Vinny Testaverde, to some people, was thought of as a bust after his first couple of years in the NFL. He had come out of the University of Miami with high expectations and a Heisman Trophy to be the first player selected in the 1987 NFL Draft. He didn’t end up being the savior for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team who drafted him though, he ended up spending time on the rosters of seven different teams.
Following a number of seasons in Tampa, Testaverde went on to play for the Browns, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys, Jets again, Patriots, and finally the Panthers. He never took his team to the Super Bowl, though he did get the Jets close. He was a very good mentor to younger quarterbacks later in his career and when it was all said and done he put together a 21 year career in the National Football League. Not many quarterbacks can say they have done that.
Along the way, Testaverde would also set a number of records as well as finish his career highly ranked in several all time categories.
Notable rankings for Vinny Testaverde’s career numbers:
1. Pass Completions
Testaverde completed 3,787 passes during his career, good enough for 7th place all time in NFL history. Some of the names of players that did not end up with as many completions as him: Fran Tarkenton, Joe Montana, and Dan Fouts.
2. Passing Yards
Passing yards is a popular way to gauge how good of a game, season, or career a quarterback had. Vinny Testaverde finished his career with 46,233 passing yards. This put him just behind Hall of Famers John Elway, Warren Moon, and Fran Tarkenton, and just ahead of Peyton Manning (who has since surpassed him), Dan Fouts, and Joe Montana.
3. Passing Touchdowns
At the time of his retirement, Vinny Testaverde sat in 8th place all time in the category of touchdown passes with 275. This placed him just behind John Elway and Johnny Unitas, but ahead of such notable names as Joe Montana, Dan Fouts, Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Terry Bradshaw, and Sonny Jurgensen.
Those are all very respectable numbers. In fact, in many ways those are all incredible numbers. Testaverde’s statistical success is due more to his incredible longevity than it is to his incredible talent, although he had to have great talent to play that long and rack up those numbers too. It would be hard to argue that Testaverde belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but fairly easy to argue that he was somewhat underrated during his career.