Quarterbacks are, without a doubt, the most important player on any football team. A good quarterback can take a team to the playoffs regularly, and a great one will give his team a shot at the championship. So it’s no wonder that many NFL teams will take a flyer on any number of unproven or inexperienced quarterbacks, just hoping to find a diamond in the rough. More often than not, it doesn’t pan out. Whether signed to be a starter or a backup, these 11 QBs signed free agent deals with big dreams, only to see them fizzle away in a cloud of fumbles, interceptions, injuries, and benchings.
After being Peyton Manning’s understudy in Denver for the first four years of his career, everyone thought Brock Osweiler was poised to take over as starter for the Broncos after the Sherrif retired. Except general manager John Elway balked at Osweiler’s contract demands (he was a free agent), committing most of the team’s available salary cap money to lock up key pieces of their ferocious and famed defense. So Osweiler bolted for the Houston Texans, signing a massive four-year, $72 million contract (with $37 million guranteed).
At the time of this writing, Osweiler has started 11 games for the Texas, going 6-5, and throwing for more interceptions than touchdowns (13 INTs and 12 TDs). His quarterback rating is just 72.2, which to put in perspective, is lower than every single year of Tom Brady’s career. While the Brock Lobster still has 3+ seasons to make good on the massive contract, many in Texas are already wringing their hands and looking around the league for another option at QB.