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What's A Franchise Quarterback?

Thought it was an interesting question, so I am bumping up typer1147's diary.

I'm using Larry Neidermayer as a jump-off point:

Larry: I have a question about how the Bears will stabilize the quarterback position. Kentucky's Andre Woodson can make all the throws and has a strong arm, but that sounds a lot like another Rex Grossman. Wouldn't the Bears prefer to add a veteran quarterback that has established decision-making skills who won't turn the ball over instead of a player with potential like Woodson?

Trevor M.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Trevor: You could make a case for both sides: signing a capable veteran as a stopgap or drafting a quarterback to groom for the future. The ultimate goal obviously is to find a franchise quarterback, which is extremely difficult to do given that there are probably only four currently playing in the NFL--Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo. One problem is that there likely won't be a lot of quarterbacks available on the open market. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bears spent a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback and let him learn the game while Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman compete for the starting job in 2008. But with Grossman due to become an unrestricted free agent Feb. 29 and the Bears mulling their offseason plans, there are few certainties at the position at this point in time.

Only four in all of the NFL?

Being the cynical bastard I am with with all three of my favorite pro sports franchises (Bears, Cubs, Bulls), I'm assuming he's doing this so that it sounds impossible that the Bears can draft that player: "Well, so-and-so wasn't going to be as good as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, so he's not worth drafting."

My opinion is that a "Franchise QB" is one where the franchise doesn't have to worry about what the QB position is going to be for the next few years, not concerning the contract.

So, for that, I'd add the following names to the list: Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, Matt Hasselbeck, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. If Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, David Garrard and Jason Campbell can put up good years next year, I think they'd have to be considered. Garrard, Schaub and Cutler are the only ones I'd feel comfortable predicting. But even them... I'm hesitant.

Anyway, I think it was incredibly dumb to say the only "franchise QB's" in the league were three of the best of all time... and then Tony Romo. How does Romo get the nod and Roethlisberger doesn't? He had 1,000 more yards and four more TD's, but 8 more picks and Owens and a passing offense. That's got to be the worst mistake.

So, I'm just curious as to what you guys would define Franchise QB. Larry says defines it as elite QB's and Tony Romo. I'm more liberal than that. Instead of one of the best in the league, it's about how much stability he provides for your team