Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Apr 2007

Duck to Lion to Dolphin to Falcon

The Atlanta Journal-Consititution is reporting that MDS favorite Joey Harrington will be competing with the likes of D.J. Shockley and Chris Redman to back up Michael Vick in the ATL. I guess management decided they needed some marquee value at QB.

Posted by: Benjy Rose on 09 Apr 2007

35 comments, Last at 11 Apr 2007, 12:44pm by Optimistic Packer Fan


by Mac (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 4:15pm

This is Joey's year! He's finally going to show us what he can do! Yes, I've heard the grand pianos are wonderful down in Atlanta...it's just the opportunity he needs!

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 4:25pm

What a non-bust set of quarterbacks.

by Fergasun (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 5:05pm

So is Miami really going to let Cleo Lemon compete for the starting job?

by andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 5:46pm

I wonder if Shockley is now available... he's one I thought could become the next... well... Matt Schaub...

by Truman (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 6:43pm

He better not be, I hope he beats out Joey for the backup job.

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 7:52pm

Is Atlanta trying to get a quarterback even more unlike Vick than Schaub was? Harrington pretty much takes the cake when it comes to white, nerdy, unathletic QBs...

Maybe Bryan Scott can sell Harrington his piano, if it's still in Atlanta.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 8:54pm

Why does Harrington have to be nerdy?

by PaulH (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 9:16pm

What's wrong with letting Lemon compete for the job?

I'm not saying he's the next Marino or something, but he didn't look half bad at the end of 2006, and you are paying him, why not give him a shot?

Besides, Lemon aside, it's not like the Dolphins really have any other particularly exciting prospects at quarterback.

Also, what's the deal on Culpepper now? I read something a few days ago talking about how he was still rehabbing his right knee. Any chance this is just one of those deals where he can never really recover completely from this particular injury?

I know his knee injury was particularly serious. I remember that watching his knee bend like it did pretty much grossed me out when I saw it on film.

by Just Saying (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 10:07pm

Harrington may be white and play the piano, but he's certainly not nerdy and he's not really all that unathletic either. He's not Michael Vick, but he's certainly no Drew Bledsoe either.

Is he good enough to be a top backup? I guess. But just barely. Defintiely a step down from Schaub

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 11:34pm

Just saying- He couldn't be as cool as Vick or Shockley, so he has to be nerdy.

by Gus (not verified) :: Mon, 04/09/2007 - 11:39pm

At this point, I don't see much in the way of proof that Vick is a better passing QB than Harrington, so I guess this qualifies as a good deal.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:29am

11: "At this point, I don’t see much in the way of proof that Vick is a better passing QB than Harrington, so I guess this qualifies as a good deal."

An admittedly arbitrary and inapt comparison:
Passing DVOA:
Year Joey Mike
2002 -20% +19%
2003 -23% -19%
2004 -10% -25%
2005 -8% -6%
2006 -10% -17%

I leave it to someone else to make jokes that Joey Harrington's career trajectory from 2002 to 2007 has mirrored Jeff Garcia's, except without the Pro Bowls.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:30am

Why is my post in Central Time?

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:36am

It would be awesome if the Dolphins got Trent Green. They'd have one guy who is 37 and suffered a major injury the previous season, one guy whose knee hasn't healed from an injury two seasons ago, and one guy who has only played one half of an NFL game in his career. Dolphin fans may very well be longing for the days of Fiedler/Feeley by mid-season. Okay, maybe just the days of Frerotte(/Feeley). (I'd really like to know what Feeley actually did to end up in Saban's doghouse.)

by Parker W. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:36am

Schaub has yet to prove he is worth the hype surrounding him and Harrington could still prove to be a servicable QB. Basically, it seems as though the Falcons have done an excellent job of turning a one year backup QB into two second round drafts picks (which, according to analysis, are the best values in the draft, especially since this year's is the 40th pick, a very valuable drafting position) and have replaced that player with a QB who could serve as an excellent spot starter.

by Fergasun (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 1:07am

I agree with your assessment of Lemon. That's why I was shocked that the Dolphins might actually give him a chance. He didn't look close-your-eyes awful when he played. I guess I just like the idea of a new player getting a chance (Rivers, J. Campbell, hopefully A. Rodgers) rather than rotting on the bench (P. Ramsey). There's a dearth of QB talent in the league, and it always seems like the ones who might get a Steve Young chance end up stuck behind an enduring backup (Vick)... altough Jacksonville did a good job in giving back-ups time... we also had Romo and Huard (if only he started against Indy... that stubburn Herm).

I just can't stand the amount of mediocre QBs in the league, although this is normal from what I understand... but still... Chicago, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Minnesota, Houston, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Brunell, K. Warner, even Delhomme were dreadfully mediocre at best.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 1:50am

15: Not to say that I actually disagree (or agree) with you, but Schaub could also make the pro bowl in 2007, the Falcons could use the picks on players that end up never starting a game, and Harrington could end up leaving training camp third on the depth chart behind Shockley. It doesn't seem like a 50-50 proposition, but some baseball player once said, "You never can tell."

I will note that by giving such a large contract to Schaub, it ties Houston's hands to the same degree as drafting a 1st-round QB. Which raises the question of how long does Schaub have to prove that he is a starter in the NFL.

by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 6:43am

17: Given that Kubiak is the pre-eminent quaterback guru (see Carr, David version 2006), I'd say that Schaub probably has about half a season before the Texans scouting deparment is looking hard at the Hawaii QB

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 8:20am

Certainly, Harrington doesn't possess Vick's running ability (but then no other QB in the NFL comes close to Vick on that one), but beyond that they seem to be very similar in skills. Harrington is reasonably athletic, and, in my opinion, throws much better down the field than dinks. I think this is a good move for the Falcons and probably good for Harrington as well. Then again, I still don't understand why the Dolphins dumped him.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 8:30am

#17 - Exactly one year. The deal is nothing like what would be given to a top draft pick, as only $7m is guaranteed. Base salaries for the first three years are around $4-4.5m, meaning that it would cost the Texans between $1.5m and $2m to cut Schaub next summer if he were a total bust. Kubiak would of course lose his job if that happened, and it would not be a good thing for the team, but this is not the kind of deal which sinks the franchise long term in itself. The ultimate value of the contract could be as low as $11m, where a top draft pick's would be north of $20m.

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 8:52am

Matt Schaub is an "unproven" backup, but barring something crazy, he wasn't going to start over the leagues highest paid player.

If Schaub is an "unproven" backup, then what are draft picks? Are Brady Quinn and Jemarcus Russell more proven? Schaub is basically a draft pick that was in NFL pergatory and redshirted his first couple years. He probably has a better chance to succeed than a player drafted for equal trade or draft value.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 9:15am

I think it was just that Atlanta was desperately looking for the worst 2nd string QB they could find so the fans won't be hollering for Vick to be benched by Week 5. With Harrington backing up Vick, there is no question who has the better skill set.

Actually, good luck to Harrington, I hope he proves me wrong. Didn't he have a couple of good games last season?

by Blair (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 9:29am

Re: 22

Obviously you don't live in Atlanta. I've never heard a Falcon fan here holler for Vick to be benched. Ever.

In fact, when Petrino was hired, the woman in the office next to mine said her husband said if the Falcons trade Vick, he won't renew his season tickets.

It is crazy, I know. Perhaps I'm immune because I'm not from Atlanta originally, but people here seem to think he is Jesus in cleats. Still.

Well, now that I think about it, he does seem to have the power to turn water in dark particulate...


by Erasmus (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 9:51am

Joey always seemed like a nice guy, someone you want to see do well in the NFL....I wish he could have done it in Detroit, but for whatever reason (and there is plenty of blame to go around) he never could do it. I thought he looked terrible in Miami and looks like a career back-up unless some QB guru gets ahold of him.

He does have happy feet, he does throw the ball away at the slightest hint of pressure (or to his last option)-which helped result in few sacks.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 10:01am

#23 - You're right, its probably not the fans who are overwhelmingly critical of Vick, but I've read alot of Atlanta sportswriters who are. And I think the national media is growing increasingly critical of his leadership skills, thanks in no small part to his questionable judgment of late.

But I think this is a make-or-break year for Vick, even though rightfully he should have two years in Petrino's offense to be fairly evaluated (if Petrino lasts two seasons).

by bobothemajicchimpanzee (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 10:20am

Re: 23,

Read some of the reader comments to articles about Vick in general, and after the water bottle incident in particular, and you'll see there is definitely a contingent of Atlanta fans that would rather he walk under water.

Some of the comments were really ugly.

Not a scientific poll admittedly, but there is definitely some strong anti-Vick sentiment in the ATL.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 11:45am

Time to celebrate!

Strawberries and champagne for everyone!

by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:12pm

This year we'll get to see if he can come back from the dead.

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 12:26pm

Maybe Joey should get arrested a few times, or try and sneak weeder bottles across airport security so he won't be viewed as a nerd.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 1:22pm

#29 - Or he could get a "negroplasty."

by langsty (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 4:55pm

"Obviously you don’t live in Atlanta. I’ve never heard a Falcon fan here holler for Vick to be benched. Ever."

i live in atlanta and i've heard plenty of fans voice their frustration with vick, esp. this past season.

by Truman (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 5:22pm

Maybe Joey should get arrested a few times, or try and sneak weeder bottles across airport security so he won’t be viewed as a nerd.

When have Vick or Shockley ever been arrested?
They don't involve themselves in barroom brawls like that thug Matt Schaub.

by R. Mexico (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 6:41pm

Re 32:

I ain't never been to court.

by OMO (not verified) :: Tue, 04/10/2007 - 10:24pm

I think I'm just going to post over and over again until someone responds to my one-trick pony crap.

Oh wait...someone has already done that.

by Optimistic Packer Fan (not verified) :: Wed, 04/11/2007 - 12:44pm

29: Joey went to Oregon, so I expect his weed-related skillset is significantly more advanced than Vick's. No way he'd get caught.