Popular QB Myth Debunked Once Again at Super Bowl

Hold 1 Goofy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

There’s an unusual and undying talking point from NFL media powers that be percolating during every season as of late.

With varying styles of rhetoric, the talker is this: “Your best bet to win a Super Bowl is to employ a quarterback on a rookie deal.”

Popular QB Myth Debunked Once Again at Super Bowl

And for the eighth time in the last nine years, the theory is flat-out false. It is a talker designed to “crack the code,” and nearly every year, it ends up as a total falsehood.

Popular QB Myth Debunked
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These are the last nine quarterbacks of Super Bowl-winning teams. Passers on rookie deals are bolded in black, and men on non-rookie-deals are in red:

2022 = Patrick Mahomes
2021 = Matthew Stafford
2020 = Tom Brady
2019 = Patrick Mahomes
2018 = Tom Brady
2017 = Nick Foles
2016 = Tom Brady
2015 = Peyton Manning
2014 = Tom Brady

So, instead of spewing an erroneous talker in the ilk of “building a team around a rookie quarterback is the best bet,” folks should morph the opinion into one of these:

  • a) You need Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes.
  • b) You pay the future Hall of Fame quarterback because he provides the best shot at winning the chip.
Former Viking Has Tom
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In fact, the “find a rookie QB on a cheap deal, and you’re set” hypothesis has only served as a blueprint to reach a Super Bowl and lose it, as of late. These are the losing Super Bowl quarterbacks in the last five years when the theory was popularized. Passers on rookie deals are bolded in black, and men on non-rookie-deals are in red:

  • 2022 = Jalen Hurts
  • 2021 = Joe Burrow
  • 2020 = Patrick Mahomes
  • 2019 = Jimmy Garoppolo
  • 2018 = Jared Goff

Moreover, why must there be a one-size-fits-all method to hoist a Lombardi? The NFL’s bumpy road in the last 20 years has enabled Brad Johnson, a not-very-good-because-he-was-young Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning with the career .500 “QB Record” twice, Joe Flacco, the awful version of Peyton Manning in 2015, and Nick Foles to win a Super Bowl. And before that, Trent Dilfer won one in 2000. Last year, Matthew Stafford took home the gold, and anyone who’s ever watched Stafford for more than a single season knows he’s hot and cold.

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Methodology for winning the Super Bowl doesn’t arrive at a general manager’s doorstep in a pretty box. There are oodles of ways to win the chip — and they typically involve employing a man with the last name Brady or Mahomes.

As of late, the only thing achieved by “get a QB on that rookie deal, baby” truthers are Super Bowl losses. Is it good enough to get to February and lose? Is that the goal here?

And what about the Hurts’ and Burrows after their rookie deals expire? On to the next guy with a spiffy rookie deal, and let some other sucker franchise pay the guy?

The whole talker is peppered with inconsistencies, whataboutism, horrid logic, and a general ignorance of recent history.

If you must concoct a singular theory about “how to win the Super Bowl every year,” it’s as simple as a general manager nailing the NFL Draft — as in, consistently. Then, a general manager receives 7-10 cheap players for 4-5 years, hence building out a competent and contending team.

This “here’s the way to do it — use a rookie QB” stuff is lunacy. If it were a sound theory, quarterbacks on rookie deals would win the Super Bowl — not lose it, seemingly every year since someone cooked up the theory.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.