Shaun Hill will be moving on from the Detroit Lions and instead be serving as the backup quarterback for the St Louis Rams. Hill was acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 and has served as the backup to Matthew Stafford since then.
Hill was widely considered one of the NFL’s better backup quarterbacks. He was a steady hand the Lions knew they could count on should Stafford be injured, but he was never going to take the place of Stafford, he just doesn’t have the raw talent that Stafford has. As Stafford has matured, the injuries that plagued his first few seasons have long since been forgotten and Hill only saw action in five games over the last three seasons and never for any extended time.
There aren’t a lot of veteran backup options and coach Jim Caldwell and general manager Martin Mayhew have already declared that they don’t feel that third stringer Kellen Moore is their desired option behind Stafford. Mark Sanchez is expected to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles soon basically leaving the cupboards bare. The remaining veterans include Colt McCoy, Josh Freeman and Matt Flynn, none of which inspire confidence. It seems that the best option at this point would be to find a rookie in the draft to develop behind Stafford, but for a team with playoff aspirations, a veteran is necessary if Stafford goes down. There just doesn’t seem to be any quality options left.
No other position in the NFL stirs up a debate like backup quarterback. Every team is one play away from watching their season crumble. One sack, all the hopes the team had are gone. Stafford has been very reliable and durable, but previous to 2013, so was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Anything can happen, and the Lions need to find someone they can trust behind Stafford.