New Orleans Saints: Finding a future franchise quarterback is paramount
Past teams to do it right
The NFL has seen it with the San Francisco 49ers trading for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Steve Young in 1987 with two-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana still in his prime.
Montana, fueled by Young’s presence in a quarterback controversy, won two more Super Bowls and Young won one as well, as both became first-ballot Hall of Famers.
The Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers 2005 and won Super Bowl XLV, three seasons after Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre left the organization.
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As Rodgers continues to play at an elite level, other organizations have made mistakes in finding a franchise quarterback.
After four-time Super Bowl Champion Terry Bradshaw retired following the 1983 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t find their next great quarterback until Ben Roethlisberger in the 2004 Draft.
It especially hurt when the Steelers passed on Hall of Famer Dan Marino in the 1983 Draft, lacking the foresight that suggested that Bradshaw could hang up his cleats after the season.
The bridge of Bradshaw to Marino would have been a magical one for Pittsburgh, as it could have been a terrific half a century of Bradshaw, Marino, and Roethlisberger.
In 1999, two-time Super Bowl Champion John Elway had retired the previous season, and with that decision, the Denver Broncos struggled finding gunslingers.
Players like Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, and Tim Tebow started for the Broncos before future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning arrived in 2012.
Sure, the Broncos had some playoff success, but it wasn’t until Manning came along that Denver reached the Super Bowl again.