveland Browns and led the team to four touchdowns in the second half to defeat the Browns 38-21.
His overall statistics in 2012, 36 of 58 completions, 497 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, were far outweighed by his natural ability to step in and step up to fill the void left by Griffin and the high-octane, pistol formation offense.
Cousins inked a four-year contract with the Redskins for close to $3 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus.
Robert Griffin III: Starter in 2012
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Notwithstanding all of the awards, adulation and accolades offered to Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, his contribution to the team far surpassed all expectations by even his most ardent supporters.
Along with Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck and Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson, the NFL had not seen a more powerful 1-2-3 rookie punch at quarterback, probably, ever, as each quarterback led his respective franchise to the playoffs.
RG3 led the Redskins to the first NFC East title since 1999 and the team's first winning regular season in six years. The seven-time NFL Rookie of the Week led all quarterbacks in rushing yards, setting an NFL rookie record in the process.
Highest passer rating. Lowest interception percentage. All-time sales record for NFL jerseys. The list of rookie records goes on and on, not to mention franchise records.
Now in the offseason, Griffin is recovering and rehabilitating a knee injury following surgery shortly after the team's NFC Wild Card loss to Seattle.
The expectations will be high in 2013, as Griffin has set the bar at a level high enough only the most elite of quarterbacks could come close to some of the record-breaking levels set in a single season.
With the success of the team in 2012 and impressive performances week-to-week during the second half of the regular season, 'Skins fans have much to look forward to, including possibly some continuity at the quarterback position for many seasons to come.
One would think owner Dan Snyder is quite happy with the leadership and direction the team is heading in the years to come. With Griffin healthy, the team certainly can remain atop or near the top of the NFC East with future postseason appearances more than just an occurrence every four to five years.
The future looks bright for a young and talented Redskins team—with the quarterback position safely secured for years to come.