Heath Shuler - Professional Football Career

Professional Football Career

Shuler was a first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, taken by the Washington Redskins with the third overall pick. ESPN rated him the 4th biggest NFL Draft bust of all time. He held out of training camp until he received a 7-year, $19.25 million contract. The Redskins had fallen on hard times since winning Super Bowl XXVI, and Shuler was looked on as the quarterback of the future. However, Shuler's poor play contributed to a quarterback controversy with fellow 1994 draft pick Gus Frerotte. This was evident when Shuler threw five interceptions in a game against the Arizona Cardinals. Shuler started 18 games in his first two years with the team and was benched in his third year, as Frerotte went to the Pro Bowl.

After the 1996 season, Shuler was traded to the New Orleans Saints for a fifth-round pick in the 1997 draft and a third-round pick in 1998. Shuler's statistics remained poor. He suffered a serious foot injury during the 1997 season in New Orleans and went through two surgeries. Football statistics site Football Outsiders called Shuler "The least valuable quarterback of 1997."

After being unable to take the field due to his foot injury in his second season in New Orleans, Shuler signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he re-injured his foot in training camp and retired. As a pro, his career passer rating was a 54.3 and in 2004 ESPN rated him the 17th biggest 'sports flop' of the past 25 years. NFL Network ranked Shuler as the ninth-biggest bust in NFL history.

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