With the NFL's addition of a seventeenth regular season game this year, you would think that this might tip teams to the notion that quarterback depth is crucial. Thursday night and overseas games are putting more pressure on players to play in less than optimum health. We are entering an era where it is all but assured that your starting QB won't play every game on the regular season schedule.
The Carolina Panthers began the year with three wins and zero losses. With starting QB Sam Darnold now out with a shoulder injury that could keep him off the field for a month, the team was facing the prospect of their playoff hopes resting on the shoulders of the unproven PJ Walker. As the Panthers are still mathematically alive for the postseason and enjoying the return of star RB Christian McCaffrey, they turned to former NFL MVP Cam Newton to salvage their season.
Newton is fresh off losing the starting QB job with the New England Patriots to rookie Mac Jones at the start of the 2021 regular season. It was reported on Sirius XM that he voluntarily attended "quarterback camp" since being cut by New England. Other teams with reported interest in Newton include the Seattle Seahawks. With his second tour of duty with the Panthers, Newton joins the exclusive company of quarterbacks who played for the same team twice.
Fran Tarkenton - drafted by the then expansion Vikings in 1961, Tarkenton played for Minnesota until 1966 when he was traded to the New York Giants. He played for Big Blue until 1971 and was traded back to the Vikings in early 1972. He led the Vikings to three Superbowls in his second stint - all losses. He ranks sixth all time in quarterback rushing yardage.
Vinny Testaverde - dubbed as the answer to every quarterback trivia question, the number one pick in the 1987 draft boasts the best jersey collection this side of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Over his twenty one seasons in the NFL, Vinny only played for one team twice - the New York Jets. His 1998 season as a Jet was the high watermark of his career and led to his selection to the Pro Bowl. The 1998 Jets would fall the eventual AFC Champion Denver Broncos. Testaverde rejoined the Jets in 2005 when both Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler went down with injuries.
Steve DeBerg - once known as Grandpa and Father Time, Deberg still holds a record that even Tom Brady has not eclipsed - the oldest player ever on a Superbowl team roster at age 45. DeBerg's career spanned twenty one years with six different teams. He was traded from the Broncos to the Buccaneers in 1984 and started until the arrival of Steve Young from the USFL in 1986. He rejoined the Buccaneers in 1992 under Head Coach Sam Wyche. His Superbowl appearance was with the Atlanta Falcons in 1999 after his first retirement in 1993.
Other notable quarterbacks to play for the same team twice include:
- Brad Johnson - Vikings
- George Blanda - Bears
- Jeff Garcia - Eagles
- Boomer Esiason - Bengals