The hobby runs on QBs. Period. Save a few examples of players in other positions, its the only time where extended career longevity is assured if you are a good player. For other examples, its hard to find a great running back that wouldnt be axed from the team roster just because his salary cap number exceeds that of a draft pick or free agent. Wide Receivers are similarly difficult to stake, and the collectors in the hobby know that it isnt a good indicator of HOF level potential if the player isnt a QB.
With that, outside of Tom Brady, there are three QBs playing that have a number of large questions marks floating over their careers right now. Blake Bortles hasnt exactly had oodles of success in Jacksonville, Case Keenum is on his third team, and despite a lot of success during the regular season, doesnt have a great resume prior. Nick Foles is not going to be the ongoing QB in Philly, even if he wins the Super Bowl. In fact, its more likely he doesnt stay on the roster if he wins than if he doesnt.
So, that begs the question, should you spend any reasonable amount of money chasing the QBs not named Tom Brady?
Of the three guys in the playoffs, Bortles is the most intriguing for a number of reasons. One, the team isnt built around him. Its built around their crazy fucking tazmanian devil of a defense. Although they drafted Fournette last year, he isnt the one piece that makes their offense elite. They need more. Allen Robinson is good not great, Allen Hurns is meh not good, and Keelan Cole is a rookie. Marcedes Lewis is the one remaining piece since their last playoff run, and that isnt a good sign for the TE position safety blanket in Jacksonville.
Here are some auction prices that are already creeping up:
What makes this interesting further, the Jaguars did pick up Bortles’ option and have him for next year. However, with a late first round pick on the horizon, they might still draft a QB. That means the timer has started and with it any real potential that Bortles will be a long term option for the future. The problem for collectors is that Contenders 2014 was a design train wreck, only to be outdone by Prizm, which was the worst it has ever been. Topps Chrome autos can be difficult to find in good condition, and even harder to find in boxes because of the sheer volume of print run that year. Not a good indicator of success.
If he wins the Super Bowl, that might change things. They might be forced to see how it plays out and hold off one more year on drafting someone else. That being said, Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl, as did Brad Johnson. Sometimes its not about the QB. Not necessarily the best news to hear for collectors looking to buy in.
Another very intriguing story line leading into the playoffs. Here is this improbable situation that has arguably made Keenum a valuable commodity heading into the 2018 offseason. Although he hasnt been a star to this point, his performance during the regular season has been nothing short of remarkable. He was an afterthought for the Vikings and may end up being the reason they finally break their purple curse.
Here is where Keenum is sitting right now:
2012 SP Authentic Case Keenum Auto RC BGS 9.5 – UD autos are some of the only on card examples he has.
2012 Topps Platinum Case Keenum Auto RC Refractor – Only pro hard signed card?
More importantly, Pat Shurmur loves Keenum, and is leaving the team. That could play out in a very weird way, especially if Shurmur wants Keenum as his guy wherever he finally lands. If that is New York? No idea what happens with the fan base so in love with Eli Manning. Personally I think Eli is a joke, but that’s just me.
Keenum’s history in the NFL doesnt bode well for collecting potential, but his involvement in this miracle play, does. Minnesota collectors will always have a soft spot in their heart for Case, and that means his cards will never be worthless. On the other hand, if he wins the Super Bowl, it will mean a few things.
First, the Vikings will sign or franchise him. Two, the cards will be much more valuable than they are currently. Three, he will have many more cards to come. Four, Minnesota collectors will want more of his cards. All of these things should bode well. Hell, some of these might be true with a Super Bowl appearance, let alone a Super Bowl win.
Lastly, he only has a very limited number of on card autos on the market. His Contenders and other tent pole rookie cards are all sticker due to his non-RPS status. For good reason, many sticker rookies just dont have the same pull as tent pole rookie sets that are hard signed.
Let me start by saying that any investment in Nick Foles is one that will likely end up with him on another team. Carson Wentz isnt going to be dethroned as the man to carry the team, as there is just too many reasons the team’s investments need to be maintained.
Also worth mentioning that Nick Foles has had a great season like Keenum’s current run on his stat sheet. If he does pull it off, that could reignite a lot of collectability in him, knowing some QB needy team is going to want to give him another shot. When you have a QB needy team, it likely also means you are a bad team, which wont bode well for Foles’ career prospects.
Some of the examples for Foles, which are plentiful as an RPS participant:
More of a factor will be how Philly collectors embrace him if he does win the big game on the back of a great defense like Bortles and Keenum both have as well. Winning a title means you are collectible, period, but its rare that a back up like this has ever won a championship under these circumstances in any sport.
Of the three, I think Foles is the least collectible. He just doesnt sit with me as a player that has any real future with the team he will win with. Bortles and Keenum both will. That doesnt mean he wont catch on somewhere, but its unlikely he will ever receive the accolades for the win, unless he pulls off a miracle.
Man, to think we are a few days away from figuring this all out and this is the situation we are facing. Im happy its like this, as it makes things much more fun. If the same guy won all the time, it would never be interesting. Brady is that guy, and its nice to see other teams bring some color to the discussion.