When Matt Flynn signed with the Jets last week, it got some Deadspin staffers to wondering if Flynn hasn’t had the single best—read: cushiest—NFL career for a backup QB. A few years chilling behind Aaron Rodgers, big money from Seattle, then a few years drifting around the league, rarely seeing the field but always having a job and a paycheck. Not bad.
But if it’s not Flynn, then who? We settled on three recent candidates, and remember: we’re judging from our own lazy-asshole point of view, not from that of someone who actually wants to be an starting QB or whatever. (Stats from Pro-Football-Reference.com; salaries from Spotrac.)
Pros: Got that big ol’ contract from the Seahawks, and only had to throw a grand total of nine passes for them. Will always have a job somewhere, thanks to NFL logic that decides if someone is drafted by the Packers, with a history of getting great QBs, he must be a great QB too. (See: every Tom Brady backup.) Was the winning QB in the single most fun regular-season NFL game of the last decade, and earned like $15 million for it.
Cons: Couldn’t even keep his first and only starting job until the regular season. Has had to move around a lot since 2011, including a lot of cold-weather cities. May have to actually play for the Jets at some point. Is a punchline.
Pros: Went more than four full calendar years without throwing a meaningful football. Got a cool nickname for looking good while holding a clipboard. Has made a surprising amount of money, most of it—again—from the Seahawks. Has gotten to live in San Diego, Seattle, and Nashville, three of our county’s more fun cities.
Cons: Known as the guy who lost a camp competition to Tarvaris Jackson. Let down his father, probably.
Pros: Got to chill in one place for almost his entire career, so no need to go through the hassle of selling a house. Literally never started a game. Owns a Super Bowl ring. Is probably friends with both Manning brothers, which sounds useful and fun.
Cons: Trapped in Indianapolis. Kicked to the curb for Curtis Painter. Actually got hurt one time.
Honorable mention: Gary Kubiak, Gale Gilbert, Frank Reich, Doug Pederson, Seneca Wallace, Tim Hasselbeck, David Carr
Please share your nominations for best-livin’ backup QBs in the comments.