Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

The great QB saga in Detroit: Rodney Peete

This year in Detroit, 09 first overall draft pick Matthew Stafford figures to be the starting quarterback. Now believe me, I’d love to see Stafford succeed just as much as every Lions fan out there who doesn’t go to any of their goddamn games. So for just a moment, we’ll pretend for just a moment that Stafford becomes a solid NFL quarterback for the forseeable future, avoiding injuries. With that in mind, it’s time for an Obscure Athletes series in which we explore the revolving door of starting quarterbacks in Detroit. And the first such QB on this list is Mr. Rodney Peete.

Rodney Peete doing what he did best: Giving the ball to Barry Sanders

In 1989, the Lions used their sixth-round draft pick, 141st overall, to choose USC standout quarterback and Johnny Unitas award winner Rodney Peete, who quickly won the starting job right out of camp his rookie year. Peete, however would miss the start of the season with a sprained knee he suffered in a preseason game; injuries would be a trend throughout Peete’s career.

In his rookie season, Rodney Peete started 8 games and threw just five touchdowns and nine interceptions, while leading Detroit to a 3-5 record and completing only 52.8 percent of his passes. Peete would have a mediocre next four seasons in Detroit, before bouncing around the NFC East for a while.

After a brief stint in Oakland, Peete had a final resurgence to his career, when he once again claimed the starting role, this time in Carolina in 2002. Playing in 14 games for the Panthers, Peete led the team to a 7-7 mark, before losing his job to future Super Bowl QB Jake Delhomme. 

Rodney Peete retired with a 45-42 record as a starter in the NFL, and an unremarkable 73.3 passer rating. Peete’s work recently has included his co-hosting gig on Best Damn Sports Show Period. Remember when that show was cool?

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