The Most Undervalued and Underappreciated Quarterbacks in NFL History

Everyone remembers a winner. Everyone remembers a quarterback with charisma, records, and big markets to showcase their talents.  Everyone remembers Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway, and Brett Favre.  While these are no superstars, here are 10 quarterbacks who have never received enough attention for their NFL careers.

Kerry Collins

The first selection in the history of the Carolina Panthers, the franchise selected Collinswith the fifth pick of the 1995 NFL draft.  During his second season, the Penn State alum led Carolina to the 1996 NFC Championship Game.

Collins was released by the team in 1998, picked up by New Orleans, and later signed with the New York Giants in 1999.  In five seasons with New York he passed for 16,875 yards, and led the squad to a Super Bowl XXXV defeat to Baltimore.

After a brief stint with Oakland, the journeyman quarterback signed with Tennessee in 2006, and was selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl after the Titans went 13-3.  In thirteen season he has thrown for 38,618 yards, 192 touchdowns, and been selected to two Pro Bowls.

Drew Bledsoe

A Washington native, Bledsoe was selected with the first pick of the 1993 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.  The face of the franchise, he led the once depressing Patriots back to prosperity in leading the team to a Super Bowl XXXI defeat to Green Bay.

To modern fans, he is famous for losing his job as the Patriots quarterback to Tom Brady after an injury in 2001. A four time Pro Bowl selection, Bledsoe would go on to play for Dallas and Buffalo before retiring in 2006.  He stands seventh in career passing yards (44,611), 13th in touchdown passes (251), and fifth in completions (3,839).

Vinny Testaverde

A former Miami Hurricane, Testaverde played a remarkable 21 seasons in the NFL. After winning a Heisman Trophy in college, he was taken with the first pick of the 1987 NFL draft by Tampa Bay.  After six lackluster seasons in Tampa Bay he signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Testaverde moved with the franchise to Baltimore, and was selected to the 1996 Pro Bowl. From 1998 until 2003 he played for the New York Jets, and led the team to three playoff appearances.  He then followed Bill Parcells to Dallas for the 2004 season, before returning to play for the Jets in 2005.

He finally retired in 2007 after playing for six different teams.  His 46,223 yards passing ranks sixth all time, and 275 passing touchdowns sits at eighth in NFL history.

Mark Brunell

The former Washington Husky was drafted in 1993 by Green Bay in the fifth round. In 1995, Brunell was traded to Jacksonville, where he led the recent expansion franchise to the playoffs three times.

Replaced by Byron Leftwich in 2003, he was soon traded to the Washington Redskins. Leading his new team to the 2005 NFC playoffs, Brunell was once again benched, this time in favor of Jason Campbell.

The 6’1″, 217 pound quarterback signed with New Orleans in 2008, and earned a ring with the Super Bowl champion Saints in 2010.  A three time Pro Bowl selection, Brunell has thrown for 31,928 yards and 182 touchdowns during his NFL career.

Jim Everett

Taken with the third pick of the 1986 draft by Houston, Everett was quickly traded to the Los Angeles Rams where he would play until 1993.  The 6’5″, 212 pound quarterback led the lowly Rams to the playoffs in 1986, 1988, and 1989.

A Pro Bowl selection in 1990, Everett would eventually play for New Orleans and San Diego before retiring in 1997. The former Purdue Boilermaker ranks in the Top 25 in career passing yards (34,837), completions (2,841), touchdown passes (203), and pass attempts (4,923).

Mark Rypien

After leaving Washington State early, Rypien was selected in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL Draft.  Under coach Joe Gibbs, he sat on the bench for two years before becoming the Redskins starting quarterback in 1988.

Teaming with Art Monk and Gary Clark, the 6’4″, 225 pound Canadian led Washington to a win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI and was named the game’s MVP.  His Redskin career ended in 1994 when the team drafted Heath Shuler and quickly released their former star quarterback.

Until retirement in 2002, Rypien would play sparingly for five different teams.  He finished his career with 18,473 passing yards, 115 touchdown passes, and two Pro Bowl selections.

Sonny Jurgensen

The former Eagle and Redskin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He is well known in Redskin circles, but rarely mentioned as one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

A fourth round draft pick out of Duke in 1957, Jurgensen sat behind Eagle great Norm Van Brocklin until becoming the starter in 1961. Traded to the Redskins in 1964, the 5’11” signal caller led the Redskins to a defeat to Miami in Super Bowl VII.

Jurgensen then split time with Billy Kilmer until the age of 40 when he would retire from the NFL.  He finished his career with 2,433 completions for 32,224 yards, 255 touchdowns, and five All-Pro selections.

Dave Krieg

A true success story, Krieg went undrafted and signed with Seattle in 1980.  In 1982 the Milton alum passed Jim Zorn for the starting position.  Teaming with Steve Largent and running back Curt Warner, Krieg led the franchise to its first playoff appearance in 1983.

After 11 seasons with the team he became a free agent in 1991, as the team chose to move on with Dan McGwire and Kelly Stouffer. Krieg moved on to play in Kansas City for two years, and even rallied Detroit to a playoff appearance in 1994.

He retired in 1998, after playing for six different teams and being selected to three Pro Bowls. He currently ranks 10th all time in passing yards (38,147), passing touchdowns (261), and completions (3,105).

John Hadl

A two-time All-American at Kansas, the 6’1″, 210 pound Jayhawk joined the San Diego Chargers in 1962. Hadl teamed with wide receiver great Lance Alworth, and was a four time AFL All-Star during his eight seasons in San Diego.

Traded to Los Angeles in 1973, he led the Rams to a playoff appearance and was named the NFL Player of the Year. He would go on to play for Houston and Green Bay before retiring in 1977.  Over his career, he threw for 33,503 yards and 244 touchdowns.

Randall Cunningham

Known as one of the best scrambling quarterbacks in football history, Cunningham wasselected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 1985 NFL draft.  The 6’4″ former UNLV Rebel sat behind Ron Jaworski until becoming the starter under Buddy Ryan in 1987.

The lanky signal caller played for the Eagles until 1995, with an abrupt retirement from football.  Cunningham returned to the NFL in 1997, signing with the Minnesota Vikings, and reuniting him with former Eagle Cris Carter.  Along with Robert Smith, Randy Moss, and Carter the Vikings displayed one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history during the 1998 season.

He later played for Dallas and Baltimore, before permanently retiring in 2001.  A four time All-Pro, he finished his career with 29,997 passing yards, 207 passing touchdowns, and a quarterback record 4,928 rushing yards.

~ by philip d. on July 7, 2010.

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