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Time To Hang It Up: Five NFL Quarterbacks That Should Retire Before The 2024 Season

This spring, one of the NFL's best backup quarterbacks of this generation chose to hang up his cleats.

Teddy Bridgewater helped the New Orleans Saints win a third-straight division title in 2019, winning all five of his starts while Drew Brees was injured early in the season. He did not throw any passes last season, but the Detroit Lions always knew they had him to turn to if Jared Goff went down. Bridgewater probably had a couple of more good years as a backup in him.

Brian Hoyer, however, does not. Along with him, here are five NFL quarterbacks who should call it quits.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Brian Hoyer

Despite being undrafted in 2009 after four seasons at Michigan State, Brian Hoyer has lasted longer in the NFL than all but one quarterback from 2009, that being No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford. He has been a hardworking and competent player who has been a capable backup for eight different teams and started one season for the Cleveland Browns.

He went 10-6 in games he started for Cleveland in 2013 and 2014 and was one of the best quarterbacks of the new-era Browns by the time he left for Houston in 2015. Now he ranks No. 17 for most passing yards for an undrafted player. But he couldn't do it last season with the Raiders. When Vegas' starter got benched, Hoyer completed just 17-of-32 passes and threw two interceptions in his one start against the Bears, a 30-12 loss.

The Raiders chose to go with unimpressive rookie Aidan O'Connell over Hoyer, and then they cut Hoyer this offseason. By now, Hoyer isn't good enough to help a contending team win, and any rebuilding team has some young quarterback they want to take a look at.


Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill was one of the few first-round quarterbacks to flame out with his first team and then become a quality starter for his next team. After seven mediocre seasons with the Dolphins, Tannehill joined the Titans in 2019. In his first season, he led the league in yards per attempt and passer rating and won Comeback Player of the Year.

With the Titans, Tannehill protected the ball. While in Miami, he threw 12 or more interceptions in each of his five full seasons. In Tennessee, he threw fewer than eight interceptions in four of his five seasons. However, he's been hobbled by injuries and poor play. Last season, his completion percentage of 64.8% was his worst since joining the Titans, and he only gained 7.0 yards per attempt, tied for his worst performance since 2014.


Marcus Mariota

The guy who lost his job to Ryan Tannehill should call it quits. Mariota had his time as a starter. He threw for over 3,000 yards twice and made dynamic plays as a rusher. His 87-yard rushing touchdown against the Jaguars as a rookie was one of the longest runs by a quarterback in history.

But in 2022, his last season as a starter, he only completed 61.3% of his pass attempts for the Falcons. Now at 30 years old, he won't be a starter again.


Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson is going to end up going out while losing his job to Justin Fields. He's 35 years old, and he can't move or throw like he used to.

His statistical production improved in his second season with the Broncos, but he didn't play much better, especially in clutch moments. Now he needs to learn a new playbook, and Arthur Smith isn't the offensive mind that Sean Payton is.

Wilson is not going to retire. But he should. He wants to prove critics like me wrong. He'll be the victim of his own stubbornness.


Mason Rudolph

Mason Rudolph may have won the 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the best senior-year quarterback. But he'll always be best remembered for getting hit in the head with his own helmet by Myles Garrett in Week 11 of his second season. Rudolph was criticized by some, including ESPN's Max Kellerman, for initiating the fight when video footage showed him grabbing at Garrett's helmet after being hit before Garrett pulled his helmet off.

Despite Rudolph putting up pretty good numbers this past season--74.3% completion percentage, three touchdowns, and no interceptions--the Steelers declined to resign him. He's 28, and he's the backup quarterback for the Titans, but many fans don't want to see him play again. For the Titans, that would mean that Will Levis either got injured or busted badly. For the rest of the league, that would mean we have to see Mason Rudolph on the field.

He should do what he should have done when the fight started: get out of the way.


Honorable Mentions

Case Keenum

Blaine Gabbert

Carson Wentz


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