One of the most notorious figures in NFL history, Vick initially rebounded successfully from his time in jail. He helped the Eagles to an NFC East title. In sum, it looked like two years of warming a jail cell hadn’t damaged his abilities. But it wasn’t the case.
The following year, his turnover rate doubled. Just like that, he lost his place as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. From there he went on to become the Steelers’ back-up and floated around the NFL until the end of his career. Nobody wanted him as he sat as a free agent for his final year.
Poor Griffin. His career is ongoing but there’s no doubt that it has never recovered from the traumatic ending to his rookie year. A revelation with the Washington Redskins, he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award to cap a brilliant season. But then the record-breaker tore ligaments in his knee.
In sum, the decline was immediate. Despite significant rehabilitation, Griffin was a ghost of his former self. Instead of becoming a franchise quarterback as the Redskins expected, he has drifted around the league as a back-up quarterback. Finally, he serves as a warning to all young quarterbacks how quickly things can change.
It’s very easy to forget that Kaepernick wasn’t good in his final season with the San Francisco 49ers. For all of his social justice work outside of football, his on-field contribution was in severe decline. Of course, people don’t like to mention that when they condemn NFL teams for not signing him.
If Kaepernick was elite like Patrick Mahomes, then they would be after him in a flash. But the reality is that he couldn’t nail down the starting QB slot ahead of Blaine Gabbert in his last two years in San Francisco. From 2015 on, he was never the same player as before.