How the teams in the last 14 Super Bowls acquired their quarterbacks
Reaching the Super Bowl undoubtedly takes a team effort, but special emphasis is often put on the quarterbacks.
Insider took a look at how the teams that played in each of the last 14 Super Bowls acquired their starting quarterback.
Of the 18 different quarterbacks to play in the last 14 Super Bowls, 12 were drafted by the team, one was signed in free agency, three were acquired in a trade, one appeared in a Super Bowl with the team he was drafted by and a second team he signed with as a free agent, and one appeared with the team he was drafted by, but only after returning as a free agent.
Check out how Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and others wound up on their Super Bowl-winning teams below and read all of Insider's Super Bowl coverage here.
2010: Super Bowl XLIV
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took down Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
After finishing an impressive career with the Purdue Boilermakers, Brees was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick of the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He spent five seasons in a near-constant competition for the starting role in San Diego before the team offered him an insulting, incentive-based contract that would guarantee him $2 million in base salary each season. He instead opted to take his talents to New Orleans, where he's proven himself to be one of the most impressive quarterback talents in NFL history.
The son of famous NFL quarterback Archie Manning, Peyton Manning was a highly-coveted offensive weapon coming out of the University of Tennessee. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft and led the team to two Super Bowls — and one Super Bowl victory — during his 14-year stint with the franchise.
2011: Super Bowl XLV
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers faced off against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. The Packers took down the Steelers 31-25.
The Green Bay Packers took Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Rodgers — who impressed with 2,566 yards and completed 66.1% of his passes during his junior season at Cal — was surprised to have been selected so low in the draft, but he's gone on to achieve incredible success under center in Green Bay.
After Ben Roethlisberger led the Miami RedHawks to unprecedented success during his junior season, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback selected in a draft class jam-packed with quarterback talent that included Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Big Ben has made three Super Bowl appearances and hoisted two Lombardi Trophies in his 15 years with the Steelers.
2012: Super Bowl XLVI
After mounting one of the greatest upsets in sports history in 2008, Eli Manning and the New York Giants once again spoiled a great season for the New England Patriots, handing Tom Brady his second career Super Bowl loss with a 21-17 upset in Super Bowl XLVI.
The younger brother of then-Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and son of Archie Manning, Eli Manning was a highly-coveted player coming out of Ole Miss. The San Diego Chargers had the first overall pick for the 2004 NFL Draft, but Manning publicly announced that he would refuse to play should he wind up in San Diego. The Chargers decided to take Manning with that first pick anyway after agreeing to a deal with the New York Giants to trade Manning for fellow quarterback Philip Rivers and more draft picks. Manning has been in the Big Apple ever since, leading the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in his 15-year career.
After competing for the starting role for his entire career as a Michigan Wolverine, Tom Brady was selected by the New England Patriots with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Brady has been with the Patriots ever since, winning five of eight Super Bowl appearances and vastly outperforming the six quarterbacks who were selected before him.
2013: Super Bowl XLVII
Known as the Har-bowl, Super Bowl XLVII saw brothers Jim and John Harbaugh go head-to-head as head coaches of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, respectively. The Ravens, led by quarterback Joe Flacco, took down Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in a 34-31 thriller.
After playing college football at the University of Delaware, Joe Flacco was somewhat of an underdog heading into the 2008 NFL Draft. After a number of strong showings at pre-draft events, the Baltimore Ravens selected Flacco with the 18th overall pick. Flacco has been the franchise's leading man under center ever since and earned Super Bowl MVP honors in 2013.
A four-year starter at Nevada, Colin Kaepernick was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 13th pick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent the 2011 season as a backup to Alex Smith and stepped into a starting role in 2012 after Smith sustained a concussion, leading the team to the playoffs. He stayed with the team through the 2016 season and became famous for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since opting out of his 49ers contract in 2017.
2014: Super Bowl XLVIII
In just his second NFL season, Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a dominant 43-8 win over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Russell Wilson spent three seasons with the NC State Wolfpack and one season with the Wisconsin Badgers before he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 75th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. After he won an offseason contest for the starting role, Wilson boasted the fourth-best passer rating in the league and led the Seahawks to the playoffs. He's been with the team ever since.
The Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manning following his lost 2011 season, in which he did not play while recovering from neck surgery. A highly sought-after free agent, Manning decided to play for the Denver Broncos to finish out his career. He led the team to two Super Bowl appearances and brought one Lombardi Trophy back to the Mile High City.
2015: Super Bowl XLIX
Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance in 2015, but Tom Brady and the New England Patriots pulled out a 28-24 win thanks to a dominant 14-point fourth quarter.
Super Bowl XLIX marked Tom Brady's sixth Super Bowl appearance and fourth Super Bowl victory.
Russell Wilson couldn't repeat his sophomore-season success against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and he has not returned to the Super Bowl in the years since.
2016: Super Bowl 50
Peyton Manning found the Super Bowl success he was looking for in 2016, dealing Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers a 24-10 loss.
The Super Bowl 50 victory would be Manning's final professional football game. He retired during the following offseason.
After winning the Heisman Trophy and the national championship at Auburn, Cam Newton was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He's been the face of the franchise ever since, leading them to four postseason appearances in his eight years under center.
2017: Super Bowl LI
Even despite earning NFL Most Valuable Player honors that season, Matt Ryan was unable to overcome Tom Brady and the New England Patriots juggernaut. The Atlanta Falcons famously gave up a 28-3 lead in Ryan's only Super Bowl appearance to date.
The Patriots won 34-28. Make that five rings for Tom Brady.
After playing college football for the Boston College Eagles, Matt Ryan was selected third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan became the team's starter straightaway and had led the Falcons to six postseason appearances.
2018: Super Bowl LII
Backup quarterback Nick Foles famously led the underdog Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 victory against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Foles earned Super Bowl MVP honors for bringing the city of Philadelphia its first Lombardi Trophy.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Nick Foles with the 88th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Although Foles had a successful collegiate career with the Arizona Wildcats, he didn't earn a starting role until late in his rookie season and battled with various teammates for the starting role for the next two seasons. Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2015 and then spent the following year in Kansas City with the Chiefs. He returned to the Eagles before the 2017 season as a backup to quarterback Carson Wentz but led the team on a spectacular postseason run after Wentz tore his ACL late in the regular season.
Tom Brady lost in his eighth career Super Bowl appearance.
2019: Super Bowl LIII
Tom Brady won his sixth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots over the Los Angeles Rams and their quarterback, Jared Goff, who made his first Super Bowl appearance.
Jared Goff spent three years at Cal before the Los Angeles Rams selected him with the first overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He led the Rams to the postseason in his rookie season, then took them all the way to the Super Bowl in 2019.
Tom Brady led New England to a 13-3 victory to earn his sixth Super Bowl ring.
2020: Super Bowl LIV
A year after earning NFL MVP honors, superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 victory against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes, then 24 years old, won Super Bowl MVP honors after throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown to boot.
The Chiefs picked Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nine players, including one other quarterback, were picked ahead of him. It's safe to say those nine teams are kicking themselves for passing on the generational talent that Kansas City scored.
The New England Patriots nabbed Jimmy Garoppolo with a second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The 62nd overall picked slotted in behind Tom Brady for years and looked to be the heir apparent to the Patriots dynasty before he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He became their starter later that season.
2021: Super Bowl LV
A year after leading Kansas City to its first Super Bowl victory in decades, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs once again marched their way through the AFC. But with Tom Brady and his brand new franchise — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — waiting for them on the other side, the defending champions faltered in their attempt to repeat as kings of the NFL. The Bucs took Super Bowl LV 31-9 on their home turf.
Despite enjoying another outstanding season under center for the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes couldn't keep up with the GOAT when it mattered most.
Less than a year after leaving the Patriots to join the Buccaneers, Tom Brady took his new team to his 10th career Super Bowl, won his seventh career ring, and earned his fifth career Super Bowl MVP award.
2022: Super Bowl LVI
Two first-time Super Bowl quarterbacks faced off for Super Bowl LVI. Experience won out, with 13-year NFL quarterback Matthew Stafford and his Los Angeles Rams taking down Joe Burrow and the underdog Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.
After transferring from Ohio State to become a superstar and NCAA champion with the LSU Tigers, Ohio native Joe Burrow found his way back to the Buckeye State when the Cincinnati Bengals selected him first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. It only took him two years to transform the Bengals from the laughing stock of the league to Super Bowl contenders — even despite tearing his ACL in the middle.
A superstar for the Georgia Bulldogs, Matthew Stafford left college a year early to head to the NFL, where the Detroit Lions scooped him up with the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. After 12 seasons in Michigan, Stafford was traded away to Los Angeles in exchange for Jared Goff and draft picks. From there, it took less than a year to bring the Rams back to the Super Bowl.
2023: Super Bowl LVII
For the third time in four seasons, Patrick Mahomes led his Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl berth. Jalen Hurts, meanwhile, punched his ticket to his first-ever big game.
Though Patrick Mahomes is no stranger to the bright lights of the Super Bowl, the sensational quarterback will be surrounded by a different cast of characters this year than the one that accompanied him to the big game in years past. Many of Mahomes' offensive targets from the Super Bowl two years ago — including Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Darrel Williams, and Byron Pringle — have left the team in the years since.
The 27-year-old is now tasked with breaking through in Glendale, Arizona, with a nearly unrecognizable receiving corps.
Jalen Hurts spent three seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide and his senior year with the Oklahoma Sooners before heading to the NFL.
The Eagles selected the 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up with the 21st pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He began his Philadelphia tenure as the team's third-string quarterback, but worked his way into the back-up spot thanks to his running ability and usefulness as a decoy.
Towards the end of his first year with the Eagles, Hurts earned his shot when starting QB Carson Wentz was benched for poor play. The young star shined, and he's become the face of the franchise in the two seasons since.
Now check out which states are pulling for the Chiefs and which are rooting for the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII:
Map shows which team each state is rooting for in this year's Super Bowl
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