An interesting article in USA Today claims that a "franchise" quarterback has become a requirement for every NFL team.
The Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers need to find a starter from among veterans. Otherwise, each of those teams will stage training camp competitions.
The quarterback's value can't be disputed. The last four Super Bowls were won by teams using quarterbacks who were first-round picks.
And yet the first round is littered with busts. Remember Tim Couch? Joey Harrington? David Carr? Alex Smith is fighting for his job with the 49ers. Often injured, the first overall pick in the 2005 draft essentially must unseat a journeyman, Shaun Hill. In Cleveland, Brady Quinn, a first-round pick in 2007, will duel Derek Anderson, a sixth-round pick, and maybe even unheralded Brett Ratliff.
That's funny, I said something just like that a little while ago.
The article focuses on the Bears, who haven't had that franchise QB. They've won 40 games over the past four years (second most in the NFC) and have won two division titles and a conference title in that time. Was that good enough? No. Chicago felt they needed to go out and get Jay Cutler to be that "franchise" QB.
I don't agree. I think Cutler will struggle this season, while Kyle Orton excels in the bombs-away Denver offense.