The Buffalo Bills put an abrupt end to the brief Nathan Peterman era Monday night. And for good reason. The Pitt product was abysmal in eight career appearances. His stat line reads like a cruel joke. Three touchdowns and 12 interceptions. A 52 percent completion percentage. A 32.5 rating and 0.21 adjusted net yards/attempt.
Nearly a year ago, his first start turned surreal as he threw five first-half interceptions. He never really recovered. Peterman became the butt of jokes, a beacon on the unfortunate hill of middling quarterback play. The ultimate example to be used to point out Colin Kaepernick can’t get a job. These things happen when a quarterback’s total fantasy points barely outpace his total picks.
If he never gets another meaningful opportunity, he’ll go down as a footnote in history. His name will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Sports can be cruel.
It’s not easy to engender sympathy for professional athletes. Peterman, though on a minimum salary, is making $555,000 this year. Most people would kill for that chance. But there’s a human side.
Is it really worth it to be made a laughingstock? To struggle so mightily at the thing you love? To be unwanted by the hometown fans and belittled by everyone else?
Your answer will vary. Everyone has their price.
Peterman did nothing in Buffalo to suggest that he deserves a second chance. What front office would put its neck on the line to bring him in, even in a third-string role? That said, and dispensing with the veneer of neutrality, a part of me really wants to see him get one, then use it for a redemptive second act.
This country loves that stuff. Hollywood screenwriters use it as a crutch, but it’s lapped up. Nathan Peterman 2.0 would be a thrill ride. Neutral observers would be in his corner and the coverage would be upbeat and powerful.
To err is human. It’s just that few have done it so publicly and spectacularly as Peterman. It’s also human to atone. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of woefully unqualified Peterman and that a competent version emerges somewhere else down the road.