NFL quarterback scramble leaves five with new homes

They may have been overshadowed by more notable moves — the Bears’ signing of Julius Peppers, the Ravens’ acquisition of Anquan Boldin or the Jets’ addition of LaDainian Tomlinson — but a bunch of quarterbacks have been on the move this offseason.

With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both gone, Panthers castoff Jake Delhomme inherits the job as the Browns' starting quarterback.
With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both gone, Panthers castoff Jake Delhomme inherits the job as the Browns’ starting quarterback.

Fifteen teams, nearly half the league, have made changes of one sort or another at QB.

These five players are the most intriguing quarterbacks with new addresses:

Jake Delhomme (signed by the Browns)

His past: Carolina’s starter from 2003 until the 12th game last season, Delhomme led the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance (after the 2003 season) and was a Pro Bowl pick in ’05. He imploded in a playoff loss to Arizona after the ’08 season, turning the ball over six times (including five interceptions), and had a career-high 18 picks last season before missing the final five games with a broken finger.

His future: Now that both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn are gone, the Browns will turn to Delhomme, 35, as their No. 1 quarterback and veteran leader. He can start for two or three years, until president Mike Holmgren develops a young QB.

The take: "Mike Holmgren knows quarterbacks," former Seahawks coach Jim Mora said, "and I’m sure this is part of his master plan to drafting the future QB that leads them out of obscurity."

A.J. Feeley (signed by the Rams)

His past: Although he turns 33 in May, Feeley has played in only 23 regular-season games (15 starts). The highlight of his career was when he helped lead the Eagles to four victories in five starts after both Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer went down with injuries in ’02.

His future: Feeley comes into an unsettled quarterback situation in St. Louis. Neither long-time starter Marc Bulger (still under contract) nor Kyle Boller (unrestricted free agent) is expected back. Feeley could be the starter when the season opens, or a backup and valuable mentor to a young player such as Sam Bradford.

The take: "I see my role as an older quarterback that’s there to help out in any way possible," Feeley said in a conference call with St. Louis reporters.

Derek Anderson (signed by the Cardinals)

His past: Anderson, 26, had a breakout season in ’07 when he was handed the starting job after one week and wound up passing for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns. He then bounced in and out of the starting lineup over the next two seasons as the Browns couldn’t decide between him and Brady Quinn.

His future: That breath Matt Leinart feels on his neck is coming from Anderson. A firstround pick in ’06, Leinart has yet to live up to expectations. Now that Kurt Warner has retired, Leinart will have to beat out Anderson for the starting job.

The take: "He doesn’t have great movement in the pocket but, boy, he can spin the ball," former NFL quarterback and current CBS analyst Rich Gannon said of Anderson. "He’s perfect for that system and what they do there."

Rex Grossman (signed by the Redskins)

His past: After helping the Bears get to Super Bowl 41, Grossman started only eight games over the next two seasons in Chicago and went to Houston as a free agent after the ’08 season. He has had an up-and-down career with middling statistics (54.0 percent completion average, 33 touchdowns, 36 interceptions), but he is no stranger to starting.

His future: Grossman, 29, replaces Todd Collins as the Redskins’ No. 2 quarterback. But if new coach Mike Shanahan becomes disenchanted with Jason Campbell, he could switch to Grossman, who worked last year in Houston with new Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

The take: "Once again, Mike knows quarterbacks and he has a guy that can, at the very least, manage a game for him," Mora said.

Shaun Hill (traded to the Lions)

His past: He started 16 games over the last three seasons in San Francisco, where he completed 61.7 percent of his passes for almost 3,500 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

His future: In Detroit, Hill, 30, will back up Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. But Hill could be a capable starter in a short-term situation. More important, Hill will be a good fit as a mentor to Stafford.

The take: "You’re always concerned about that quarterbacks meeting room and how those players get along — they spend a lot of time together — particularly a young player like Matthew Stafford, who’s still developing," Gannon said. "It’s good to have a veteran behind him who can help him and be another set of eyes. I think they get that with Shaun Hill."

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

They may have been overshadowed by more notable moves — the Bears’ signing of Julius Peppers, the Ravens’ acquisition of Anquan Boldin or the Jets’ addition of LaDainian Tomlinson — but a bunch of quarterbacks have been on the move this offseason.

With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both gone, Panthers castoff Jake Delhomme inherits the job as the Browns' starting quarterback.
With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn both gone, Panthers castoff Jake Delhomme inherits the job as the Browns’ starting quarterback.

Fifteen teams, nearly half the league, have made changes of one sort or another at QB.

These five players are the most intriguing quarterbacks with new addresses:

Jake Delhomme (signed by the Browns)

His past: Carolina’s starter from 2003 until the 12th game last season, Delhomme led the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance (after the 2003 season) and was a Pro Bowl pick in ’05. He imploded in a playoff loss to Arizona after the ’08 season, turning the ball over six times (including five interceptions), and had a career-high 18 picks last season before missing the final five games with a broken finger.

His future: Now that both Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn are gone, the Browns will turn to Delhomme, 35, as their No. 1 quarterback and veteran leader. He can start for two or three years, until president Mike Holmgren develops a young QB.

The take: "Mike Holmgren knows quarterbacks," former Seahawks coach Jim Mora said, "and I’m sure this is part of his master plan to drafting the future QB that leads them out of obscurity."

A.J. Feeley (signed by the Rams)

His past: Although he turns 33 in May, Feeley has played in only 23 regular-season games (15 starts). The highlight of his career was when he helped lead the Eagles to four victories in five starts after both Donovan McNabb and Koy Detmer went down with injuries in ’02.

His future: Feeley comes into an unsettled quarterback situation in St. Louis. Neither long-time starter Marc Bulger (still under contract) nor Kyle Boller (unrestricted free agent) is expected back. Feeley could be the starter when the season opens, or a backup and valuable mentor to a young player such as Sam Bradford.

The take: "I see my role as an older quarterback that’s there to help out in any way possible," Feeley said in a conference call with St. Louis reporters.

Derek Anderson (signed by the Cardinals)

His past: Anderson, 26, had a breakout season in ’07 when he was handed the starting job after one week and wound up passing for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns. He then bounced in and out of the starting lineup over the next two seasons as the Browns couldn’t decide between him and Brady Quinn.

His future: That breath Matt Leinart feels on his neck is coming from Anderson. A firstround pick in ’06, Leinart has yet to live up to expectations. Now that Kurt Warner has retired, Leinart will have to beat out Anderson for the starting job.

The take: "He doesn’t have great movement in the pocket but, boy, he can spin the ball," former NFL quarterback and current CBS analyst Rich Gannon said of Anderson. "He’s perfect for that system and what they do there."

Rex Grossman (signed by the Redskins)

His past: After helping the Bears get to Super Bowl 41, Grossman started only eight games over the next two seasons in Chicago and went to Houston as a free agent after the ’08 season. He has had an up-and-down career with middling statistics (54.0 percent completion average, 33 touchdowns, 36 interceptions), but he is no stranger to starting.

His future: Grossman, 29, replaces Todd Collins as the Redskins’ No. 2 quarterback. But if new coach Mike Shanahan becomes disenchanted with Jason Campbell, he could switch to Grossman, who worked last year in Houston with new Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

The take: "Once again, Mike knows quarterbacks and he has a guy that can, at the very least, manage a game for him," Mora said.

Shaun Hill (traded to the Lions)

His past: He started 16 games over the last three seasons in San Francisco, where he completed 61.7 percent of his passes for almost 3,500 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

His future: In Detroit, Hill, 30, will back up Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. But Hill could be a capable starter in a short-term situation. More important, Hill will be a good fit as a mentor to Stafford.

The take: "You’re always concerned about that quarterbacks meeting room and how those players get along — they spend a lot of time together — particularly a young player like Matthew Stafford, who’s still developing," Gannon said. "It’s good to have a veteran behind him who can help him and be another set of eyes. I think they get that with Shaun Hill."

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

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