• The Quarterback Portfolio


    It's easy to find articles about how the key to investment success is a diversified portfolio. I decided it was time to share my thoughts about what my portfolio would look like if I had $100,000 to invest into any quarterback I wanted for the next five seasons. The rules are simple. I can only invest once and cannot move my money later. Simply, I enjoy high rates of return along with dividends if the quarterbacks I select win awards, set records, host playoff games, win the division and celebrate Super Bowl victories. Here's my portfolio:

    1. Aaron Rodgers-
    Did you know he is only 29? The Packers have their problems on defense and they won't have Greg Jennings or Donald Driver for the first time in his career. I still don't care. He's a couple months younger than Brandon Weeden (sorry Browns fans) and history says that the great quarterbacks can go on for a long time. Montana had one his best seasons at 33 with 26 touchdowns and 8 picks. Tom Brady had 36 touchdowns and 4 interceptions at age 33. Peyton Manning threw his 49 touchdowns at age 28, but also just threw 37 touchdowns along with only 11 interceptions at age 36. Johnny Unitas had two of his best seasons of TD/INT ratio and completion percentage at the ages of 31 and 34. Some of those ages are four or more years away.

    He has a career TD/INT ratio of 3.7 to 1. Those numbers are not supposed to be sustainable from one year to the next, let alone be a compilation of five years. His division is shaky. The Vikings may need to start over at quarterback again within the next five years. No one knows if the Bears can turn into an offensive team and sacrifice some defense in Soldier Field. The Lions keep frustrating everyone. The Packers are the most stable team in the division. After a 6-10 transition year in 2008, Aaron Rodgers' Packers have won the NFC North in three out of four years. He is 52-26 in the regular season.

    Investment: $30,000

    2. Andrew Luck-
    Count me among the people truly impressed with his rookie season. No first-year quarterback was relied on more. The Colts had a spotty defense and no running game at all. Detractors are going to point at his 54.1% completion percentage. I say it is harder to complete a pass if the defense has no fear of the run. Luck accounted for about 75% of the team's offense and managed a team that got 11 wins despite a -30 point differential. That means Indianapolis won about four more games than expected. Luck showed the ability to produce the late comeback and he did it once against the first guy on this list.

    Did I mention that he had a patchwork offensive line and took a beating? Despite this, he converted a first down on 55% of his rushes (Griffin did on 35%, though for completely obvious reasons) and scored five times on the ground. The Texans may be hard to take down, but I guess I have faith in the ability of management to build the Colts and eventually de-throne the Houston club. I think the style of the Texans could make them vulnerable because their offense and the personnel on that side of the ball do not seem to fit where the NFL trends are going.

    Investment: $12,000

    3. Robert Griffin III-
    How could I not? He rushed for 815 yards and was put into an offense perfect for his skills at the time. I expect him to move himself out of the low 20s in terms of passes thrown per game as the offense evolves. It has to. The Redskins cannot have this man have his season ended with surgery due to mismanagement and deplorable turf (How did the 'Skins let that happen?). Using a run-heavy offense and his mobility to perfection, he had 27 total touchdowns and just five interceptions.

    The area where he wasn't perfect was protecting himself during his runs. I think he will show maturity and learn a bit, though I think that the competitive button to go for those extra yards is hard to turn off. Still, I think he is the best quarterback in the division (I like Eli, but his inconsistency is maddening) and the Redskins will never be far away from competing for a division title that usually only takes 9 or 10 wins to capture.

    Investment: $12,000

    4. Peyton Manning-
    The Broncos are stacked. They are coming off a 13-3 season. They added Wes Welker. Manning shrugged off his age to throw for all those touchdowns. They got value when they added Monte Ball in the second round. The defense should be good again. So why did I not invest more?

    Sure, this is a team thing, but does anyone know what this team looks like without Manning? They probably won't bring back Tebow if that happens. The investment is lower here because I am not sure about the long-term success of the investment. I could see a scenario where Manning leaves/retires in two years and the Chiefs take off from Andy Reid finding the right mix of guys. I just don't know if I can expect any return from years 3-5. Finally, the playoff record for Peyton (9-12) cannot be ignored in this discussion.

    Investment: $10,000

    5. Tom Brady-
    I no longer think the Patriots are the best team in the AFC. I just don't. Tom Brady is going into mini-camps missing something like 7 of his top targets from last year. I mean, no quarterback is so good that they can immediately develop the obsessive rapport Brady likes to have with his receivers, right? We don't know exactly how Aaron Hernandez is going to be and we don't know if Rob Gronkowski will ever be the same. Darth Hoodie cannot seem to draft and develop defensive linemen or defensive backs anymore.

    You know what? I am not counting out Tom Brady. I'm not giving snaps to Drew Henson. I'm not letting him fall out of this list. I'm not even letting the man UGGS sway my decision. The man threw 4 interceptions a couple years ago and the team was on pace to set another scoring record for most of last season while Brandon Lloyd was doing his best impression of a mannequin. They even used Indiana Jones to dig up the bones of Deion Branch last season. Hernandez was hurt from week 4 on. Do you realize that Brady has never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a season? I am not betting against this guy.

    Finally, the Patriots play in the AFC Least. No one else is going anywhere. The Dolphins are good but are nothing more than a mouse that the cat plays with for a while until the head is found on the doorstep in the morning as a present. The Jets ..... well, just read this. The Bills are the Bills. Things just don't work out in Buffalo. Whether it's a skate in the crease or another skate severely injuring a goalie or four tries at a Super Bowl; things just don't work out.

    Investment: $10,000

    6. Colin Kaepernick/Russell Wilson-
    Call this one a bet on who wins the NFC West arms race for the next few years. The Rams might be around with them for a bit and might even steal a playoff spot from one of these quarterbacks in the coming years, but what happens when the Rams have to try and tell the last high-priced rookie quarterback that he needs a pay cut? Where will they go from there?

    The Niners will need to overhaul a good deal of their defensive players in a few years and the Seahawks have to stop getting guys suspended for stuff that may or may not be Adderall, so the Rams could be a threat if they play their cards right. Still, the smart money is to invest into the most popular Seattle player since Edgar Martinez played DH in the Kingdome and the guy who took over mid-season and took his team to the Super Bowl. The mobility of Kaepernick cannot be matched along with his size. Wilson is cool, calm, smart, mobile and accurate.

    Investment: $7,000 each. $14,000 total.

    7. Joe Flacco/Ben Roethlisberger-
    I am well aware that Joe Flacco just completed the best post-season for a quarterback since Montana's complete annihilation of league 1989, but this really is more of a vote for each of these teams than for the quarterbacks. Roethlisberger might be the toughest quarterback in the league, but he must find some stability on the offensive line, running game and the receiving corps. The Steelers defense will always keep them in games, but the questions on offense may be hard to overcome quickly. The Ravens now don't have as many problems on offense as they do on defense, but Flacco is in his prime and Ray Rice is as well. Pierce is a great complement to the great back out of Rutgers.

    I think these quarterbacks have playoff runs in them and I love the stability of the organizations. It also helps to know that they already have three rings between them.

    Investment: $4,000 each. $8,000 total.

    8. Matt Ryan/Drew Brees-
    Like above, these investments are more about the teams than the players. I do not hate the Saints or the Falcons. I think they will net playoff appearances and Brees may still have a record or two in him, but I think the teams continue to have holes that prevent them from making a full run at a title. I think the Falcons are much closer than the Saints right now. The Falcons are younger and may even have the better offense at this point.

    I expect the Saints to be good with their head coach back, but Sean Payton cannot solve the questions at running back and defense. How is the running back position still a question mark for this team? Even with a good offense, they cannot possibly have a turnover machine on defense like they did a few years ago. Brees is not getting any younger. While I was surprised to see that Aaron Rodgers turns 30 during the 2013 season, I was equally surprised when I saw that Brees was 33. It's so easy to forget those seasons in San Diego.

    As for the Falcons, well, it just seems there is always a leak that opens when another one is plugged. One year it is injuries and bad play in the secondary. They ran into an Aaron Rodgers buzz saw another year. Last season did not see a good enough pass rush. It feels like there will always be one hole that prevents them from getting to the top. Maybe they just aren't lucky enough to have Rahim Moore covering a deep ball late.

    Investment: $1,500 each. $3,000 total.


    9. E.J. Manuel/Geno Smith/Teddy Bridgewater-
    These are the shots in the dark for young players. I never said that the investments all had to be for current NFL quarterbacks. I could not possibly put high dollar investments into two guys who I do not consider as good as the guys in the 2012 and for one who hasn't been drafted yet. Obviously, I like Teddy Bridgewater a bit.

    Investment: $333 each. $999 total.

    10. Matt Stafford-
    I had to throw in a tiny investment for the guy who has the best freak of nature at wide receiver in history. They might set a record or two, but I have little faith in the team with what else is out there.

    Investment: $1.

    Comments 12 Comments
    1. DaBearsFan's Avatar
      Interesting idea. I assume your investment is cumulative from now (as in, since Brady/Manning will probably not be in the NFL in 5 years, you accumulate what they did in their remaining years, instead of watching that investment go to zero)?

      I think my investment strategy would go something like this
      Rodgers- 30K.
      Ryan- 10K. I really think he's about to take off. 27, lot of good weapons, and I think I'm buying a little low here.
      Luck/CK- 7.5K each
      RG3- 6K. He'd be higher, but I'm very worried about injuries. Worth the risk for 6K, not sure about more.
      P. Manning/Brady/Brees- 5K each. Only because of age. (Brees is a little younger than the other 2, but I don't think he'll age as well)
      Newton- 5K
      Wilson- 5K
      Freeman- 2.5K
      E. Manning/Roethlisberger/Flacco- 2.5K each. I still stubbornly don't fully trust them to be consistently great, but at least one of them has another run in them. Really hoping to get 2-3 runs, anything more is just gravy.
      Cutler- 1K. Homer pick.
      Barkley- 500
      Stafford- 500
      Tannehill- 500
      G. Smith- 500
      Nassib- 500
      T. Wilson- 500
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Rodgers - 30k
      Ryan - 12k
      Luck - 12k
      Kaepernick - 10k
      Brady - 7k
      Flacco -7k
      Eli - 6k
      Wilson - 4k
      Newton - 4k
      Roethlisberger -4k
      Stafford - 4k

      Whereas guys like Big Ben and Brady may have a couple of seasons left, I love Kaepernick and Luck and agree with Bears Fan about Ryan.

      No RG3 for me.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      I'd toss $ @Dalton this year, investment goes up w/awards/success right?

      I don't know about awards, but CIN appears to be set to reach the summit of AFC North and maybe beyond.

      Just wondering if this is a year to year thing or a 5 yr thing and how do you subtract or lose $ on this investment?

      I wouldn't take Brady this year, maybe P Manning and E Manning as well. As for the other QBs a general spread of $ and reserve $20K for after the season starts.

      If you could take any QB in any league, I would place 1K on AFL QB McPherson, more $ if you get more awards in multiple leagues.

      need more rules or I think I'm confusing myself, lol

      or maybe it's OC Turner w/CLE, Weedon seems to have upside as well
    1. DaBearsFan's Avatar
      @xmen
      On Dalton: I thought about him for a bit, but, to extend the financial analogy a little further- Dalton looks to me like a gov't bond. Yeah, you probably won't go broke with it, but the upside is very limited, and even among "safe" options, you can probably get a better return elsewhere (Rodgers, Eli, Ryan, to just throw out a few).

      On the aging QBs, in this scenario, I assumed you'd be making money on the dividends (what the QBs do from year to year) as much or more as their future value. This would lead to those guys being more valuable, even if I think there will be a dropoff at some point.

      I also assumed that we had to spend all 100K now. If I could save a little bit of cash to invest later, at minimum, I'd probably use all the money on QBs drafted this year and save it for some current college guys who I haven't seen enough of to make an informed opinion (Bridgewater, etc.). I just worked with the knowledge I have right now.

      Weeden was completely off the board. I just think he's not a good QB, and will be out of the league within three years.

      My general strategy was to take a bunch of "risky" QBs with high upside, and just hope that enough of them hit that my overall 100K will produce a significant profit. And for what it's worth, I briefly considered breaking all logic on building a portfolio and just betting it all on Rodgers. Terrible financial advice, but looking at everything Rich pointed out, it could work out in this scenario.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Small note, Rich forgot that the Bears actually won the division in 2010.

      I'm going to go all negative on his investments:

      Rodgers: Already had a couple of concussions, his coach keeps playing 5 wide with a shaky line and Rodgers likes to hold onto the ball too much. He is great. I get to see way too much of him already, but he is one big hit from been injured.

      Manning and Brady: the stock has yielded well, but theer aren't many more dividends coming.

      Luck: Can't really find a realdanger on this guy. That means he's hiding something.

      RGIII: played in a bad division, and his knee is held together by catgut and hope, and his coach is insane.

      Kaep & Wilson: I saw this story already. Flashy QB playing behind a great D and a monster run game. Made a great playoff run in his rookie season. Once that run game and D starts showing it's age, Mark Sanchize became the Mark SanCheese (cultural refernce: calling somebody the cheese in Chile implies he stinks).

      Dalton couldn't beat Matt Schaub. Or Matt Schaub's backup the year before.

      Drew Brees: Lost 3/5 of the OL that helped win the superbowl. Roger Goddell wants to get back at him....expect a freak injury from a violent sack to bring about the COlt McCoy experience.

      Matt Ryan: Matty Slush needed the best TE ever to play the game to bail him out after blwoing a huge lead in the Division. He then once agian blew another huge lead given to him by one of the best WR in the game right now (Julio Jones). Color me not convinced of his playoff chops yet.

      Joe Flacco: The most inconsistent regular season QB just put up the most improbable run in the playoffs we've ever seen. Even a broken watch tells time right twice a day.

      Big Ben: He's falling apart physically. At some point he won't recover. We're closer to that point than most people realize.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      $100,000 on Brock Osweiler.

      I've always been really bad with money.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      So iwatt, what would YOUR portfolio be like?

      And let's DO set some rules

      Portfolio is for the next 5 years only.

      10x for Winning Superbowl (each year) i.e. if the value of your investment going INTO that year's SB was $1, your value exiting the SB with a win is now $10. i.e. you won $9.

      5x for losing SB
      2.5x for losing Conference Finals
      1.25x for losing prior to Conf Finals in playoffs.

      5x for MVP of league
      2.5x for SB MVP

      2x for best conference record for a season.

      1.25 for Probowl selection.

      100x for perfect season.

      NOW where
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by xmenehune View Post
      I'd toss $ @Dalton this year, investment goes up w/awards/success right?

      I don't know about awards, but CIN appears to be set to reach the summit of AFC North and maybe beyond.

      Just wondering if this is a year to year thing or a 5 yr thing and how do you subtract or lose $ on this investment?

      I wouldn't take Brady this year, maybe P Manning and E Manning as well. As for the other QBs a general spread of $ and reserve $20K for after the season starts.

      If you could take any QB in any league, I would place 1K on AFL QB McPherson, more $ if you get more awards in multiple leagues.

      need more rules or I think I'm confusing myself, lol

      or maybe it's OC Turner w/CLE, Weedon seems to have upside as well
      Money in now. Stays for five years. Only NFL counts. When Brady or Manning retire, that money just earns no return the final X years they don't play. Can't hold back money.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
      $100,000 on Brock Osweiler.

      I've always been really bad with money.
      Andy, I keep getting violent voicemails from guys named Angelo and Tony, any reason why? Did you give them my number?
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by darvon View Post
      So iwatt, what would YOUR portfolio be like?

      And let's DO set some rules

      Portfolio is for the next 5 years only.

      10x for Winning Superbowl (each year) i.e. if the value of your investment going INTO that year's SB was $1, your value exiting the SB with a win is now $10. i.e. you won $9.

      5x for losing SB
      2.5x for losing Conference Finals
      1.25x for losing prior to Conf Finals in playoffs.

      5x for MVP of league
      2.5x for SB MVP

      2x for best conference record for a season.

      1.25 for Probowl selection.

      100x for perfect season.

      NOW where
      This hurts.... Aaron Rogers
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
      Andy, I keep getting violent voicemails from guys named Angelo and Tony, any reason why? Did you give them my number?
      Who me? I wouldn't do that. I also wouldn't give them your address and description and tell them that you're really me. So if someone is waiting in your driveway with a baseball bat tonight it has nothing to do with me or my $10,000 a day beanie baby habit.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      First, I want to mention what a brilliant topic this is. Great stuff, Rich.

      Elite Tier
      Aaron Rodgers- $25K
      Drew Brees- $15K

      Rodgers is the best in the game, has elite weapons, and an elite scheme. With Sean Payton back, plus weapons that perfectly fit his talents, I think Brees has at least 3 more great years, with 2 more solid years to follow those 3.

      Youth Movement
      Robert Griffin III- $12.5K
      Andrew Luck- $12.5K
      Russell Wilson- $7.5K
      Colin Kaepernick- $7.5K

      At least two of these will be great over the next 5 years, and the other 2 are likely to be merely very good. There's at least 1 Super Bowl winner within this group. I'll hedge my bets with all 4.

      Elite Target Division
      Matt Ryan- $7.5K
      Matthew Stafford- $5K
      Andy Dalton- $2.5K

      All 3 are still young. All 3 have young, elite targets. Investing in Megatron, Julio Jones, and AJ Green seems like a wise move. I'm not thrilled about adding Dalton, but the addition of Eifert makes it worth the risk.

      Homerific
      Ben Roethlisberger- $5K

      Call it a hunch, but I do not think his career has hit the regression stage. Year 2 with Haley, much better OL, potential for their best running game since their first SB, I think he has some big years ahead.


      No Brady. No Manning. Not counting them out, but Brady's lost a ton of weapons, and I don't think Manning has more than a couple more years. I'm not willing to risk the potential for 2 or 3 dead years.