The musical chairs at backup quarterback appear to have slowed down. Players have been dropped and picked up. Trades have been made. People that sounded more like action heroes than quarterbacks (looking at you, Brogan Roback) are out.
We know that starting quarterbacks will go down or get benched–less than half of all opening day starters will play every game this year. So here are my ranking of the backup situations around the league, from best to worst.
#1 Cleveland Browns (Baker Mayfield, Drew Stanton)
Cleveland has the #1 overall pick on the bench. If he gets promoted, then they have the best backup option still in Tyrod Taylor. And Drew Stanton would be an average #2 on this list, and is the third option.
#2 New Orleans Saints (Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill)
Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t completed a NFL regular season pass since 2015. But he answered some of the concerns about whether he could play in the preseason with the Jets, and got traded to New Orleans. Taysom Hill is also an intriguing option, and the Saints will be relatively well-positioned if Brees were to miss a game.
#3 Philadelphia Eagles (Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld)
Nick Foles won a Super Bowl last year, so he’s got that going for him. He’ll have to start the year with Carson Wentz not fully back yet, so depth is thin until Wentz is healthy.
#4 Arizona Cardinals (Josh Rosen, Mike Glennon)
Josh Rosen was the 10th overall pick, and will get to sit behind Sam Bradford. Bradford has not been the most durable, so the team also has Mike Glennon. For his faults, Glennon is a legitimate NFL backup quarterback.
#5 Indianapolis Colts (Jacoby Brissett)
Jacoby Brissett did a solid job coming in after a trade from New England to play quarterback with Andrew Luck out. I’m not going to go crazy about his performance–the team still struggled to score points and he took lots of sacks–but he’s what you want out of a high-end backup: Go out and not turn it over and make a few plays.
#6 Chicago Bears (Chase Daniel)
Chase Daniel has made a fantastic living out of being an undersized but highly competent backup.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin)
This is a hard one to rank, because Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter for a quarter of the season, at least, because of the Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick still fills the role of a decent backup well, even if he is past the point where a team should still be relying on him as the starter.
#8 Baltimore Ravens (Robert Griffin III, Lamar Jackson)
Lamar Jackson isn’t quite ready to start, while Robert Griffin is trying to revitalize his career. Between the two of them, Baltimore at least has the ability to generate some offense on the ground and some excitement coming off the bench.