This question has come up on twitter a few times, and it always seems to spark an interesting discussion. Whitehurst is certainly done in Seattle, but will another team give him a shot. What really are the odds that Whitehurst is on an NFL roster for week 1 in 2012?
Remember, despite what you might think of him, Whitehurst has all the physical tools. He’s a big QB with a big arm. He mobile. He throws a good looking deep ball. What’s not to love, right?
The problem with him has always been that the game never slows down for him. He looks lost. He’s slow on making decisions and is easily fooled by the defense. At times he looks like he moving, and thinking, in slow motion while everyone else is at full speed.
Is he good enough to be a backup QB? Sure, as long as your starter doesn’t get hurt for an extended period. Whitehurst stepped in in week 17 of 2010 and played decently, and he led the Seahawks to that come from behind victory drive against the Giants this year. He also looked awful at time in both of those games, was dreadful against the Giants in 2010, and even worse against Cleveland and Cincinnati earlier this season.
Will someone else see his physical tools and think they can fix him? I doubt it. It’s hard to believe anyone would believe that after his time in San Diego and now Seattle that he’s going to suddenly continue to develop. Any team looking at him has to realize that he is what he is, and that he’s not going to get any better.
Signing Whitehurst to be the primary backup is like having Caleb Hanie or Tyler Palko or Curtis Painter as your backup. Your starter better not miss more than 1 or 2 games or the coach and GM of his new team might be looking for work at the end of the year.
So then, in What situation would signing Whitehurst make any sense for any team? I can only think of one sitution where someone would even consider it. That is, when a stop-gap starter in place, and a developmental rookie project as the backup. Whitehurst could then be the defacto backup for any one game, but if the starter goes down for any extended period that the team could play the rookie.
Even in that situation, some teams won’t even consider him, but I’d be willing to bet that at least 1 will. Oh, and 1 team that might be inexactly that situation next season: the Seattle Seahawks. Just something to think about.