At the game’s most important position, NFL teams have a pretty interesting approach on how they elect to back up their starting quarterback.
Franchises used to carry three quarterbacks at all times, wanting to be fully prepared with a professional-level signal-caller should their main option go down.
In recent years, many teams have decided to only carry two quarterbacks, and allow for additional roster flexibility elsewhere.
There’s also the aspect of deciding who will be the main reserve.
Some teams like to go with a younger prospect who has shown the ability to soak up information and improve.
Others like to go with grizzled veterans, who have significant starting experience in the NFL.
As the transaction ticker remains on fire ahead of Week 1, we’ll take a look at three quarterbacks who deserve to be on NFL teams right now, as opposed to looking for work.
3. Cam Newton
The New England Patriots made the bold decision to entrust rookie Mac Jones with the starting quarterback job.
Newton had a polarizing season in New England in 2020.
His defenders would argue that he had no weapons around him, and did not have ample time to learn the Patriots’ intricate playbook.
His critics would say that his ability to make others around him better has vanished, and that his arm strength is shot.
Regardless of which side fans fall on, it also is fair to say that Newton shouldn’t be out of the NFL long if he wants to remain in the league.
For all of his troubles in 2020, he still had 12 rushing touchdowns last year.
That total represented the second-highest mark in his impressive career.
He will be hard pressed to get a starting job right now, but he deserves to be a highly regarded backup on a team.
"We have a long way to go but we've made a lot of progress."
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 16, 2021
2. Robert Griffin III
As a free agent quarterback, Robert Griffin III has decided to take an interesting path to bide his time while he finds his next NFL team.
He has agreed to be a college football announcer for ESPN this season, which means fans will still see a bunch of RGIII on Saturday’s.
However, Griffin has not called it a career just yet, and is still just 31 years old.
He spent the last three years as a backup to Lamar Jackson, and could provide value to a team who is looking to double down on athletic quarterbacks like Baltimore did.
A team like the Arizona Cardinals would come to mind; Jackson would be a good approximation of starter Kyler Murray with regards to scrambling ability, so the Cardinals would not have to change things too much in a pinch if Murray went down.
Had a lot of fun this past weekend pic.twitter.com/JXINuVbpWV
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 31, 2021
1. Matt Moore
It might seem a little counterintuitive to say that someone who didn’t see the field at all in 2020 deserves a job in the NFL.
However, when you look at the current crop of reserve quarterbacks on certain NFL rosters, there’s a good case to be made about Matt Moore’s ability being superior.
Moore has been in the league since 2007, and is now 37 years old.
He’s unlikely to be the author of a Kurt Warner-like rags to riches tale, but Moore would still be an attractive option over the likes of certain undrafted free agents who have much less experience.
He started two games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 when Patrick Mahomes missed time, and did not throw an interception in either game.
On a team like that, Moore’s job was to protect the football, and get it into the hands of his playmakers.
He did just that, and could still accomplish that filling in for an injured starter.