I was surprised how many folks didn’t immediately guess it was gonna be Washington. I guess several other teams are closer than I expected to the second place crown but to me, TEAM has been a horrible churn for a long time outside arguably the several years of Kirk Cousins, which I will get to.

I needed a good cutoff point to start the new hydra. I used 1999 as the start for the Browns because that was when they came back into existence. The Bears, while a QB disaster, don’t really have that “starting” point. The Bears have never really had a point where they actually had a franchise QB for years. Jim McMahon? His career got cut short thanks to a dirty hit. I’d have to go back to Sid Luckman or Ed Brown. The Jets also fell under this problem. Where do I start the Jets hydra? They haven’t had a franchise QB since like, Joe Namath or if you want to be generous, Chad Pennington, who missed plenty of games due to health issues. I didn’t want to just start at 1999 just because the Browns one did.

The Dolphins, another popular choice, do have a start point: the retirement of Dan Marino. However, Tannehill anchored a good 4 years without missing a game, and then played 13 games the next season. He also got a contract extension during that time period. As I explained in the previous post, I think getting the extension is a pretty good sign the team feels the answer has been found. The Dolphins never did anything meaningful with Tannehill, but it can easily be chalked up to mismanagement especially considering his blossoming in Nashville. I consider Tannehill the Dolphins last franchise QB. The Broncos, another dark horse choice I saw some people mention who had a good start point of John Elway’s retirement, had Peyton Manning for several seasons not too long ago and got two SB appearances out of him. That breaks the era in half. Neither of these teams quite fit.

So that left Washington. A disaster of a program with a very clear and obvious starting point: 1999, when Dan Snyder bought the franchise. Lets tackle the biggest question mark first: Kirk Cousins. Like Tannehill, Cousins actually anchored the team for several years. 3, in fact, with 5 games played the year before those. Unlike Tannehill, the TEAM never seemed to trust Kirk and never actually gave him that new contract he wanted. In fact, they famously bungled it, not paying him when he would have been cheap, franchising him two seasons in a row, making him impossible to keep, and letting him go. If Kirk Cousins for 3 seasons is the best you got, I think it’s fair game to start anew. Also, the TEAM is currently a giant question mark at QB, so we might get even more fun this season.

Just because I know someone is going to bring it up because they don’t trust Baker Mayfield and don’t think I should have retired the Hydra, yes, Baker has started fewer games for the Browns than Kirk did for TEAM. But he’s already on track to eclipse Kirk by the end of the year. Barring catastrophe, he should easily top that this season. Jason Campbell also technically played more games for TEAM than Baker has so far, but seriously, does anyone remember the poor Jason Campbell era? I lived in TEAM territory during that time and I mostly felt bad for the guy. Tell you what. If Baker falls apart and doesn’t come back or eclipse Kirk, I’ll bring back the hydra and have both of these going at the same time. Maybe I can go a Phins/Jets/Bears one if I can find a good starting point.

So here’s the list of QBs that have been caught in Dan Spyder’s web, along with how many games they’ve started. Can you spot them all?
Kirk Cousins (53)
Jason Campbell (52)
RG3 (35)
Mark Brunell (33)
Brad Johnson (27)
Patrick Ramsey (24)
Sexy Rexy (16)
Alex Smith (16)
Tony Banks (14)
Donovan McNabb (13)
Dwyane Haskins (13)
Case Keenum (8)
Jeff George (7)
Shane Matthews (7)
Colt McCoy (7)
Tim Hasselbeck (5)
Danny Wuerffel (4)
Kyle Allen (4)
Todd Collins (3)
John Beck (3)
Josh Johnson (3)
Mark Sanchez (1)
Taylor Heinicke (1)

Can’t wait to see who they draft and ruin next. Everything Dan Spyder touches is poisoned. As was the case with the Browns hydra, I have exactly one rule: nobody gets added to the Web until they have officially started the game.