Tom Brady's backup QBs, ranked: How TB12's QB2s fared after leaving the GOAT's shadow

The backup quarterback is the preferred individual on the staff. Until, after all, the starter is Tom Brady.

All through Brady’s profession, many quarterbacks who’ve sat behind “TB12” have gone on to play in video games within the NFL. After all, there are differing outcomes for all of them, however one factor’s for certain: None have been “Tom Terrific.”

To that finish, Invoice Belichick’s resume with regards to drafting quarterback expertise is not precisely a tried-and-true and confirmed commodity. Had it not been for Brady, there is a respectable probability that Belichick could be wallowing in QB obscurity, questioning when the cellphone would ring once more for his subsequent job.

Actually, that is perhaps barely hyperbolic — however we’ll by no means know for certain by hook or by crook.

Here is how these quarterbacks fared after they backed up Brady: 

8. Jarrett Stidham*

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Years as a backup: 2019

*We begin with an asterisk right here, as a result of Stidham is the one participant on this listing to have but to start out a recreation after backing up Brady.

Stidham was drafted within the fourth spherical of the 2019 NFL Draft, and a few anticipated him to be a moldable prospect for Belichick to insert below middle after Brady’s retirement (or, because it proved to be, his departure). Stidham has appeared in eight video games up to now in his NFL profession, and he hasn’t showcased a lot of something.

Belichick’s little religion in Stidham as a starter was completely encapsulated by the 2020 offseason: Relatively than stick to the second-year participant to see what he is acquired as QB1, the Patriots signed Cam Newton for pennies on the greenback late within the offseason, giving him full reign of the offense in 2020. It was a largely combined bag altogether for the Pats in 2020, however Stidham is presently projecting as a profession backup, if something.

7. Ryan Mallett

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Years as a backup: 2011-2013

The large-armed Mallett was the very best choice the Patriots made at quarterback since Drew Bledsoe was taken No. 1 general in 1993, picked within the third spherical out of Arkansas in 2011. 

After being inactive his rookie season, Mallett was promoted to second-string quarterback in 2012, showing in 4 video games for New England in 2012 earlier than he was traded to the Texans in 2014 for a conditional sixth-round decide.

What anybody in Houston noticed in Mallett was anybody’s guess: They have been seemingly enamored with the his preseason efficiency, and a sixth-round decide for a possible franchise passer is not precisely a hefty worth to pay.

Mallett battled it out with one more Brady backup (a recurring theme) in 2015 earlier than being traded to the Ravens as emergency starter following accidents to each Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub. He final performed in 2017 for the Ravens.

6. Damon Huard

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Years as a backup: 2001-2003

Huard misplaced out on the QB2 job to some dude named Brady in 2001, spending two seasons in New England earlier than finally beginning a variety of video games with the Chiefs between 2006 and 2008. 

Huard gained two Tremendous Bowl rings as Brady’s backup and parlayed that into one other backup job with Kansas Metropolis. He would exchange an injured Trent Inexperienced in 2006 and earn himself an extension along with his play — earlier than finally being changed by one other Brady backup in 2009.

5. Brian Hoyer

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Years as a backup: 2009-2011, 2017-2018

Essentially the most well-traveled of any of Brady’s backups, Hoyer began 39 video games throughout six totally different franchises, most famously getting a run along with his hometown Cleveland Browns in 2013. Hoyer’s season could be lower quick after falling sufferer to an ACL harm.

He would begin once more in Cleveland for the 2014 season, however to diminishing returns, and later would make jumps to Houston, Chicago, New England (once more) and Indianapolis, beginning in every single place however New England.

A well-respected veteran backup, Hoyer as soon as once more is again on New England’s bench, this time presumably serving to train up rookie QB Mac Jones. He began a single recreation in 2020, changing a COVID-stricken Cam Newton for a single recreation. 

4. Matt Cassel

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Years as a backup: 2005-2008

Cassel serves because the cautionary story for any staff attempting to recreate that New England quarterback magic exterior the confines of Gillette Stadium. 

The USC product changed an injured Tom Brady in 2008, main the Patriots to a 11-5 document in Brady’s absence, in the end lacking out on the playoffs. Cassel could be traded from New England to Kansas Metropolis the next offseason (as former New England entrance workplace man took over the reins in Kansas Metropolis), changing Damon Huard (Keep in mind him?) and nearly immediately signing a six-year, $62.7 million contract with the Chiefs to be their franchise passer.

What occurred subsequent is a little bit of unlucky soccer historical past: Cassel went on to be a fairly common passer for the Chiefs, coping with accidents all through his tenure, throwing 59 touchdowns to 44 interceptions throughout 48 video games with KC. He did not attain the highs that he did throughout that one season with the Patriots, even when the state of affairs round him in Arrowhead wasn’t excellent.

Cassel would begin video games for the Vikings, Titans and Cowboys after his Kansas Metropolis run, by no means reaching the manufacturing he did whereas with the Patriots.

3. Jacoby Brissett

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Years as a backup: 2016

Brissett’s newest cease is in South Seashore, backing up — and presently beginning rather than — an injured Tua Tagovailoa. 

Brissett has gotten his alternative to start out within the NFL, getting and prolonged look with the Colts, enjoying rather than an injured Andrew Luck. Of all of the backups which have handed by Brady’s shadow, Brissett has made arguably probably the most of any alternative given to him, and really parlayed his alternative into some good manufacturing — and a few good paydays. 

Curiously sufficient, Brissett had simply a single season below Brady’s shadow earlier than New England traded him to the Colts in 2017 in change for Phillip Dorsett, with Indy needing the depth at QB when Luck went down with an harm.

2. Drew Bledsoe

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Years as backup: 2001

Brady changed the incumbent former No. 1 general decide as New England beginning quarterback in 2001 after Mo Lewis knocked Bledsoe out of a recreation (and right into a Payments uniform the next season). 

Even after he returned, Invoice Belichick determined to hitch his wagon to Brady, which caught the eye of many within the NFL world.

The remainder, as if say, is historical past.

Bledsoe would stay in New England till the next offseason, when New England traded the veteran to the Payments in change for a first-round decide. Bledsoe would have three Bledsoe-ian years with the Payments earlier than ending out his profession with the Cowboys. 

1. Jimmy Garoppolo

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Years as backup: 2014-2017

One of many many prides of Jap Illinois, Jimmy GQ was as soon as the inheritor obvious — and the obvious supply of drama — to Brady in New England, till he was shipped off to the 49ers for a second-round decide mid-season in 2017.

Garoppolo would begin for the 49ers instantly, main them to a 5-0 document down the stretch in 2017. Garoppolo suffered an ACL harm in 2018, enjoying in simply three video games, returning in 2019 and making a Tremendous Bowl look with the 49ers that season, dropping to the Chiefs. 

Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco is a bit foggy in the mean time, with the staff choosing quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 general decide int he 2021 NFL Draft, however when wholesome, he is been a wonderfully serviceable quarterback for the 49ers.

However of all of Brady’s backups drafted to “exchange” him, or simply be, effectively, a backup, Garoppolo has proven probably the most promise and really lived by on the potential. 

Even when Brady might or might not suppose he is a “mom f—er.”

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