The Classic Journeymen Division
Our first and biggest category, the Classic Journeymen division is full of veterans who have all been on three teams, or even multiple stints with the same team. All of these quarterbacks have had their chance as a starter, and some have even been winners when the right talent was around them. Classic Journeymen are okay with being backups at this point in their careers, and for the most part, they help their team. They are ranked from best to worst.
Kyle Orton, Dallas Cowboys - He has a winning record as a starter, with career highlights including a 10-5 record as a rookie for the Bears and starting 6-0 as a Bronco in 2009. Just a savvy veteran who Dallas feels comfortable with as a spot starter.
Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins - He was the Dolphins MVP in 2011, but hasn’t started a game since that season. The Fins drafted Ryan Tannehill eighth overall in 2012, and Moore had to take a back seat to the promising rookie. Before 2013, Moore signed a two-year deal to stay in Miami, so he must be all right with being the backup.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans - Started 45 of 48 possible games for the Bills from 2010-12, throwing at least 23 TD passes in every season. However, he was overpaid by the Bills in 2011, getting a six-year, $59 million extension. His play could not live up to this contract so Buffalo released him before this season and now he’s behind Jake Locker in Tennessee.
Bruce Gradkowski, Pittsburgh Steelers - He’s an AFC North guy. After suffering through three years in Cleveland and Oakland, Gradkowski signed with the Bengals and backed up Andy Dalton. This year, he’s on the Steelers and will probably see the field once Big Ben is injured. His brother Gino, is the center for the Ravens, meaning the Gradkowskis have officially covered the AFC North.
Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings - He goes as the talent around him goes. Had a great year in 2008 replacing Tom Brady, which earned him a big contract from the Chiefs. In 2010, he three 27 TD passes and only seven picks, making the Pro-Bowl and leading the Chiefs to the playoffs. After two bad years in 2011 and 2012, he was released by Kansas City. Now a Viking, he’s starting in Week 4, but I still consider him backup because it’s a clear injury replacement. But he could very well challenge Christian Ponder for the job this season.
Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers - Had a good year in 2007, leading the Browns to a 10-6 record. Followed that season up with three years on mediocre play as an on/off starter for Cleveland and then Arizona (remember his famous rant?). Has been Cam Newton’s backup for three years now.
Tavaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks - Started on and off for the Vikings from 2006-10, playing in their 2008 playoff game versus Philly. Was the full time starter in 2011 in Seattle, but was traded to the Bills after one season. After never starting a game for Buffalo, Jackson is now back in Seattle playing behind Russell Wilson, the man who replaced him after 2011.
Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions - Was part of the Niners QB carousel from 2006-09 before being sent to Detroit in 2010 to backup Matthew Stafford. He has filled in well when needed for the Lions.
Seneca Wallace, Green Bay Packers - Drafted by Seattle in 2003 as an Antwaan Randle El type. Got his chance as a QB for the Seahawks and Browns, but was benched due to poor play and injuries. After being cut by the Saints and 49ers before this season, he signed with the Packers right before Week 1.
Josh Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals - Was ineffective starting for the Bucs in 2009-10. After failing to make the roster for the 49ers, Bears and Browns, he beat out fellow journeyman John Skelton for the Bengals backup gig this year, as seen in Hard Knocks.
Charlie Whitehurst, San Diego Chargers - Was drafted by San Diego before getting his chance in 2010-11 for the Seahawks, where he was benched in favor of Tavaris Jackson. Now he’s back with the Bolts playing behind Philip Rivers.