Posted October 24, 2013

Brett Favre? Tim Tebow? Examining St. Louis’ options at QB with Sam Bradford sidelined

NFC West, St. Louis Rams
The Rams have reportedly reached out to Brett Favre (left) and discussed signing Tim Tebow.

The Rams have reportedly reached out to Brett Favre (left) and discussed signing Tim Tebow. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Rams still find themselves very much in the NFC playoff chase, just a game back of a wild-card spot at 3-4 as the season’s halfway point approaches. The wheels, though, may be on the verge of falling off if this week is any indication.

After losing starting QB Sam Bradford to a season-ending knee injury last week, the Rams promoted Kellen Clemens to the starting job, then began looking just about everywhere possible for another choice at the position.

What they have come up with so far does not bode well for their chances going forward and suggests a lack of confidence in Clemens. With the St. Louis-Seattle showdown looming on Monday night, we take a look at some of the possibilities to inherit the Rams’ quarterback spot in Bradford’s stead:

Kellen Clemens: The de facto starter for the matchup with Seattle. Clemens has been with the Rams since 2011, which means he’s familiar with the Jeff Fisher/Brian Schottenheimer offense. His last start, though, came in 2011, under then Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo and with Josh McDaniels calling the plays.

“I’ve been in this offense for quite a while and I know the ins and outs,” Clemens told Jonathan Webb of the Rams’ website. “I think I have a pretty good rapport with most of my teammates and I’m ready to play. … I’ve worked really hard the last several years and I’ve got some experience, this won’t be my first game.”

Clemens’ last win in the NFL: Dec. 13, 2009, when he threw for 111 yards in a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s 0-3 since then, with all of the decisions coming during that 2011 season.

Austin Davis/Brady Quinn: The Rams added both of these QBs this week, presumably so one could serve as Clemens’ backup for the foreseeable future. Davis probably has the edge, given that he battled Clemens for a roster spot back in training camp.

Would either guy be an upgrade on Clemens in the No. 1 role, though? Doubtful. Davis’ inability to beat out Clemens back in August is a pretty clear indictment of his current status (though, at just 24, he still has some potential); Quinn has bounced around with four other NFL teams and has a brutal 4-16 record as an NFL starter.

Brett Favre: An option in rumor only, it appears. The Rams reportedly reached out to the 44-year-old Favre in hopes that he might renege on retirement to help solve the Rams’ QB woes. Favre said no thanks.

“It’s flattering, but there’s no way I’m gonna do that,” he told Sports Talk 570, according to Pro Football Talk.

Tim Tebow: Tebow’s name continues to be broached whenever a quarterback opening arises, even though the evidence is mounting that there is no longer interest in him as an NFL QB. That the Rams turned to the inexperienced Davis, the consistently-underperforming Quinn and even Favre instead of formally giving Tebow a ring puts the Heisman Trophy winner’s status in some perspective.

The 26-year-old Tebow continues to have a devoted fan following, who are quick to point out his 8-6 record as an NFL starter and the playoff victory he helped deliver to Denver. But he fell out of the Broncos’ plans, failed to break through with the Jets and bombed with the Patriots this past preseason.

Vince Young: Unlike Favre, who apparently has slammed the door on another NFL gig, Young wants back in … and can’t figure out why his phone has been so silent. On Sirius XM with Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez this week, Young reiterated his desire to return to the NFL.

“Me and my wife and all my peers and fans, we’re all trying to figure this stuff out,” Young said. “So I don’t have the slightest idea. It’s like a huge question mark over my head every day when I wake up in the morning … to not have one of those calls is tough, man.”

You might recall that Young had a spectacular opportunity to claim the Packers’ backup job in the preseason, only to be handed his walking papers just prior to Week 1 as the Packers opted for Seneca Wallace in that role. Young finished the exhibition slate with 20-of-42 passing for 177 yards.

Matt Leinart: Is he the top free-agent quarterback option left on the board? Maybe — which doesn’t say much for the candidates. ESPN reported earlier this week that Leinart was headed to St. Louis for a tryout, alongside a gaggle of other quarterbacks. Davis and Quinn obviously claimed spots in the Rams’ organization instead, leaving Leinart to keep scouring for a home.

When we last saw Leinart in action, he was making a cameo appearance in Buffalo’s final preseason game. He completed just 3-of-10 passes against Detroit, then was cut by the Bills. Leinart saw action in two 2012 games for the Raiders; he has not started since picking up a win for the Texans in ’11.

Greg McElroy: The Rams reportedly tried to go the practice-squad route following Bradford’s injury, with New Orleans promoting Ryan Griffin to its active roster lest St. Louis swipe him. But given the lack of exciting QBs out there, why not dip back into that well?

McElroy may be the most likely claim if the Rams again try to pluck someone from another team’s practice squad. The 25-year-old QB spent time with Schottenheimer when both were with the Jets, so he at least should have some knowledge of the Rams’ offense. He currently resides on the Bengals’ practice squad, and Cincinnati would have minimal desire to cough up a roster spot for him at the moment.

Other practice squad players who could pique the Rams’ interest include Scott Tolzien (Green Bay), Chandler Harnish (Indianapolis), Matt Scott (Jacksonville, though the Jaguars probably would try to hold onto him) and Tyler Wilson (Oakland).

108 comments
PaulEThomas
PaulEThomas

Well, I guess they should have gone with Tebow.

elcharroone
elcharroone

I guess I might as well let everyone in on it. Tim has already signed and the public will know with who in a couple of days.

gregatacd
gregatacd

Isn't Vinny Testaverde available? How about Jeff George?

JonDowns
JonDowns

At least with Tebow you know you can win.... I don't care if he throws the ball underhand, the kid wins!! PERIOD

JonDowns
JonDowns

If you don't take Tebow, don't expect to win. Ask Jacksonville......

Swedelogic
Swedelogic

Vince Young threw the slowest passes with the Eagles.  No zip, and totally different for the receivers used to Vick or McNabb speed.  His idiotic comment of "Dream Team" before even putting a practice jersey on, doomed that season with the media and all else eating it up.  No other established eagle said that.  Rams... don't get him.  You might as well get McNabb who look ridiculously fit for his retirement ceremony in September. 

DoBravery
DoBravery

FYI, Tim Tebow has a higher passer rating than all of these QB's except for Favre and McElroy (only 31 attempts).  Tebow throws TWICE as many TD's per attempt than Brady Quinn, and in fact has more passing TD's and less INT's than Brady Quinn.  Then there's all of Tebow's rushing TD's if you want to consider those...

rba1313
rba1313

Quinn is terrible because he is 4-16 as a starter and yet Tebow, who everyone not named Teblow, KNOWS is terrible is 8-6.  Maybe you should be looking at something more than just wins/losses.  Quinn could run an offense if he got a shot.


PaulEThomas
PaulEThomas

The most exciting option at QB who is not playing is Tim Tebow.  But I am just a fan, so the NFL does not care.  If not Tebow, Vince should be getting a call.  Clemens knows the Ram's system so should have no excuse if he flops the next two games.

Runronnierun
Runronnierun

Tim Tebow would make a good TE or FB. I'd rather see Tim Lincecum throw than Tebow. At least he has an arm.

DavidHarris1
DavidHarris1

Sam Bradford was the most proficient passer in college history. Do you know who was second? Tim Tebow. And Tebow ran for 54 TDs breaking Herschel Walkers record. Tebow is the only NFL quarterback to throw for over 300 yards in only 10 completions in the superbowl era.  Just Play him and he'll give you something to talk about every week just like he did at Denver and at Florida and at Neese High School. He has succeeded at every level.

nyhoukcdal
nyhoukcdal

Any reason why a CFL QB wouldn't be an option?  I have no idea if there is anyone with potential north of the border, but I think it's odd that this write-up didn't at least mention it.

elcharroone
elcharroone

Tim has not been blackballed. Tim has one of the most powerful and respected agents in the NFL. You can bet they have not been sitting around twiddling their thumbs. I suspect something has already been done and they are simply waiting to send it in for league approval. Got a gut feeling.

MikeCrusan
MikeCrusan

I cringe when reading the proclamation that Tebow has been blackballed by the NFL. Maybe he's not even average. Instead of assigning blame give credit where credit is due. Tebows a horrible qb. Signed a football living Broncos fan.

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

Please oh please oh please sign Tebow.  St. Louis doesn't have the pieces to make him look good the way Denver did.  He would embarrass himself, his teammates, the entire organization, AND HOPEFULLY HIS FANS enough to the point they finally SHUT UP!

Redskinforev
Redskinforev

Tebow didn't "bomb" with the Pats. What'd he get, like 8 or nine snaps? They just didn't retain him.

leon1376
leon1376

Tebow has been blacklisted by the NFL. There is no way any team will touch him now. 

esgalan2
esgalan2

@JonDowns  

 "the kid wins !!! PERIOD"  except of course when he loses...

esgalan2
esgalan2

@rba1313 

Every time I see a guy quoting a team record (W/L) to describe the alleged quality of a QB, I know this guy has not the faintest clue of what he is talking about....

pete gambled
pete gambled

@rba1313 Quinn is Terrible because in 10 games last season he only had 2 TDs.  In those same 10 games he had 8 INTs.  

Proof you know nothing about football. 

DoBravery
DoBravery

@rba1313 Despite all his additional pass attempts, Brady Quinn hasn't even thrown as many TD's as Tim Tebow..  You can call Tebow terrible, but that makes Quinn SUPER TERRIBLE...


KenStark
KenStark

@DavidHarris1 Thanks for the stats. Tebow looks pretty good compared to the others through 15 games. The year in New York was a big mistake and we all just have to wait until next season for Tim to get another chance. It will happen!

gregatacd
gregatacd

@nyhoukcdal The CFL contracts stipulate that they have to stay the year, which ends at the end of November. No such luck there.

Brian115
Brian115

@elcharroonehaveing a powerful agent can't help him throw the ball straight. If Tebow wasn't so stubborn and would switch positions he might be playing now. Your gut feeling is acid reflux disease it burns just as much as watching Tebow try to throw the ball.

pete gambled
pete gambled

@MikeCrusan  Unless you look at the Min game. The first Pats game, the 4th qtr of almost every game. the Pit game, the Raiders game, Texans game, Chargers game.  When Tebow was allowed to operate out of 10 and 11 personnel, he did very well.  

DoBravery
DoBravery

@MikeCrusan You do realize that the Broncos wouldn't have gotten Manning if the Broncos hadn't of made the playoffs..  Yes the defense deserves credit, but so does Tebow.  Kyle Orton was winning like 30% of the previous 16 games with much of the same personnel.. 

Brian115
Brian115

@MikeCrusan    WTF are you trying to say?

What credit is due?

And to who?

Signed by who?

Once again WTF are you trying to say?

I think the new Colorado weed laws got to you.

DoBravery
DoBravery

@JahliSuwaghaman You do realize that the Broncos were winning 30% of their games with much of the same personnel before Tebow.  You do realize that Manning can take any team to the playoffs.  You do realize the the Broncos defense statistically isn't anything special and completely FAILED for Manning in last years playoffs as they failed against the Patriots in 2011.

PaulEThomas
PaulEThomas

@JahliSuwaghaman - As a Tebow supporter, I join your plea.  All us "Tebowites" want is one season for Tebow.  If he fails, I'll shut up.

mst2315
mst2315

Actually I think this rams team has more talent than that Denver team. Their defense just won't be as reliable.

Brian115
Brian115

@Redskinforev because he sucks as a QB. I bet belichek wanted him as a FB or TE but Tebow is to stubborn to move positions otherwise he may still be playing somewhere.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@leon1376 Blacklisted?  Good one.  Unless you have inside info from every team which is highly doubtful.   The NFL is about winning and these teams will sign anyone that they believe gives them a chance at a W.   If any team believe that Tim Tebow would give them a chance at victory, even if only for one game, he would be signed, regardless of your imaginary blacklist.

pete gambled
pete gambled

@Brian115 @elcharroone This is a disingenuous or ignorant statement.  Tebow was throwing passes to 1 or 2 WR out of 22 personnel.  To expect Tebow to have a high completion percentage in that type of passing scheme is irresponsible....errr STUPID.  Get a clue man. 

PaulEThomas
PaulEThomas

@Brian115 @elcharroone - Tebow throws the ball straighter than any other available QB except for maybe Vince.  No excuse why he has not been contacted.

DoBravery
DoBravery

@JoeCabot @leon1376 It's not that he's blacklisted.  He has more upside than most of the QB's mentioned here.  The thing is he is BACKUP material, and no 2-3rd stringer is worth all the circus and hoopla..

Brian115
Brian115

@JoeCabot @leon1376 Lots of teams need a win INCLUDING Jacksonville. explain why they haven't signed him anytime during the last 2 years?

mst2315
mst2315

Yeah I am and you can't tell me they don't have the talent or do you not know anyone that's actually on the team?