The life of an NFL quarterback has to be one of the best experiences anybody could ever have. They are often the face of the franchise and get the rewards and accolades associated with that. Quarterbacks are often the highest paid player on the team and are commonly seen dating professional models; attending the biggest parties; and buying the biggest houses. Yes, the life of an NFL quarterback would be pretty amazing.
But no matter how good the quarterback is, the run always comes to an end at some point. It has to be quite the transition for most players to go from the top of the totem pole, to being on the outside of the sport looking in. Some quarterbacks thrive after retiring and others suffer adversity. Similarly, some retired quarterbacks leave a lasting impression because of their talent and personality (i.e., Brett Favre, Joe Montana, etc.), but others are quickly forgotten about after leaving the spotlight of the NFL. This list consists of 15 quarterbacks from the past decades that you wouldn't necessarily think of off the top of your head and check in to see what they are up to today. Please enjoy.
15 Brady Quinn - Football Commentator for Fox Sports
In what was a surprising turn of events in the 2007 NFL Draft, Brady Quinn fell all the way to the Cleveland Browns at the #22 pick overall. What made this surprising is that many scouts had Quinn rated as a top 10 prospect leading into the draft. Unfortunately for Quinn, his male model good looks couldn't save him from the QB dumpster fire that is the Cleveland Browns. He never succeeded in the NFL and was out of the league permanently by 2014.
Since his playing days ended, Quinn has stayed relevant in the sport by becoming a sports analyst for Fox Sports, and he's actually pretty good at it. When he's not providing sports commentary, Quinn is often devoting his time to his family (he's married to the beautiful gymnast Alicia Sacramone) and his charity foundation. The foundation helps provide resources to wounded veterans. At least he's not doing those cheesy Muscle Milk commercials anymore.
14 Kevin Kolb - Fishing, Hunting, and Construction
Rumor has it that every time you say Kevin Kolb in Arizona, there's a warrant out for his arrest. This is because Kevin Kolb absolutely robbed the Arizona Cardinals when they traded for him and gave him a massive contract in hopes that he would be their next franchise quarterback. The Cards gave him the huge deal based off a few good games with the Eagles, which clearly wasn't enough of a sample size. Kolb wound up to be a total bust. In fact, Kolb never played another snap in the NFL after the Cardinals released him in 2013 and he retired following a concussion sustained in preseason with the Bills.
Kolb, who used to spend his offseasons fishing and hunting wild boar, is now using his entrepreneurial skills to make a name for him in the business world in Texas.
He is listed as the CEO/Owner of a carrier company called MK Transfer and is also the CEO of a real estate development company called Twelve Stones. So if you're in the Texas construction industry, give Kevin Kolb a call.
13 Marc Bulger - Featured on Golf Channel and Farmer
It was an interesting choice the St. Louis Rams made back in the day when they chose to release Kurt Warner and start Marc Bulger. Warner had been struggling with staying healthy and Bulger was putting up huge offensive numbers, but it still seemed risky. Of course, Warner got the last laugh when he returned to the Super Bowl in 2008 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. But don't forget how good Bulger was in his first couple seasons... he put up legendary numbers.
After his career failed to ever get back on track, Bulger retired from the game and remained fairly under the radar. He competed on the Golf Channel's Big Break show and also held a quarterback counsel position with the start up Major League Football (MLF). But for the most part, Bulger can be found on his farm in Missouri and tending to some of his crops, while also doing good work through his charity foundation. Bulger is truly one of the forgotten quarterbacks of the decade.
12 Troy Smith - Medical Marijuana Dispensary Advocate
It's easy to forget about Troy Smith because of how short his NFL career ended up being. Smith was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback during his time at Ohio State but wasn't drafted until the 5th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Despite having some sporadic success in the NFL, especially with the 49ers in 2010, Smith failed to remain in the league and was forced to play in the Canadian Football League until he retired in 2014.
Since his playing days ended, Smith has continued to be an advocate for issues he is passionate about. Smith has long been an advocate for the FIT Kids Act that would provide helpful information for children regarding health and nutrition.
More recently, Smith (on the right in the photo above) became part of a group (including Ted Ginn Sr. and Eric Metcalf) to help bring medical marijuana dispensaries to the Cleveland area.
His 2017 arrest for drug paraphernalia, however, leads me to believe he needs to be advocating more and smoking less.
11 Tarvaris Jackson - Broke and In Serious Legal Trouble
The Minnesota Vikings thought they had drafted a steal when they traded up to get Tarvaris Jackson in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Everybody knew that Jackson would need time to develop into an NFL caliber quarterback, but his physical attributes were through the roof and too hard to resist. Jackson eventually became the starter in Minnesota and later in Seattle, but failed to ever consistently perform at his high potential level. He became a backup until his career ended in 2015.
In 2016, Jackson was arrested in Florida for allegedly pulling a gun on his wife while his children were believed to be in the next room. Although this was a disturbing scene for a former starting NFL quarterback, what caught national attention was the fact that after his arrest, Jackson asked for a public defender because he didn't have any money to afford a lawyer. Jackson was clearly in a dark place and hopefully he finds his way out of whatever hole he is in.
10 Joey Harrington - Jazz Pianist and Local News Anchor
When Joey Harrington was at Oregon, he straight up torched opposing defenses on almost every Saturday. He was prolific in his attack and really brought the Oregon program back to national prominence. Harrington had a skill set that seemed destined for NFL greatness, but unfortunately he was drafted by the downtrodden Detroit Lions. Harrington had a few decent seasons with the Lions, but ultimately lost the faith of the franchise. After a short stint in Atlanta, Harrington retired in 2009.
While many retired NFL players spend years trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives after they retire, Harrington had a strong sense of self and passion for TV and music. Harrington turned those passions into a reality as he is now a well accomplished jazz pianist and a very likeable reporter for a local Portland news station. Check out some of his music on Youtube.
9 Byron Leftwich - NFL Quarterbacks Coach
Byron Leftwich was selected with the #7 overall pick in the the 2003 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and nearly immediately became the starter, even jumping David Garrard on the depth chart to do so. Leftwich, commonly remembered for his collegiate game in which he played with a broken leg, showed promise in the NFL but could never put it all together. After eventually losing the starting gig to Garrard, Leftwich went to Pittsburgh and served as the backup to Big Ben until 2012.
After retiring, Leftwich wanted to remain close to the sport and decided to give coaching a shot. In 2016, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians decided to give Leftwich a shot as an intern for the team (Arians was a former coach of Leftwich during their time in Pittsburgh). Leftwich must have proven his worth as he was hired as the Cardinals quarterbacks coach for the 2017 season. Many believe Leftwich has what it takes to eventually become a head coach in the NFL.
8 Jimmy Clausen - Professional Flag Football Player
There have been numerous quarterback bust to come out of Notre Dame in the past 10 years and another victim of that was Jimmy Clausen. Clausen was touted as being a competitive, arrogant gunslinger when he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2010. His bravado didn't really carryover into the NFL, however, as he struggled mightily when given opportunities. Clausen left the NFL quietly after the 2015 NFL season.
Although his NFL days are over, Clausen has refused to give up on his love of the game.
In 2017, Clausen joined the American Flag Football League and was paired up with legendary receiver Terrell Owens.
Clausen ultimately lost his first flag football game, but he was playing against Michael Vick (seriously, who could ever beat Vick in flag football?). Clausen now spends his time with his family and raising his newborn son, Cooper Clausen.
7 Matt Leinart - College Football Analyst
Many people believed that the Cardinals and Matt Leinart were a perfect combination after he fell to them at the #11 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Then Cardinals Head Coach Dennis Green even called Leinart's draft day fall a "gift from heaven." Unfortunately, Leinart was never able to duplicate his collegiate success in the pros and lost his starting gig to the aging, yet amazing Kurt Warner on multiple occasions. Leinart finally decided to call it quits in 2012.
Nowadays, the suave Leinart remains in the football world as a collegiate football analyst for Fox Sports. Like Brady Quinn, Leinart is actually a very likeable and knowledgeable football commentator. He is commonly seen on the pre and post game coverages of Pac-12 games. Leinart was also recently selected into the 2017 College Football Hall-of-Fame.
6 David Garrard - Owner of Retro Fitness Franchise
The Jacksonville Jaguars were a solid playoff team in 2017, but the last time the Jacksonville Jaguars were a contender before that was back when David Garrard was at the helm. Although another quarterback on this list, Byron Leftwich, was originally chosen over Garrard to be the starter in Jacksonville, Garrard continued to develop and eventually became the starter and star of the team. This happened while Garrad himself was overcoming the burdens of Crohn's Disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2004.
Nowadays, Garrard remains a staple in the Northern Florida community. He has opened up a Retro Fitness gym that has seemingly done very well since its debut in 2014.
He also is involved with the Jaguars media and can often be seen giving his perspective on ongoing Jaguar issues. Lastly, Garrard remains a Crohn's disease activist and is always doing what he can to help find a cure.
5 Rex Grossman - Owner of Nurse Staffing Agency
After a stellar career at the University of Florida, Rex Grossman entered the NFL as the #22 pick of the 2003 NFL Draft, being selected by the Chicago Bears. Grossman had a roller coaster career as a starter in the NFL, most notable during the 2006 season in which he led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl despite his propensity for costly turnovers and many fans calling for him to be benched. Grossman lost his starting job the next season and never fully bounced back, although he did have a strong final season in Washington.
Grossman retired on his own terms because he felt that he just wasn't mentally into the game anymore. He and his wife then started a nurse agency company in Florida that allows nurses to travel for work for months at a time and also provides nursing homes and hospitals with on-call nurses if needed. Although the business is very successful, Grossman has hinted at the idea that he may return to football in some coaching capacity.
4 Jake Delhomme - Investment Banker and Racehorse Breeder
Before Cam Newton was the main man in Carolina, that role belonged to journeyman Jake Delhomme. After starting only 2 games in his first 5 NFL seasons, Delhomme joined the Carolina Panthers and immediately took over the starting job. Once he had finally been named the starter, he never looked back and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in his first season. Delhomme continued to perform well, for the most part, until he had a five interception collapse against the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008 playoffs. He never fully regained form after that historically bad performance.
Don't feel bad for Delhomme, however, as he has been extremely successful since retiring from the NFL. He has followed the footsteps of his father by breeding and racing horses, which can be extremely lucrative if done properly. Delhomme is also an investment banker and was named a chairmen of MidSouth Bancorp. Delhomme still entertains his competitive spirt through coaching his daughters sports teams.
3 Kyle Boller - Founder of Nutrition Bar Company
If it weren't for injuries and bad luck, Boller could have turned out to be a very good starting quarterback in the NFL. Boller was a respectable player for the Ravens, but never turned into anything more than a game-manager style quarterback. Because of his game-manager style, Boller was able to extend his career for more seasons because of his reliability. He eventually ended his 8-year career in 2011.
No matter what Boller did after football, he already won at life when he married former Miss California USA beauty pageant star, Carrie Prejean.
The two are a great pair together and have recently starter their own line of health nutrition bars called PHIVEbar. If you ask Boller what his plans are post-NFL, he will likely tell you that he is trying to "change the world, one bar at a time." Look for PHIVEbar at a store near you.
2 Jason Campbell - Auburn Football Radio Analyst
It's possible that no quarterback in the last decade was treated as unfairly as Jason Campbell. After finishing his career at Auburn University, Campbell was drafted in the first round by the Washington Redskins in 2005. Campbell then began a stretch of five seasons in which he went from starter to bench and back to starter with both the Redskins and the Raiders. Despite showing glimpses of his talent, Campbell was never able to find a system that he could shine in.
After leaving the NFL, Campbell has continued to use his status for good. He is very involved with charities throughout the state of Alabama and Atlanta areas. Recently, Campbell returned to his alma mater as one of the radio announcers for Auburn University football. When he's not working a game, however, you can find Campbell on one of the many golf courses throughout Georgia.
1 Kyle Orton - Fantasy Football Expert and Potential Politician
It was only a few seasons ago that Kyle Orton was still a starting quarterback in the NFL, but despite that fact he seems to be a forgotten "star" of the past decade. It's probably because Orton retired without saying a word to anybody. No press conference. No Twitter update. Nothing. Or maybe it's because he was always the solid quarterback that nobody seemed to want? All I know is that I haven't heard one word about Orton since he left the NFL in 2014.
Nowadays, Orton remains a bit of a mystery.
He became involved in fantasy football and would provide player testimony to fantasy users to help them understand how different offensive systems/coaches can affect a players fantasy value. Orton also has political aspirations and has stated that he one day wants to run for Congress. Could Orton be on the presidential ticket one day? If he does, hopefully it last longer than any of his starting gigs in the NFL.