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Tom Brady “retired” again. Who’s the next Big Ten quarterback to win the Super Bowl?

All the candidates to be the next Tom Brady!

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t heard, former Michigan Wolverines quarterback (whose collegiate career Michigan fans definitely didn’t spend screaming at Lloyd Carr to put in Drew Henson instead) Tom Brady has retired for the second time in two seasons. Injuries to the offensive line and the salary-cap-precipitated decline of the absolute superteam he joined in 2020 had already made it unlikely that the Checkdown Chieftain would return to Tampa for a fourth season, but he’s now added more fuel to that fire by announcing his second retirement.

With Tua Tagovailoa’s status uncertain going forward, Brady might be trying to run back his plot from last offseason to snag a piece of Miami Dolphins ownership and the starting job, but if his departure from New England taught us anything, it’s that he’ll jump out of a deteriorating situation for a prefabricated superteam with an arm that is much stronger than it was 15 years ago by purely natural means AND he’ll somehow make himself look like a victim through it all.

Nevertheless, for now we are supposed to believe that the Sultan of Swing Pass is really hanging it up, having spent his final season much like fellow Big Ten alum Drew Brees (throwing 1200 passes, most of which don’t cross the line of scrimmage). So now it’s time to ask the question everyone in Big Ten country who’s ready to move on from Tom Brady wants to talk about: who is the next Big Ten quarterback to win the Super Bowl?

Here are the top candidates.

Kirk Cousins, Michigan State Spartans

The quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings would seem to be one of the likelier candidates to do it...on paper...if you don’t quite get the deal with his Vikings. Somehow they managed to win 13 games this season. Virtually every win was a struggle involving something improbable; every loss was horrific. Combine Kirk’s indefatigable Kirk Cousins-ness with the cursed postseason energy of the Vikings and it’s kind of a miracle I even included him in the article.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

When you went to multiple schools, the school you WENT TO is the one where you had the best season. This is why everyone’s split over where Jalen Hurts went. Russell Wilson’s best season happened at Wisconsin.

You know where his best NFL season DIDN’T happen? Denver! The Broncos have traded a first round pick for a...retired...Sean Payton? In an effort to salvage the quarter-billion-dollar investment that was their Quarterback Of The Future, but he was the worst quarterback in the AFC West last year. He’s already won a Super Bowl, but that was such a long time ago...and his teammates from that time are all so sick of him that they’ll publicly tell you who really won that game.

Nick Foles, Indianapolis Colts

As we’ve already covered, Nick Foles is a Michigan State Spartan through and through.

How much more improbable would a subsequent Super Bowl run for B.D.N. REALLY be than his first one with the Eagles?

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

The former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback sure did run for a lot of yards this year. His team also secured the #1 pick thanks to some Week 18 magic from Lovie Smith’s Texans. Fields’ ability to win a Super Bowl will be contingent on his ability to escape the proven quarterback ravaging machine called the Chicago Bears. Kevin Warren already bailed him out by putting Ohio State in the 2020 Big Ten title game. Can he free Justin again?

C.J. Stroud, ?????

Ohio State’s quarterback has been underrated as a field general due to the Buckeyes’ embarrassment of riches at the skill positions. Stroud works through his progressions at a pro level and makes good reads and accurate throws. It’s unclear where he’ll end up, but it won’t be Chicago and Houston is probably locked in on Bryce Young of Alabama. This is a strange time for quarterbacking in the league with a lot of young talent coming up. Could he be an option for Carolina or Tampa?

Others in this category include dubiously former Penn State quarterback Will Levis (a projected first round pick out of Kentucky) and of course the legendary Big Time Tommy DeVito, better known as the only Tom not to be intercepted in a postseason game at Raymond James Stadium in calendar year 2023.

Wild Cards

David Blough and Trace McSorley are currently both with the Arizona Cardinals. While they didn’t sniff the playoffs, C.J. Beathard backed up Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. Former Hoosier Nate Sudfeld came agonizingly close to the playoffs, but his Lions did knock the Packers out of the postseason.

Last but not least, Minnesota legend Chris Streveler is the solution the New York Jets never tried to implement.

But actually last...are two more!

Chad Henne, Kansas City Chiefs

Beathard’s Jaguars were undone by the very non-Iowa performance of their defense against this Michigan Man in the divisional round when they let him lead a 99-yard touchdown drive. Henne outplayed the injured Patrick Mahomes in the divisional round game and it’s not even the first time he’s been a playoff hero as Mahomes’ backup. He’s actually the closest to getting (another) ring by virtue of actually being on the roster for the Super Bowl, and with Mahomes’ ankle still an issue he may actually get some snaps.

However, there’s one more contender.

Tom Brady, Las Vegas Raiders/Miami Dolphins/Somewhere

We’ll see how long it takes him to find new steroids and a new partial-ownership agreement like he was pursuing last year. He’ll be back.


Next B1G quarterback to hoist the Lombardi?

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