In the NFL, if you aren't winning, you are often forgotten. This offseason, we've witnessed this in action everyday we watch any of ESPN's regular programming.
A casual fan that watches ESPN may think that there are only two quarterbacks in the NFL, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Much of this is because of ratings and other statistics that sway those in power at ESPN to create relevance where there may not be.
For example, Drew Brees threw for 5,069 yards last year, which was 15 yards short of the NFL record for most passing yards in a season, a record set by Dan Marino.
The last time a player was close to breaking a Dan Marino record...well, we’ve all seen the Brett Favre footage last season and most of last offseason.
Drew Brees, on the other hand, has been forgotten as one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, because he led a 9-7 team.
Last year, Peyton Manning won MVP, barely throwing for 4,000 yards and led a late season comback. An argument could be made, without Manning, the Colts wouldn't win five games, and that's why he's the MVP.
I would debate that because without Drew Brees, the Saints would be 1-15. Who's more valuable? I'll let you decide.
Chad Pennington has been forgotten as well. Last year he had the ninth most yards and the second best passer rating; not to mention resurrecting the 1-15 Dolphins and winning the AFC East.
The most we’ve heard about this quarterback is that he’s going to be replaced by Chad Henne at some point.
If you're like me and are a fan of a struggling franchise, you've seen quarterbacks with the greatest potential are overlooked every offseason.
The quarterbacks in this list are placed in no particular order, and their selection is based on total opinion.
I won’t tell you that these quarterbacks are the best the NFL has to offer. I will tell you that these quarterbacks are good starters and can be successful in decent circumstances.
Some quarterbacks are left off this list, not because they don’t deserve it, but because they are in less dire situations than others.
I hope you enjoy. Feel free to offer opinions because it wouldn’t be sports without debate.
Here are the five most underestimated and forgotten quarterbacks.
You may remember the glory days of this aged and bruised quarterback. You may also remember the "Madden Cover Curse" that brought him down.
Culpepper has a good amount left in the tank and has lost a good amount of weight. The Lions picked Stafford, but we can still expect to see this glory days quarterback resurrected next season.
He might be playing in something besides Honolulu Blue next season, perhaps the Red and Gold in San Fransisco.
Culpepper brings athleticism, a strong arm, and veteran leadership to the table. With a good running back in Kevin Smith and a future Hall of Famer in Calvin Johnson, all Culpepper needs is a little protection on the offensive line.
Look for Culpepper to start the first couple of games for the Lions. If the Lions are smart in the draft, Culpepper might start the whole year and could win 7-8 games, likewise if he plays for another team.
Since Schaub came to Houston they have a combined record of 16-16, with Schaub having a starting record of 10-10. Last year in only 11 starts, he finished with over 3,000 yards and 17 total passing and rushing TDs.
Schaub is 6'5", a height advantage most quarterbacks don't possess, and has great athletic ability.
Don't discount the Texans next year as well. They were competitive in a division with the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars, finishing 8-8.
With Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels, Schaub could have a good 2009 season.
Last year, Wallace showed his stuff with 11 passing TDs to go with only three interceptions. Over his career in Seattle, Seneca has a 22-12 TD-INT ratio.
Seneca's main detriment is his height. At 5'11", he lacks ideal size. With most linemen at 6'4"-6'9", Seneca has more deflections then most quarterbacks.
His athletic ability outweighs this. His scrambling ability buys time in the pocket and allows him to make plays. He had decent success last year with a receiving corps without a star player.
Old Man River put up some great numbers in his career and could continue to play in Oakland for two to three more years. Of the quarterbacks on this list, Garcia and Schaub have the best chances of starting in 2009.
Garcia is hyper-competitive and possesses great athleticism considering his age. He has rushed for 26 TDs in his 11 year career and has thrown for 161 TDs compared to his 83 interceptions.
Apart from the good statistics, Garcia can drive an offense down the field in a crunch. Last year against Kansas City, he led a fourth quarter drive to tie the game and then won it in overtime after falling behind 24-3 in the second quarter.
It was one of the more impressive drives seen in Kansas City this past year. Few quarterbacks possess this skill.
Thigpen has been called the "Quarterback of the Future" in Kansas City after his efforts last year. Herm Edwards employed a spread offense to suit this young run-and-gun star.
He led all quarterbacks in rushing and was the first Kansas City Chief to rush, receive, and pass for a TD.
He went to college at Coastal Carolina, where he helped start up a football program there. He was drafted in the seventh round two years ago and started the season as the Chief's third quarterback.
Injuries forced him to start, and after bad starts in Carolina and Atlanta, he played very well. With a last ranked defense and a coach that refused to play offense in the second half, Thigpen almost won six games.
I'm not a big fan of blaming the defense or play calling, but watch the film and see what I mean.
Thigpen could win the starting job in 2009 or could get traded to another team. Look for him to contribute again in his career.