The top tier. Where everyone wants to be (unless you are in prison, of course, as if you happen to find yourself shanked, the paramedics have to go up all the stairs and haul you all the way back down.)
Quarterbacks face a mentally and physically demanding struggle. Not only do they have to run the offense on the field, but they are expected to be locker room leaders as well. They also take a lot of punishment.
Throughout the course of a QBs career, he may find himself wearing a number of different hats, from journeyman to back-up to starter to champion and back again.
Only a few quarterbacks have fully entrenched themselves in "top-tier" status. Manning, Brady, Favre, and most recently, Brees. These are the guys who will most likely still be in the forefront of Top QB ranks and lists for years to come, or at least until Favre retires five or six years from now.
There are a great many quarterbacks who are currently at the peripherals of the top tier, and who must produce strong showings in 2010 in order to keep themselves from filling in the blanks of a "What happened to--?"
There are also a few young guns who have proved themselves to be talented signal callers, but have not yet proved that their achievements were not flukes and can break into the heralded "elite" ranks with strong performances in 2010.
We will start with five QBs who are at risk of losing their coveted elite status with mediocre seasons, and five QBs who could fill their shoes if they prove themselves in 2010.