Eight days earlier than Super Bowl LV had formally put a bow on the 2020 NFL season, the calliope music already could possibly be heard.
The league’s 2021 quarterback carousel was in movement.
Sure, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nonetheless needed to settle the enterprise of a championship, however the Detroit Lions had agreed on Jan. 30 to ship quarterback Matthew Stafford — he informed the Detroit Free Press’ Mitch Albom this previous week, “I wished to shoot my shot” — to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and a pile of draft picks.
And the all the time fixed, and nearly all the time maddening, pursuit of the “it” man behind heart was formally up and working for the brand new season. Personnel executives across the league have mentioned that this offseason may lead to essentially the most adjustments behind heart from one season to the subsequent that anybody has seen. The file? Properly, that will be 16 completely different opening-day starters from the 1998 season in comparison with 1999. In 1998, the league had 30 groups in it, because the growth Cleveland Browns would begin play in 1999 — which means 16 of the 30 groups that have been open for enterprise in each of these seasons modified beginning quarterbacks, or 53%.
A giant motive so many groups modified their beginning QBs that yr could be deduced by wanting on the groups that didn’t. 5 future Corridor of Famers — Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Younger, Dan Marino and Peyton Manning — have been in place then, and 7 of the 14 groups that didn’t make a change had a quarterback who already had began, or would ultimately begin, behind heart in a minimum of one Tremendous Bowl for them.
That whole would not even embrace Kordell Stewart, who had 4 dashing makes an attempt in Tremendous Bowl XXX as a Steelers rookie earlier than ultimately turning into the staff’s beginning quarterback in 1997.
Jim Harbaugh and Scott Mitchell have been the one quarterbacks within the combine who began the season opener for one staff in 1998 after which began the season opener with one other staff in 1999. Harbaugh began the 1998 opener with Baltimore and the 1999 opener with San Diego. Mitchell began the 1998 opener with Detroit and the 1999 opener with Baltimore.
President Invoice Clinton was in his second time period in workplace in September 1999. The No. 1 track was Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailamos.” Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” was one week away from its debut. And there have been 9 new coaches within the league because the NFL started essentially the most drastic shuffling ever of its quarterback deck:
Quarterback: Scott Mitchell
Mitchell opened the 1999 season because the starter for the Ravens, changing the departed Harbaugh, however the Ravens additionally began Stoney Case and Tony Banks behind heart earlier than their 8-8 season was completed as they averaged simply 189 passing yards per sport.
Quarterback: Doug Flutie
Rob Johnson, who began six video games for the Payments in 1998, was changed by Flutie — a minimum of till the playoffs. Flutie began 15 video games that season because the Payments went on to an 11-5 file, however Flutie was rested within the regular-season finale with another starters as Johnson threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Wade Phillips elected to begin Johnson within the Payments’ wild-card sport in Tennessee the next week. The Titans received the sport within the closing seconds with the Music Metropolis Miracle kickoff return.
Quarterback: Steve Beuerlein
Beuerlein had changed Kerry Collins through the 1998 season — Collins had primarily benched himself that yr. Beuerlein threw for a career-best 4,436 yards and 36 touchdowns for the Panthers in 1999. Beuerlein by no means threw greater than 19 landing passes in any of his 13 different seasons within the league.
Quarterback: Shane Matthews
Erik Kramer, the 1998 starter, had signed in San Diego and the Bears chosen Cade McNown with the No. 12 decide within the 1999 draft. Matthews began the primary 5 video games of the season — he had seven begins general that yr — as McNown began six video games and Jim Miller began three.
Quarterback: Jeff Blake
The Bengals launched Neil O’Donnell after the 1998 season, took Akili Smith with the third decide of the 1999 draft after which began Jeff Blake in 12 video games that season.
Quarterback: Brian Griese
The one natural transfer within the bunch, as future Corridor of Famer John Elway retired after the Broncos closed out the 1998 season with the second of the staff’s back-to-back Tremendous Bowl wins. Brian Griese opened the 1999 season at quarterback, a job that obtained rather more tough when Terrell Davis suffered a season-ending knee damage in Week 4 in opposition to the Jets.
Quarterback: Charlie Batch
Batch didn’t open, or shut, the 1998 season behind heart for the Lions despite the fact that he began 12 video games as a rookie that yr. Scott Mitchell began the primary two video games of the 1998 season and Frank Reich began the final. Batch then opened the 1999 season because the Lions’ starter.
Quarterback: Randall Cunningham
For a staff that completed 15-1 in 1998, the Vikings have been definitely busy with the quarterback depth chart within the offseason that adopted. They shipped their opening-day starter of 1998, Brad Johnson, who suffered a lower-leg fracture in Week 2 and was changed by Randall Cunningham the remainder of the best way, to Washington for 3 draft picks. They then used a kind of picks — No. 11 general — to take Daunte Culpepper, as Jeff George, who had been signed in free company, ultimately changed Cunningham because the beginning quarterback in Week 7.
Quarterback: Kent Graham
Graham, who had changed a benched Danny Kanell because the Giants’ starter 10 video games into the 1998 season, opened and began 9 video games in 1999 earlier than he was changed by Kerry Collins.
Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde
Glenn Foley opened the 1998 season earlier than a rib damage compelled him to the sideline. Testaverde, who performed rather than Foley for a lot of the rest of 1998, opened the 1999 season, solely to endure a torn Achilles within the second quarter of the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Patriots.
Quarterback: Wealthy Gannon
Jeff George, who began the 1998 season opener and was one in every of three quarterbacks to begin video games for the Raiders that yr (Donald Hollas and Wade Wilson have been the others), moved on in free company for 1999, and Wealthy Gannon began a six-year run behind heart with the Raiders that included an MVP award in 2002.
Quarterback: Doug Pederson
After utilizing three completely different starters on the best way to a 3-13 end in 1998, the Eagles used the second decide of the 1999 draft to pick Donovan McNabb as their quarterback of the long run, a lot to the chagrin of the busloads of indignant Eagles followers in attendance in New York Metropolis who then booed him. Their future head coach Doug Pederson, nevertheless, began the primary 9 video games of 1999 earlier than McNabb took over.
Quarterback: Jim Harbaugh
Ryan Leaf, who had began as a rookie in 1998, suffered a season-ending shoulder damage in coaching camp in 1999, so Harbaugh began 12 video games that season.
Quarterback: Kurt Warner
Newly signed Trent Inexperienced was imagined to take over for Tony Banks within the 1999 season, however Inexperienced suffered a season-ending knee damage within the preseason. The glass slipper match Warner fairly properly, as he then launched a Corridor of Fame profession in a marketing campaign that included 41 TDs and a Tremendous Bowl win.
Quarterback: Jon Kitna
Warren Moon, who had began 10 video games in 1998 as a 42-year-old, moved on to Kansas Metropolis as Kitna received the staff’s beginning job in 1999.
Quarterback: Brad Johnson
After Trent Inexperienced had been the staff’s starter in 1998, Washington traded its first-, second- and third-round picks to the Minnesota Vikings for Brad Johnson because the staff’s starter in 1999. Two months later, Washington would get some draft picks again when the New Orleans Saints despatched eight picks (six within the 1999 draft, two within the 2000 draft) for Washington’s No. 5 decide because the Saints chosen Ricky Williams.
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