Grading the Backup Quarterback Moves in 2013 NFL Free Agency

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Grading the Backup Quarterback Moves in 2013 NFL Free Agency
Karl Walter/Getty Images
Ben Roethlisberger will have a different backup in 2013 as Charlie Batch departs from the Steelers.

The backup quarterback position is one of the most important—and overlooked—positions in the NFL. The quality of a backup at the quarterback position can sometimes make or break a season for a football team.

He is the player a fan would never want to see on the field but who needs to deliver if that time comes.

This player needs to know every subtle nuance of the offense just as the starter does. He may not be as polished at the position, but he needs a good understanding of the game, solid work ethic and common sense.

NFL seasons have rested upon the arm of a backup quarterback. Some have helped their respective teams hoist a Lombardi Trophy. Others have allowed their teams to fall into obscurity. So, which kind of reserve quarterback did your team land in free agency this year?

Each team that has made a move to obtain a backup quarterback during the free-agency period will receive a grade. Teams will not be included for re-signing an existing player.

Grades for backup quarterback movement will be based upon the following criteria listed:

An "A" grade is for a team that has made a significant upgrade at the position. Not only did they acquire a solid backup quarterback, but they brought in a player who can serve multiple purposes for the team. This signing is a tremendous upgrade for this offense.

A "B" grade will be awarded to a team that signed a valuable quarterback that should be able to step in and serve his team in a capable manner. He may not be solid gold, but he is definitely a big upgrade from last season.

A "C" grade is for a team that really remained the same at the position despite the new signing. This player may give the team an advantage in one department but could be a downgrade in another. This grade is basically a wash for the team.

A "D" grade will be given for a very questionable signing. What was this particular team thinking? This player will provide zero upgrade at the position and probably should not have been signed in the first place.

An "F" grade should be avoided at all costs by any team—obviously. If a team is to receive this grade, they quite possibly made the worst move available in free agency. There were better options on the market, and based on team needs, they failed miserably to bring in the right player. 

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