Just because a quarterback starts the season behind center, it does not mean he has to finish there.
The NFL has always been a revolving door with the high profile offensive positions, and quarterback is no different. The NFL is also the “Not For Long” league where everyone knows they are on borrowed time and they cannot live for ever in their team’s uniform.
The quarterback position is the most praised and most maligned at the same time. Decisions over who to start and who to bench are not always popular. Many franchises do not have the luxury of starting a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Teams will bring three, four, maybe even five passers to camp if they cannot make a decision.
This is also a sign that the situation in that city is pretty bleak. I know one specifically that needs to make a decision on who stays and who goes. Also remember the most popular player on most NFL teams is the backup quarterback.
In any event, whoever gets behind center may not be the one we see taking the last snap of the year, and these quarterbacks, specifically, are the ones who could be benched by mid season.
Mark Sanchez - New York Jets: You know at some point, Sanchez is going to make a mistake. He may not run into the backside of his offensive linemen again, but he will miss a target, throw a game-ending interception, something. The media in New York is relentless and will call for not only his head, but also for the head of head coach Rex Ryan. Geno Smith to the rescue?
Blaine Gabbert - Jacksonville Jaguars: This happens in the first three games of the season. Jacksonville has five quarterbacks in its camp this season, three of which have thrown a combined 16 passes in the pros. Yes, two are rookies and will never make the regular season roster. Look for Gabbert to look like his old self and Chad Henne has to come in and salvage the season.
Christian Ponder - Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are a playoff team. They are young and exciting. They are full of speed and strength. Ponder right now, is none of those things. Matt Cassel is waiting to prove he can play for another team and Joe Webb can always be coaxed back to the position where he started from behind center, should Ponder falter.
Kevin Kolb - Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first round. He and Kolb will fight for the starting job. Kolb wins by default, but new Bills head coach Doug Marrone won’t long to pull the plug if Kolb struggles or gets injured. I am one of the few people who think Manuel is going to be a stud in this league.
Jake Locker - Tennessee Titans: Is Ryan Fitzpatrick any better than Jake Locker? As an experienced quarterback, maybe. Locker is more athletic than Fitzpatrick, but he has two sides to him. At times, Locker looks brilliant. At times he looks lost. The Titans are counting on the latter, but have Fitzpatrick there is things get rough.