Ai Golub/Associated Press
Scott Mitchell, Detroit Lions (1994)
Mitchell played for the Miami Dolphins for three seasons (behind some dude named Dan Marino) before signing a three-year, $11 million contract with the Lions. While he did have one monster campaign (1995) from a fantasy perspective, Mitchell would average just 11 starts, 2,529 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during his disappointing career in the Motor City.
G. Newman Lowrance/Associated Press
Rob Johnson, Buffalo Bills (1998)
Johnson spent three seasons behind Mark Brunell with the Jacksonville Jaguars and parlayed one great performance into a five-year, $25 million deal with the Bills. He would last four years with the team, averaging eight games, 1,200 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Johnson tossed a mere 27 touchdown passes overall, or just under a million dollars per score.
Ai Golub/Associated Press
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks (2001)
I'll include Hasselbeck, who was traded (not signed) to the Seahawks, because he was a backup in Green Bay behind Brett Favre to start his career. This move did work out, both on the field and from a fantasy perspective, as Hasselbeck posted several solid seasons in the stat sheets. In fact, he was a top-12 fantasy quarterback four times while in the Pacific Northwest.
Luis Alvarez/Associated Press
A.J. Feeley, Miami Dolphins (2004)
Desperate for a quarterback, the Dolphins traded a second-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire Donovan McNabb's backup. Feeley played one season in South Florida, throwing 11 touchdowns with 15 interceptions in 11 games (eight starts), before he would end up back with the Eagles (2006-2007). Overall, Feeley was a total flop when he went from backup to starter.
Paul Spinelli/Associated Press
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (2007)
Schaub spent three seasons behind Michael Vick with the Atlanta Falcons before being dealt to the Texans. While he did have two top-10 fantasy seasons at the position, Schaub averaged just 3,317 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his 90 games (88 starts) with the Texans overall. Still, Schaub is considered at least somewhat of a success story for backups. Kinda.
Scott Boehm/Associated Press
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs (2009)
Cassel looked solid in relief of Tom Brady in the 2008 campaign, which led to his being traded to the Chiefs the following season. He would start 47 games in KC over four years, but Cassel finished no better than 11th in fantasy points among quarterbacks in a single season. Overall, the USC product averaged just 2,387 passing yards and 15 touchdowns with the Chiefs.
Paul Jasienski/Associated Press
Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals (2011)
Kolb started seven games over four seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round pick. He would also sign a monstrous five-year deal for around $64 million, but Kolb finished his time in the desert with 17 touchdown passes in just 16 games (15 starts) and he never made a serious fantasy impact.
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans (2016)
As I mentioned, Osweiler is the current poster child for backups failing to produce as a starter. After seven career starts in four seasons with the Broncos, he signed a ridiculous four-year, $72 million deal with the Texans. Osweiler would go on to finish an awful 28th in fantasy points among quarterbacks while also neutering DeAndre Hopkins in the stat sheets.
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