Jim Wexell , SteelCityInsider.com
This one's easy: Tom Brady.
Yeah, I was a bit surprised that he's 30, but he's still fit and doesn't appear
on his way down in any way. He's the smartest quarterback in the league and
easily the top leader. While his tools may not be sensational, they're good
enough. Besides, the tool a quarterback needs most is a brain and that makes
Brady the tops at his position.
Craig Massei, SFIllustrated.com
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are set for the near future with 23-year-old Alex Smith, the No. 1
overall selection in the 2005 NFL draft who has been the league's youngest
starting quarterback each of the past two seasons. Smith is a tall, athletic QB
who has the smarts, physical tools and mental toughness to become a complete,
winning NFL quarterback. He started tapping into his vast potential last year
after a horrible rookie season, when at age 21 he simply was not ready to be
thrown to the NFL wolves with expansion-like talent around him.
The 49ers feel good about where they are in their progression with Alex Smith,
but are you kidding me? If I could take a quarterback to lead this team for the
next five years, it would have to be Vince Young. There is nobody like him. With
a running game like San Francisco's to complement him, Young would be killing
opponents for years to come with his natural ability to make plays. Sure, Young
still has a lot of work to do as a pure passer, but he has the arm strength, and
if his rookie audition was any indication, the touch and pocket awareness that
separates the elite quarterbacks should continue to come as he develops, which -
let's face it - he did at warp speed with a subpar Tennessee team last season.
Over the next five years, he will become a dominant player. And the scary thing
is, after that Young's best years still will be ahead of him.
Howard Balzer, GridironGateway.com
St. Louis Rams
A case could be made for many quarterbacks, but for the next
five years, the choice has to be Peyton Manning. There is no better quarterback in the league who combines physical skills
along with knowledge of the game and inherent work ethic that has him always
preparing more than anyone.
Age? Well, Manning just turned 31, has never missed a game, and
will still be going strong when he's 36.
John Crist, BearReport.com
If we are talking about a quarterback to lead a team starting today and for
the next five years, Carson Palmer should be the runaway winner. Peyton Manning
and Tom Brady are still the two best QBs in the league in my opinion, but
Manning will be 36 years old by the end of that run and Brady 35. I know Palmer
hasn't won anything yet and the Bengals were incredibly disappointing in not
making the playoffs last season, but it certainly wasn't his fault.
Palmer has everything you look for from a measurables standpoint. He's
6'5" and 230 pounds with a Howitzer for a right arm, and while he had to
deal with the lingering effects of that torn knee ligament last season, he is
now completely healthy. He still managed to throw for 4,035 yards and 28
touchdowns in 2006, so just imagine what he could do on two good knees for the
next five years as he enters the prime of his career. Cincinnati may have a ton of talent on the offensive side of the ball, but
aside from Chad Johnson, nobody is truly an elite player at his position.
That makes Palmer's accomplishments even more impressive.
Manning might make better commercials and Brady has all the Bunchen sisters
on speed dial, but Palmer is the All-Pro quarterback of the future in today's
Matthew Postins, BucsBlitz.com
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady, New England. He's a leader - he has three Super Bowl rings.
He produces - he's thrown for at least 3,600 yards each of the last five years.
He's accurate - he completes 61.9 percent of his passes and has never thrown for
more than 14 interceptions in a season. He's durable - he's never missed a game
due to injury. He's personnel-proof - he's produced at least 23 touchdown passes
each of the last five years with a receiving corps that could be charitably
described as average.
Brady is this era's Joe Montana, a future Hall-of-Famer who is, scarily,
entering the prime of his career.
Ken Palmer, TheGiantInsider.com
New York Giants
Without a doubt, if I could choose only one quarterback to lead
my club for the next five years it would be Matt Leinart. Did I mention that's
without a doubt?
Leinart is the total package. He has both the mental and physical aspects of the
game down cold - and he's only going to get better. Playing in a pro-style
offense at USC has prepped him for the pro game. And playing under the bright
lights at Southern Cal prepped him for all the media hype of the NFL. And he's
already dated Alyssa Milano. Talk about being at the top of the mountain.
His leadership skills and maturity have also already been well-noted. Hands
down, Leinart's my guy now and for the next five years.
Jon Scott, PatriotsInsider.com
New England Patriots
While the idea of having a young Carson Palmer is intriguing, both Tom Brady
and Peyton Manning have the ability to read defenses and put their team in more
favorable matchups than Palmer. Age plays a big factor in deciding which player
to select. In five years, Brady will be 35 while Manning will be 36. Palmer
would only be 33. Trent Green passed for over 4000 yards at age 35, so
performing at a high level is still possible at that age.
I'd take Brady for the ability to win with nearly any cast of characters
surrounding him. Rosters change year to year and there's no one who knows that
better than Brady who had a completely revamped wide receiver corps in 2006, yet
still managed to guide his team to the AFC championship game. His ability to
make something out of nothing, to play with virtual unknowns and his slight age
advantage are enough to get my vote. I've seen Brady do more with less, and I
can't say the same for Manning, Palmer or some of the other younger quarterbacks
Michael Lombardo, SDBoltReport.com
San Diego Chargers
There is no quarterback more qualified to lead a franchise than Drew Brees,
who has now won division titles with two different teams over the last three
years. He is the Steve Nash of the NFL; he knows where all of his players like
the ball and uses his uncanny accuracy to put it in their sweet spots every
As good as he is on the field (4,418 passing yards and 26 touchdowns in
2006), he is even better in the locker room. His workaholic personality is
infectious and all of his teammates admire and respect him. At just 28 years
old, the next five years will represent the prime of what could be a Hall of
Ed Thompson, ScoutNFL.com
While many younger QBs are on the rise, they have at least a
couple of years to go before they reach the level of play of Peyton Manning and
Tom Brady, putting them behind in this 5-year snapshot right out of the blocks.
As for their age, the dynamic duo from Indy and New England will be the Elway
and Marino of this era, taking their teams to championship-caliber levels of
play perhaps even beyond their mid-thirties, so I'm not so concerned about that
Since recent performance can be a good indicator of future
performance, that's what I focused on - and that's where Manning holds the edge.
In QB rating, Manning has posted better than a 100.0 rating for the past three
years. Meanwhile, Brady has a pair of 92s and just an 87.9 rating last year -
and has never posted better than a 92.6 rating during his career. Over the past
two seasons, Manning has more TDs and wins, less inteceptions and sacks, and a
higher completion percentage (66.0 vs. 62.5) than Tom Terrific. That recent
performance trend information, plus his intelligent audibles that confound even
the best defenses, makes Manning my choice between those two great
Charlie Bernstein, JagNation.com
If I could choose one quarterback to lead my team for the next five years, it
would be Tom Brady without a doubt. Brady is one of the greatest winners in the
history of sports already, and is also the hardest worker on his team. Brady's
resume speaks for itself, five AFC East titles, three Super Bowl titles, and two
Super Bowl MVP awards. He's commanded one of the best offenses in football,
despite having any real top-flight receivers.
Tom Brady has all the tools to be successful, strong arm, durability,
mobility inside the pocket, great leadership, and a full understanding of the
game around him. Brady makes everyone around him better, and although he doesn't
put up huge stats, he consistently wins football games, and has been doing so
since being inserted into the Patriots lineup in 2001. I've covered all of the
current "great" quarterbacks in person, and Brady has been the most
impressive by far. Brady hasn't turned 30 yet, and with the minimal number of
hits he's taken over his career thus far, he's likely to still be playing at a
very high level in five years.
Steve Waters, BroncosUpdate.com
One doesn't have to look very far to see the best quarterback selection to
lead the Denver Broncos for the next five years - he's already in their locker
Jay Cutler was picked by the Broncos with their first choice (#11) in the 2006
draft and many experts claim he was the best quarterback in a class that
included Matt Leinart and Vince Young. Cutler has one of the stongest arms in
the NFL, with comparisons being made to a young Brett Favre as well as a certain
former Broncos quarterback. On the third play of his third start last season,
Cutler showcased his arm strength with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Javon
Walker that traveled 65 yards in the air. He's mobile with good size (6'
3, 233 pounds), composed, confident and a weight room junkie with a
reputation as a team player.
Although he posted a modest 2-3 record during his 2006 play, Cutler became only
the second rookie quarterback to throw more than one touchdown in each of his
first four starts (the other was Dan Marino). Working with the first team during
the offseason, training camp, and the preseason this year should give Cutler a
big boost in the only area he seems to be lacking - NFL experience.
Agree? Disagree? Start a post in your favorite team's fan forum, link to this story and talk it over with your community of fans!