As the Washington Football Team's QB quest enters Year 29, ESPN Analytics ranks its past 30 starters
7 min read
Washington has been chasing a long-term QB since 1993, a search that includes some bad luck and first-round flameouts. John Keim breaks it down.
Brad Johnson was one of 31 players who have started at quarterback for Washington since it last won a Super Bowl. He thought he was going to be here a while. Instead he lasted just two seasons, one of which was a Pro Bowl season. And he's left to lament w (0:52)

Brad Johnson was one of 31 players who have started at quarterback (0:52)

ASHBURN, Va. -- On Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick became the Washington Football Team's 31st starting quarterback since Mark Rypien left the lineup in Week 2 of the 1993 season.

Fitzpatrick left the 20-16 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers with a hip injury after attempting six passes and was placed on injured reserve with a chance to return later this season. Backup Taylor Heinicke was named the starter for Thursday's game against the visiting New York Giants (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network), a situation that is emblematic of the franchise's quest for a long-term answer at the position.

It's a 29-year search that has featured bad timing, worse luck and questionable decisions.

Rypien, who led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXVI after the 1991 season, started 26 games over the next two years but never rekindled his winning magic. Washington has since used first-round draft picks on five quarterbacks (Heath Shuler, Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell, Robert Griffin III and Dwayne Haskins), acquired three who started in Super Bowls for other teams (Jeff Hostetler, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman), and watched two others (Brad Johnson and Rich Gannon) do so after leaving the team. It also had a transformative quarterback (Griffin) who starred as a rookie, got hurt and was gone from the franchise three years later.

As Washington closes on the 30th anniversary of its last Super Bowl win, ESPN set out to rank the 30 quarterbacks who started for the franchise between Rypien and Fitzpatrick, to provide context about the search for a leader that has touched four decades.

As a reporter who has covered 28 of the 30 players on this list -- and…
John Keim
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