The Redskins were the most exaggerated example of this methodology, drafting RGIII #2 overall, and Kirk Cousins #102 overall in the 2012 draft - to compete with the current QB Rex Grossman who was resigned for 2012 as well.
The Seahawks took a different approach to a similar mindset, signing free agent QB Matt Flynn to a 3 year $19 million deal in March, then drafting Russell Wilson #75 overall, all with Tavaris Jackson under contract (eventually traded to the Bills late in the offseason).
This concept of bringing more than one quarterback into the fold has become extremely doable with the rookie salary cap now in place. It’s a threatening stance for B level talented veterans in the league, who are watching young quarterbacks dominate in 2012 at minimum salaries. This kind of success at low-cost may eventually drive an NHL Goaltending conundrum into NFL franchise decisions - simply put, is it worth paying veteran star money when the younger cheaper players are just as effective?
Let’s take a look at a list of how NFL teams are paying active quarterbacks in 2012:
|Team||Active Quarterbacks||Cap Hit Sum||Avg./QB|
|Arizona Cardinals||Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley,Brian Hoyer||$6,055,489||$1,513,872|
|Atlanta Falcons||Matt Ryan, Luke McCown, Dominique Davis||$14,205,000||$4,735,000|
|Baltimore Ravens||Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor||$8,491,327||$4,245,664|
|Buffalo Bills||Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyler Thigpen, Tavaris Jackson||$10,500,000||$3,500,000|
|Carolina Panthers||Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Clausen||$6,645,659||$2,215,220|
|Chicago Bears||Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown||$13,640,000||$4,546,667|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski||$3,185,045||$1,592,523|
|Cleveland Browns||Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy||$2,197,250||$1,098,626|
|Dallas Cowboys||Tony Romo, Kyle Orton||$10,626,500||$5,313,250|
|Denver Broncos||Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Calbe Hanie||$19,639,396||$6,546,465|
|Detroit Lions||Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore||$11,576,250||$3,858,750|
|Green Bay Packers||Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell||$9,540,000||$4,770,001|
|Houston Texans||Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates||$12,211,250||$6,105,625|
|Indianapolis Colts||Andrew Luck, Drew Stanton||$5,240,000||$2,620,000|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Jordan Palmer||$5,597,449||$1,865,816|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Ricky Stanzi||$9,603,763||$3,201,254|
|Miami Dolphins||Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Delvin||$5,442,500||$1,814,167|
|Minnesota Vikings||Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Mcleod Bethel-Thompson||$3,214,423||$1,071,474|
|New England Patriots||Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett||$8,669,961||$4,334,981|
|New Orleans Saints||Drew Brees, Chase Daniel||$11,400,000||$5,700,000|
|New York Giants||Eli Manning, David Carr||$10,590,000||$5,295,000|
|New York Jets||Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy||$12,331,913||$4,110,638|
|Oakland Raiders||Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terrelle Pryor||$6,027,667||$2,009,222|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Nick Foles, Michael Vick, Trent Edwards||$14,965,812||$4,988,604|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch||$11,040,000||$3,680,000|
|San Diego Chargers||Phillip Rivers, Charlie Whitehurst||$16,560,000||$8,280,000|
|San Francisco 49ers||Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, Scott Tolzien||$11,133,776||$3,711,259|
|Seattle Seahawks||Russell Wilson, Matt Flynn||$4,544,850||$2,272,425|
|St. Louis Rams||Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis||$16,515,000||$5,505,000|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky||$8,915,000||$4,457,500|
|Tennessee Titans||Jake Locker, Matt Hasselbeck, Rusty Smith||$10,929,011||$3,643,004|
|Washington Redskins||Robert Griffin, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman||$5,648,008||$1,882,669|
No team spends more on quartberbacks than Denver, who put their chips into a risky Peyton Manning and have been rewarded graciously.
On the contrary, the Chargers hold the top ranking in average dollar per quarterback - having put their cards into a disappointing Phillip Rivers. The Eagles hold a similar position with their swing and a miss on Michael Vick. Those teams that do have established leaders (Patriots, Saints, Giants) offset the cost to pay for elite by not carrying a 3rd active quarterback (and heavily restructuring in many cases).
It's easy to see the financial change the rookie salary cap his done in transforming how teams are building their quarterback position. The Rams drafted Bradford as a #1 pick prior to the rookie ceiling, and thus own the #2 ranking in total quarterback compensation ($16.5M). The Redskins are currently paying 1/3 of that ($5.6M) for all three of their seemingly successful quarterbacks. The dropoff is so steep that teams maybe choose moreso to draw two from the draft rather than take a risk on a "maybe" superstar veteran (Flacco, Alex Smith, etc..).