Over his 20 years as an NFL quarterback, Tom Brady has had a lot of different guys share the locker room with him — especially when it comes to guys who have backed up up.
Here’s a look at each and every guy who’s played behind Brady over the years and what they’re up to these days.
Starting with Drew Bledsoe’s partnership with a familiar name (who isn’t the person you’re thinking of).
Drew Bledsoe (2001)
Drafted No. 1 overall by Patriots in 1993
Traded to Bills in April 2002 for first-round pick
It’s hard to describe Bledsoe a “backup,” considering the way he lost his job. However, he was the first quarterback ever to take over for Brady in a game following an injury.
Bledsoe missed much of the 2001 season after being blasted by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. But when Brady was hurt in the 2001 AFC Championship game, Bledsoe took over to lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl berth.
Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills following the Patriots’ 2001 Super Bowl run and finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Bledsoe retired after the 2006 season, and has found post-career success in opening his own vineyard: Doubleback Winery. Bledsoe has run the Walla Walla Wash.-based operation since 2006, earning critical success for his wines, which are a pretty expensive (close to $100).
This past week, Doubleback announced that Bledsoe was partnering with the winery’s president and director of winemaking, Josh McDaniels. No, he is not the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, just a guy with the different name.
Still, it’s going to look weird when they come out with a Bledsoe-McDaniels label.
Damon Huard (2001 – 2003)
Signed as free agent in 2001
Signed with Chiefs in 2004
Huard is the first player who fits the definition of a true backup for Brady. While Bledsoe was on the mend, it was Huard who served as the primary backup for the Patriots in 2001. Huard appeared in two games that year, but didn’t attempt a pass.
Nowadays, it seems that Huard is following in Bledsoe’s footsteps, opening a Washington-based winery of his own in 2014. Huard joined up with former Dolphins teammate Dan Marino to open Passing Time after spending years studying the industry and now runs the daily operations, according to Sports Illustrated. Huard’s vineyard is north of Seattle, in Woodinville, Wash. — about a four-hour drive from Bledsoe’s operation in Walla Walla.
Huard and Marino started gathering investments for the winery as early as 2010, hiring a young Washington-based winemaker named Chris Peterson — not to be confused with Chris Petersen, head coach of the Washington Huskies football team. (Huard played his college ball at Washington.)
Huard is also the director of community relations for the Washington football program as well as an analyst on radio broadcasts.
Rohan Davey (2002 – 2004)
Patriots Fourth-round pick in 2002
Cut during 2005 preseason
Davey was a 6-foot-2, 245-pound tank of a quarterback with legendary arm strength. It didn’t amount to much success in his three seasons in the NFL. However, he did excel while playing over in the now-defunct NFL Europe with the Berlin Thunder.
Davey was cut heading into the 2005 season. After a short stint with the Arizona Cardinals, he wound up playing the Arena Football League, starting with the New York Dragons in 2006. Davey last played for the San Antonio Talons of the Arena Football League in 2013.
Davey, who played at LSU, is back living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and works with a concrete company, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report.
He’s also known to make appearance is local sports media, particularly when it comes to LSU football.
Kliff Kingsbury (2003)
Patriots Sixth-round pick in 2003
Waived at the start of the 2004 season
Kingsbury didn’t get much of a chance to perform as a rookie for the Patriots, spending the whole season on injured reserve before getting cut the following preseason.
While his pro run as a player didn’t see much success, Kingsbury has quickly risen up the coaching ranks.
After serving as the head coach at Texas Tech, Kingsbury made the leap to the NFL, where he’s now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
Jim Miller (2004)
Signed as free agent in 2004
Signed with the Giants in 2005
Miller spent time with eight NFL teams (and one NFL Europe team) during his career, getting the bulk of his playing time with the Chicago Bears. Miller went 11-3 as a starter in Chicago, leading the Bears to a playoff spot that year.
In New England, though, Miller never wound up appearing in a regular-season game.
Miller now works in broadcasting for multiple outlets, including Sirius XM radio and Chicago Bears postgame broadcasts on CSN Chicago.
Doug Flutie (2005)
Signed as free agent in 2005
Retired after 2006 season
One of the NFL’s first famous undersized quarterbacks, Flutie broke into the NFL in 1986 and played in New England from 1987-1989 before going to the CFL). He was 43 years old when Belichick signed him as a backup in 2005
The former Boston College Heisman Trophy winner didn’t play much. However, he did add a nice highlight that season in the form of his famous drop kick extra point. He retired following the 2005 season.
Flutie now works as a football analyst and broadcaster for NBC Sports and heads up a number of charity efforts, namely the Flutie Foundation.
In 2016, he appeared as a contestant on season 22 of “Dancing with the Stars” and finished in ninth place.
Matt Cassel (2005 – 2008)
Patriots 7th Round Pick in 2005
Traded to Chiefs in 2009
Cassel has carved out a peculiar (but successful) career as a journeyman backup, starting all the way back to his days at USC. A backup for Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart at USC, Cassel never started a college game.
Even so, Belichick decided to roll the dice on him with a seventh-round pick. The gamble wound up working out as Cassel developed into a solid backup. Cassel wound up playing in every game in 2008 after Brady went down with a torn ACL in Week 1. Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record, but the team missed the postseason due to a peculiar playoff scenario in the AFC that year.
Since then, Cassel’s built a career as one of the league’s more prominent journeyman quarterbacks. He did make a Pro Bowl with the Chiefs in 2010, but is best known for hopping around the NFL as a No. 2 option.
After he was traded from the Patriots to the Chiefs, Cassel went on to play for Vikings, Titans, Bills, Cowboys and Lions.
Cassel has yet to formally retire, but is now working as a contributor for NBC Sports Boston.
Vinny Testaverde (2006)
Signed as undrafted free agent in 2006
Left in free agency after 2006
Testaverde was one of the timeless presences in the NFL for a longtime. He entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick and played clear through to the 2007 season, when he finished his career with the Carolina Panthers.
The Patriots became Testaverde’s seventh (of eight) franchise, employing him as a late-career backup.
Testaverde didn’t do a whole lot in New England. However, he did briefly steal the spotlight in Week 17. During garbage time, Testaverde entered the game and threw a touchdown pass to Troy Brown setting the record for most consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass.
Testaverde has made some property and restaurant dealings, but as he told NewYorkJets.com earlier this year, “I’ve been retired since ’07, my last season, and I’ve pretty much stayed retired.”
Matt Gutierrez (2007 – 2008)
Signed as undrafted free agent in 2007
Cut during 2009 preseason
Gutierrez was a star for FCS Idaho State before signing as an undrafted free agent. However, with Matt Cassel entrenched above him on the depth chart, Gutierrez never received much playing time. He attempted one pass with the Patriots, a 15-yard completion against the Miami Dolphins.
Gutierrez last appearance on an NFL roster came in 2011 with the St. Louis Rams practice squad. He last played for the AFL’s Kansas City Command in 2012.
According to what appears to be his real LinkedIn profile, Gutierrez works as a real estate broker in Silicon Valley.
Kevin O’Connell (2008)
Patriots Third Round pick in 2008
Cut before 2009 season
An oft-forgotten draft miss for the Patriots, O’Connell was the No. 94 overall pick of the 2008 draft. He was buried on the depth chart and was a surprise cut following his second training camp.
After a couple seasons with the Jets, O’Connell wound up bouncing around the NFL, last appearing on the Chargers practice squad in 2012.
O’Connell is one of Bill Belichick’s least-talked-about draft misses. After taking him at No. 94 overall, the team surprised many by waiving him in 2009 as part of the 75-man roster cuts. He spent a couple seasons on the New York Jets roster and bounced around the league for a few seasons, last appearing on the San Diego Chargers practice squad in 2012.
After working as a private coach, O’Connell wound up getting into the NFL coaching ranks. He currently serves at the offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins.
Brian Hoyer (2009 – 2011, 2017 – 2018)
Signed as UDFA in 2009
Cut before 2012 season
Signed back during 2017 season
Cut during 2019 training camp
Hoyer’s draft stock was knocked a bit due to his lack of height (6-foot-2). However, he’s gone on to have a successful NFL career as a solid veteran backup and occasional starter.
Hoyer was cut by the Patriots before the start of the 2012 season. Shortly after, he was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but wound up finding playing time with the Cardinals in 2012, the Browns in 2013-14, Texans in 2015 and Bears in 2016.
Hoyer landed with the 49ers in 2017, but was let go after six starts. He was then picked up by the Patriots, once again making him Brady’s backup.
He was then cut again by the Patriots and picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. He made his Colts debut in Week 9, taking over for an injured Jacoby Brissett (more on him in a bit). Hoyer’s time as Indy’s fill-in QB has been spotty, going 0-2, including a loss to the Dolphins.
Zac Robinson (2010)
Patriots Seventh-round pick in 2010
Cut prior to 2010 regular season
The Patriots took a flyer on the Oklahoma State prospect late in the 2010 draft. He was eventually waived on cutdown day. Robinson had brief stops in Seattle in Detroit before spending 2011-2013 on the Cincinnati Bengals roster. Robinson never appeared in an NFL game.
Robinson went on to work as a private QB coach and as a senior analyst for Pro Football Focus before being hired by the Los Angeles Rams as an assistant quarterbacks coach.
Ryan Mallett (2011 – 2013)
Patriots Third Round Pick in 2011
Traded to Texans in 2013
Mallett was drafted late in Brady’s career, but never generated much buzz as a potential replacement. Instead, he was the focus of trade rumors throughout much of his career.
The team eventually dealt Mallett to the Houston Texans for a late-round pick. Mallett later fell out of favor in Houston, with the last straw coming when he missed a team flight to Miami. He then served as Joe Flacco’s backup with the Baltimore Ravens and later worked out for the Redskins.
The 31-year-old Mallett was last spotted trying out for the new XFL. However, Mallett was charged with DWI weeks before the league’s new draft and was not among the players selected.
Tim Tebow (2013)*
Signed as a free agent in June 2013
Cut at end of 2013 preseason
Tebow is an outlier on this list, having never appeared on the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Still, his run in the 2013 preseason remains one of the more peculiar storylines in recent franchise memory. After he was cut by the Patriots, Tebow had a preseason run with the Eagles, but was again cut before the start of the season.
In 2016, two years removed from his last stint as an NFL player, Tebow announced that he was pursuing a career in baseball (which he had not played since 2005). After an open workout, he eventually signed with the New York Mets system.
In 2019, Tebow was moved up to the Triple-A Syracuse Mets, one jump away from the big leagues. However, he suffered a finger injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season.
The Heisman Trophy winner also works as a TV analyst for ESPN as part of their college football coverage.
Jimmy Garoppolo (2014 – 2017)
Patriots Second Round pick in 2014
Traded to 49ers in 2017
At one time, Garoppolo was considered the heir apparent to Brady after the Patriots drafted him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After three seasons as a well-regarded backup (and short stint as a starter during Brady’s Deflategate suspension), it was apparent that Garoppolo would not be re-signing to stay and backup in New England.
Garoppolo was eventually dealt to the San Francisco 49ers at the 2017 trade deadline. He quickly took over the starting job, winning his first start in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
After leading the 49ers to a strong finish in 2017, Garoppolo was rewarded with a five-year, $137.5 million contract, making him (at the time) the highest paid player in NFL history before other contracts eclipsed his that same offseason.
Garoppolo missed most of 2018 with a torn ACL but has stormed back in 2019, leading the 49ers to the best record in the NFC through the first half of the season.
Jacoby Brissett (2016-2017)
Patriots third-round pick in 2016
Traded to Colts in 2017
Brissett arrived in New England as a third-round pick in 2016 buried deep on the depth chart. But with Tom Brady suspended, he was thrust into action in his second game after Garoppolo suffered a shoulder injury.
Brissett went 1-1 as a starter and generated some confidence as a young quarterback. But the following year, the Patriots wound up trading Brissett away to the Colts in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
After arriving in Indy, Brissett took over for an injured Andrew Luck, going 4-11 before going back to the bench. However, he was called upon again in 2019 after Luck announced his retirement, going 5-3 so far in his second stint as a starter.
Danny Etling (2018)
Patriots seventh-round pick in 2018
Cut in 2019
In a 2018 draft where the Patriots were expected to find Brady’s successor, it was a surprise to see Etling as the only quarterback taken. The LSU product was considered a project quarterback and wound up on the practice squad as a rookie.
In 2019, Etling was a long shot to make the roster and wound up moving to wide receiver during training camp. He was ultimately cut and wound up landing with the Atlanta Falcons. He has spent most of the season on their practice squad, save for one game where he was brought up as a backup with Matt Ryan injured.
Jarrett Stidham (2019)
A fourth-round pick in 2019, Stidham has worked his way into the role of the Patriots’ primary backup as a rookie, beating out Brian Hoyer for the job.
Stidham has appeared in three games in 2019, coming in during blowouts to get some game action.
He’s gone 2-of-4 as a passer, with his first NFL game ending with an interception returned for a touchdown.