E.J. Manuel announced his retirement yesterday. On the surface, that shouldn’t mean much to you except “wow, he was still in the league?” Here’s why it’s relevant. It basically cements Landry Jones as, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, maybe the best quarterback of the 2013 draft class.
For starters, Jones is the only QB selected that year to have more winds than losses.
Mike Glennon: 6-16
Geno Smith: 12-19
EJ Manuel: 6-12
Matt Barkley: 2-5
Landry Jones: 3-2
Jones also has the highest completion percentage, touchdown rate, and QB rating than the others, too. By no means is this to say that Jones is a great or even good quarterback. It just puts in perspective how terrible that draft class was and for the Steelers, relatively speaking, they made an ok pick.
Especially when you consider cost and investment. Manuel, Glennon, and Smith were all taken in the top 75. Jones was the last QB of those five off the board at 115 overall. He was the 6th quarterback taken, even behind Ryan Nassib, who only attempted ten career passes and never made an official start.
Jones was re-signed for two years, $4.4 million in 2017 while Glennon, in one of the worst contracts of this decade, received a 3 year, $45 million deal from Chicago that promptly fell flat on its face (he started four games, winning one). He went on to sign a two year, $8 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, throwing only 21 passes and getting cut this past March.
Funny enough, Glennon and Jones now share the same locker room, both signed by Jon Gruden and the Raiders. After failing to draft a quarterback this year, the backup spots to Derek Carr is pretty wide open with Glennon, Jones, and Nathan Peterman on the roster. But given the fact Carr has missed just a pair of games in his NFL career, it’s unlikely that whoever becomes his backup will have much of an opportunity to pad their stats.