Meet The Black And Gold Quarterbacks: Joey Harrington

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IJuly 6, 2009

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Joey Harrington #3 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 2, 2005 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Lions 17-13.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

This is the first article in a three-part series that will profile the three quarterbacks on the New Orleans Saints roster.

There is one word that summarizes Joey Harrington's NFL career so far; disappointing.

John Joseph Harrington Jr. was born on Oct. 21, 1978 in Portland Ore. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in Portland and finished his high school football career with 4,200 yards and 50 touchdowns.

He was recruited by the University of Oregon—where his father had also played quarterback—and was a three-year starter for the Ducks.

His college career ended with 512 completions out of 928 passes for 6,911 yards. In 2001, Harrington finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Harrington was picked by the Detroit Lions with the third pick overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, instantly becoming the starting quarterback.

After some disappointing seasons, Harrington was benched in favor of journeyman Jeff Garcia in 2005.

In 2006, the Lions signed former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown and former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna shortly thereafter.

In May 2006, Harrington was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a sixth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Just like in Detroit, Harrington struggled with in Miami. Due to salary cap issues, Harrington was released on March 5, 2007.

On April 9, 2007, Harrington was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a two-year, $6 million contract. He was projected to be a backup to Falcons franchise quarterback Michael Vick.

After Vick was suspended for dogfighting charges, Harrington competed with former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich for the starting job. Harrington was beat out and was released on March 5, 2008 because of, once again, salary cap issues. He was resigned by the Falcons seven days later but was once again released in August.

Harrington found his current home with the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 19, 2008. He was ranked as the third string quarterback behind starter Drew Brees and second stringer Mark Brunell for a game against the Denver Broncos, but was released five days later because of injury issues.

After the injury situation had became more manageable, Harrington was once again signed by the Saints on Oct. 1, 2008, but was released once again by the team on Oct. 6, 2008.

On March 20, 2009, Harrington signed a one-year contract with the Saints. Many expect him to compete with the older Mark Brunell for the backup job. Since Sean Payton has kept only two quarterbacks on the roster since taking over the team, it wouldn't be too surprising to see either Harrington or Brunell gone next offseason.

In his career, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Harrington has completed 1,424 passes out of 2,538 attempts for 14,693 yards, 79 touchdowns, and 85 interceptions.

He is 30-years-old and in his eighth NFL season.

Coming Next: Mark Brunell

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