The 5 Greatest Backup NFL Quarterbacks of All Time

Aaron Rodgers poses with Green Bay fans | Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers’ football career is a Cinderella story | Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

This is the stuff of legends: A hotshot college quarterback goes first in the draft as the franchise savior. He wins Super Bowls and owns the key to the city, before retiring and entering the Hall of Fame. As “The Man,” the starting quarterback considers Hollywood actors, billionaire businessmen, and world leaders within his peer group.

Then, there is his backup, a journeyman quarterback just hoping to make the team. A quality backup runs the scout team in practice, carries a clipboard on game day, and above all else, keeps his mouth shut. Like any insurance policy, the backup quarterback will never see any real action, if everything goes according to plan.

Still, a select few backup NFL quarterbacks have been able to live the dream. If anything, a backup must always be prepared for the potential time when the coach finally calls his number. The best backups maintain full command of the offense, while stepping in to win games down the stretch. Aa successful reserve may demand a trade and leave town for big bucks elsewhere. By definition, the most celebrated backup NFL quarterbacks were loyal to a fault.