Five Young QBs…

Yesterday, the CFL suspended Chad Kelly – – last year’s MVP in the CFL – – for all of the pre-season and for a minimum of 9 games in the regular season.  This action comes after an investigation into charges by a female assistant strength coach related to “gender violence”.  The league has a specific Gender-Based Violence Policy and a third-party investigation must have given the league sufficient evidence to get the league to impose this suspension.

Chad Kelly – – the nephew of former Bill’s QB, Jim Kelly – – is no stranger to discipline for improper behavior.  According to Wikipedia:

  • In 2014 he was dismissed from the football team at Clemson for conduct detrimental to the team.
  • He was drafted by the Broncos in 2016 and was released by the Broncos in 2018 following his arrest on charges of “criminal trespassing”.  He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and served a short NFL suspension for violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.
  • Now the CFL suspension …

Chad Kelly is 30 years old.  He obviously has talent as a QB as witnessed by his NCAA and CFL stats, but it would not be a stretch to say that he has squandered much of that talent.  His uncle – – Jim Kelly – – has said that Chad is a better athlete than Jim Kelly was.  I have no idea if that is a fact or if that is just an expression of family pride.  However, if any QB at any level of the game is compared to Jim Kelly, that is indeed high praise for that other QB; few would deny that Jim Kelly is properly enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here is part of a statement by CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie as it relates to this suspension:

“Players are the ambassadors of our great game. They are expected to be leaders in the locker room and role models in the community. It was important that we performed our due diligence to properly review this matter from all points of view. That in-depth investigation found that Mr. Kelly unequivocally violated the CFL’s Gender-based Violence Policy.

“Mr. Kelly’s suspension is the direct result of his behaviour. The addition of mandatory counselling focuses on his need for self-reflection and understanding of his actions. He must take full advantage of this opportunity for personal betterment in order to return to the CFL.”

The Toronto Argonauts will be without Kelly’s services at QB through the first nine games of the CFL season.  [Aside:  The CFL regular season is 18 games.]  The statement by Commissioner Ambrosie regarding the counseling and Kelly’s need for “personal betterment” leaves the door open for additional sanctions.  At age 30, this would seem to be a crossroads in Kelly’s football career.  As Yogi Berra might say, he has come to a fork in the road – – and now he is going to take it.

Moving on – – with a somewhat awkward segue …  Four young NFL QBs may also be at or near a crossroads in their football careers for totally different reasons.  None of the four young NFL QBs have been accused of any sort of nefarious behavior but all four have been accused of not living up to expectations – – and that can be just as devastating to a career as an off-field “incident”.  The four QBs I am referring to are the four QBs taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft after Trevor Lawrence was taken with the overall #1 pick.  None of these four young QBs has had their fifth-year contract option picked up and none of these four young QBs is still with the team that took them in 2021:

  1. Zach Wilson:  Taken with the second pick, Wilson found himself in a difficult NFL situation.  The Jets’ OL was substandard, and his pass-catching corps was similarly less talented than other teams.  He had a defensive-oriented coach and the added pressure of producing for the fans in NYC.  Wilson was traded to the Broncos for a bag of beans.
  2. Trey Lance:  Taken with the third pick – – for which the Niners traded up to acquire – – Lance was outplayed in practice and then on the field by Brock Purdy who was taken dead last in the 2022 NFL Draft.  He was traded to the Cowboys where he is currently listed as their #3 QB.
  3. Justin Fields:  Taken with the eleventh pick- – for which the Bears traded up to acquire – – Fields found himself in a situation similar to Zach Wilson.  The Bears’ OL was a mess, and he had no outstanding playmakers.  He was traded to the Steelers where he will compete with Russell Wilson for playing time there.  The Bears got a meager return in the trade.
  4. Mac Jones:  Taken with the fifteenth pick, Jones began his career with the Pats in an excellent fashion leading the team to a 10-7 record and a playoff slot.  Not bad for a kid who merely had to follow in the footsteps of Tom Brady …  However, the next two seasons were not kind to Jones, he started 25 games in those two seasons and posted a record of 8-17 before being replaced as the starter by Bailey Zappe.  He was traded to the Jags this year for a bag of donut holes.

Finally, today has been about football QBs who have not fully expressed their talents on the gridiron.  So, let me close with this statement by President Calvin Coolidge:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not:  nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not:  unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not:  the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



One thought on “Five Young QBs…”

  1. Persistence: the hobgoblin of underperforming NFL franchises and their loyal fans.

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