Patric Schneider/Associated Press
T.J. Yates (13) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) are in the Houston Texans' four-way quarterback competition.
Two-way quarterback competitions are common occurrences in NFL training camps, and there’s usually one or two three-way battles each year, but the Houston Texans’ opening at signal-caller could legitimately have four contenders.
Having a multitude of options at the most important position of the field is not a bad situation. Having quantity over quality, which appears to be the case in Houston, could be.
After passing up the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class, head coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans staff are banking on free-agent addition Ryan Fitzpatrick, fourth-round draft pick Tom Savage or one of two roster holdovers, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates, to emerge as a capable starter for their offense.
O’Brien has referred to the competition as “wide open,” according to ESPN.com’s Tania Ganguli, and there’s no reason all four quarterbacks shouldn’t get a shot to start as long as each of them is still on the roster.
Fitzpatrick is best suited to be a spot starter or backup than a full-time leader of the offense, but he deserves to be considered the favorite. He has 77 career starts, 16,790 passing yards and 106 touchdowns under his belt.
Savage has the most potential among the quartet, but the fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh is a raw talent who completed just 61.2 percent of his passes against collegiate competition last year and is unlikely to be a viable starting option for at least two years.
Keenum had his moments in eight starts for the Texans this past season, but his weak arm and 54.2 completion percentage didn’t make him look like someone who should continue to be leading the Houston offense. Yates has also struggled in his 13 career appearances, throwing six interceptions and only three touchdowns.