‘Football in the Future’ is a series where we travel in time to see what football will look like a few years down the road. We will travel in time to see what rule changes occur along with what current and former players are up to.
Today, we take our time machine all the way to 2020, which is not too far down the line. We will stop in Jacksonville, Florida which is the hometown of Nathan Peterman to see what he’s been up to since being forced out of the league at the end of the 2018 season. The first leg of our trip takes us to a small insurance firm called “Accidents Happen” where the former Bills draft pick now works.
Nathan Peterman: Well you see, if we bundle the home and the auto it’ll get you your best rate possible! I know you mentioned that you needed to save as much money as possible since your income is limited these days.
Warren Sapp: Yeah, I do. Times have been tough. How did people expect me to live off of my NFL earnings of $60,000,000? It just doesn’t seem fair.
Nathan Peterman: Life isn’t fair sometimes. I know what you mean. Did you know that I used to be a quarterback in the NFL?
Warren Sapp: LOL, okay. You? What are you doing selling insurance for?
Nathan Peterman: Well I didn’t make enough money in my career so I have to work to make end’s meet.
Warren Sapp: Work?! HAHAHA why would you do that? No NFL quarterback worth anything would be selling insurance after playing in the league. If I was a quarterback I wouldn’t be in the debt I am today. I ain’t buying no insurance from you. I’m out.
Nathan Peterman whispered something softly underneath his breath.
Warren Sapp: What’d you say to me “Mr. Quarterback?”
Nathan Peterman said nothing.
Warren Sapp: Whatever, I’m out.
Warren Sapp left the building. At this point, tears started streaming down Nathan Peterman’s face.
Nathan Peterman: I’m worth it. Someone’s gotta believe in me.
He sat there and cried for like 10 more minutes when his phone rang. It was the highly regarded coach of the Houston Texans, Bill O’Brien.
Nathan Peterman: Thank you for calling Accidents Happen Insurance where even when you’re triple covered we will throw it to you, my name’s Nathan how may I help you?
Bill O’Brien: Hey Nathan, it’s Bill O’Brien, Head Football Coach of the Houston Texans. How are you?
Nathan Peterman: Oh golly-gee! I’m doing good, how are you coach?
Bill O’Brien: I’m doing great. DeShaun Watson got hurt again and will miss the rest of the season so they literally can’t fire me! I get to keep my job because it’s not my fault that we suck because my quarterback got hurt! How are you?
Nathan Peterman: I’m staying busy. Haven’t been up to too much since the Bills unfortunately cut me.
Bill O’Brien: Well they say when one door closes, another opens. I’d like to offer you a contract to be the new Texans backup quarterback since DeShaun is out. We figure you’ve already got some experience winning games for the Texans so we’d give you a chance!
Nathan Peterman: Oh boy! I’d love to! I’ll be on the next flight to Houston!
Bill O’Brien: Sounds great. When you land we’ll have someone there ready to intercept you and take you to the team facility.
Nathan Peterman wiped the tears from his face and boarded his flight to Houston. He landed and was intercepted by a member of the Texans PR staff and they got going to the facility. One thing Nathan noticed was that it took 2 hours to get from the stadium to the airport and they never left the city of Houston. They also almost got in 20 car accidents since nobody in Houston can drive. He figured since he can’t ever finish a drive he’d fit in great here. He then pulled up to NRG Stadium.
JJ Watt: We’re so happy to have you here in Houston! Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. I want to make sure I’m the best teammate possible to you. I love doing nice things for my teammates. We’re basically a family. Let me know if you need anything.
Nathan Peterman: Wow! Thanks so much JJ Watt!
JJ Watt: We’re doing a potluck dinner at my house tonight! We’d love to have you over so you can meet your new teammates.
Jonathan Joseph: We figured you can make some apple turnovers!
Everyone laughed for like 10 minutes.
Nathan Peterman: Oh! I’ve always got a great recipe for those.
Things were starting to look up for Nathan. He had a great week of practice with the Texans and was ready to play in case something happened to legendary backup quarterback Brandon Weeden. His new teammates really made him feel loved and included. Nothing could bring him down from the high that he was feeling because today was gameday. They were playing the Titans.
In the third quarter of the game, Brandon Weeden went down with an ankle injury. It was serious enough for them to need the services of Nathan Peterman.
Bill O’Brien: Okay listen up Nathan, your services are needed. Go out there and be the best quarterback you can be and lead the Texans to victory like you did two years ago when you played for the Bills! We’ll start out with a nice easy screen pass to Hopkins just to get your arm loose.
Nathan Peterman: Will do, coach!
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were on the call.
Cris Collinsworth: Now here’s a guy in Nathan Peterman who was selling insurance last week. Now he’s in the NFL. It’s crazy how this league works.
Al Michaels: Yes, truly crazy. He’s obviously been known to throw a lot of interceptions throughout his short NFL career. Let’s see how this thing goes!
Cris Collinsworth: Maybe in a system under offensive guru Bill O’Brien he’ll be better.
Al Michaels: They come out in shotgun, Peterman takes the snap. He throws the ball right and it’s complete to Hopkins for a gain of 12!
Cris Collinsworth: Now here’s a guy who normally throws interceptions but didn’t throw an interception on this play! Good for him!
Al Michaels: Do you believe in miracles? YES!
The game went on and Nathan Peterman was playing pretty well. He didn’t do anything to ruin the game for the Texans. The only thing he was turning over was a new leaf and he was loving every second of it! The game was tied in the fourth quarter and there was 30 seconds left. The Texans got the ball at their own 30 after a missed field goal.
Al Michaels: Okay, tie game here. The Texans have a chance to win it at the end here. They line up in the pistol. Three receivers to the right. Peterman takes the snap. Hopkins is wide open down the sideline BUT NO, he throws it to Fuller who’s double covered and it’s PICKED OFF BY ADOREE JACKSON! Jackson takes it to the 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5, TOUCHDOWN TITANS! UNBELIEVABLE!
Cris Collinsworth: Now here’s a guy in Nathan Peterman who got a second chance in a league where some guys don’t often get second chances and he hands the game on a silver platter to the Titans. Absolutely unreal. Can’t wait to give him a grade that nobody understands on PFF tomorrow.
Nathan Peterman was crushed. He really loved playing for the Texans and in just a short week, he’d really grown fond of his teammates. He felt so guilty that he felt like he had to address the team in the locker room and own up to his mistakes.
Nathan Peterman: Hey Texans family, I know it’s only been a short while but I feel like I can call you family at this point. This past week has been a whirlwind for me. I was working insurance sales on Monday when I got a call from Bill O’Brien to come help this team by being the backup quarterback to Brandon Weeden. I unfortunately didn’t do my job well enough and I failed you all. I am going to make sure I’m better from here on out. I’m gonna work harder than any player in the history of the NFL has worked. I don’t care if I’m a 3rd or 4th string guy here. I just want to stay around this locker room and be around you guys because none of my teammates have ever been so nice to me. I’m gonna be better. I promise. I’m wort-…I’m worth…I’m wor-
Nathan Peterman was trying to utter the words “I’m worth it” but he got much too choked up. He was deeply moved by his own speech.
Bill O’Brien: Great speech kid. Hey, guess what?
Nathan Peterman: What, coach?
Bill O’Brien: You suck and you’re fired. Pack up your shit and never come back.