Folks this a little long but with the league about to start up again I thought I would share my reasoning for not wanting to trade for a QB...
The Landscape of the NFL is a bumpy terrain for teams without a franchise quarterback, but the road gets rockier when teams go outside the draft to acquire one. There have been 44 Superbowls played since the Packers first victory and no coach or quarterback had ever won the game with two different teams. Of the 44 superbowl winners, 73% of the quarterbacks have been home grown through the draft or draft day trades, 20% of the winners acquired their quarterbacks through free agency, while only 7% of all superbowl winning quarterbacks have been acquired by trade. Interestingly enough, with two victories, Oakland free agent Jim Plunkett is the only quarterback acquired by either free agency or trade who has ever won more than a single title.
In many cases statistics can be cleverly formulated to predict a desired outcome, but in the quarterback acquisition game the numbers tell the story. The careers of NFL coaches and general managers often mirror their success at selecting and grooming quarterbacks but many still fall into the trap of minimizing this critical position. Good teams can win games, even a Superbowl without a great quarterback, but no such team has ever been dominant on the game's main stage. The success of an NFL team and coach can nearly always be related directly to success at the quarterback position.
If statistics are for losers than the losers have certainly not learned from these statistics. Each year NFL teams in need of a quarterback bypass selecting them in the draft for various reasons and each year the fortunes of those teams do not change. It is not long before the coach, GM or both are out on the market looking for another job. Trading for this critical position is a fool's game and the 7% winning percentage is the irrefutable evidence of that fact. Every year teams make this critical mistake and for many it takes years to recover. The price of the trade rarely plays out for the receiving team and always benefits the sending team because of the high round draft picks demanded for untested but supposedly good quarterbacks.
Matt Schaub may seem like a good trade for Houston but the Texans have little in the win column to show for it, while Atlanta continues to rise in the NFL after drafting Matt Ryan. Matt Cassell may turn into an anomaly but the Patriots are the team that made out from this trade by acquiring high quality draft picks that have strengthened their team. Brett Favre could be considered an anomaly but for all his records he only hoisted the trophy once in his career. Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer managed great defensive teams that were one and done in Superbowl titles. Teams that trade for quarterbacks never seem to build an infrastructure around those players mainly because the teams are already built and the quarterback is brought in to manage, but not to lead.
Michael Vick has never been to a Superbowl and yet the Eagles are considering trading Kevin Kolb and keeping Vick. Tim Tebow has made only a few starts in his NFL career and yet the Broncos are considering trading Kyle Orton. The reason is simple, Vick and Tebow are the true leaders in their perspective locker rooms, while Kolb and Orton are not. Teams do not trade quarterbacks they consider to be exceptional leaders and behind closed doors players will let coaches know who should be leading the team. Trading a high round draft pick for either of these players would be a mistake. Neither will ever be worth the price paid and the receiving team will inhibit its own ability to progress by dealing away high value draft picks that will only serve to strengthen the sending team.
NFL teams must draft quarterbacks. Even if teams make mistakes they must continue to draft quarterbacks until they get it right. Considering most successful NFL quarterbacks are drafted in the first round teams must draft them high. If this cannot be done due to a lack of talent when teams are selecting then they should consider a free agent stop gap, but the statistics are clear, trading high value draft picks for a QB is a losing proposition. Every team that ever earned the dynasty label was built around a drafted quarterback. It cannot be overstated, teams must continue to draft quarterbacks until they get it right. Any other approach is an exercise in futility and will soon find the coach and GM looking for a new line of work.