NFL News of March 16, 2003

Kordell Stewart, Brian Griese and Jake Plummer are the latest examples of wildly fluctuating QB stock.

The discomfort between Stewart and Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher grew acute last year, when Tommy Maddox was inserted as the starting QB.

Stewart never had missed a game because of injury in eight seasons with the Steelers and boasted a 46-29 record as a starter, but Slash is now a member of the Bears.

In 2001, Stewart was a legitimate candidate for league MVP after leading Pittsburgh to the AFC title game for the second time.

…In Denver, Coach Mike Shanahan still is looking for his first playoff victory since John Elway‘s final game.

With Shanahan’s reputation as an offensive guru tarnished, Griese was sacrificed, only two years removed from a Pro Bowl season in which he fashioned a 19-4 ratio of TD passes to interceptions.

Griese, 27, was given a $12.6 million signing bonus in 2001. Now he is expected to be released June 1, diminishing the team’s 2003 cap hit, and don’t be stunned if he ends up in a Buccaneers uniform.

Griese threw for 3,214 yards last year and completed 67 percent of his passes as the Broncos went 9-7.

Denver scored at least 20 points in 13 games, but Shanahan decided Plummer represents a significant upgrade. Comfort.

— Ira Kaufman, The Tampa Tribune “Free Agency Becomes Quarterback Scramble”

Kordell spent the 2003 season with the Chicago Bears before spending his final two seasons in the league as a backup with the Baltimore Ravens. Brian Griese was released by the Broncos and played for the Dolphins for one year (in the long shadow of his father, Bob Griese, Dolphin great) before, in fact, signing with the Buccaneers for the 2004 & 2005  seasons. Following his release from the Buccaneers, he spent 2006 & 2007 with the Chicago Bears, pushing Rex Grossman on the path to the 2006 Super Bowl, before eventually returning to the Bucs for the 2008 season. Plummer brought the Broncos to the playoffs in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He was benched during the 2006 season in favor of then-rookie Jay Cutler. He was traded to the Bucs in 2007, but choose to retire rather than compete with Tim Rattay, Jeff Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski and Luke McCown.

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