NFL Bust to Run for Senate?

heath 300x195The former Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints Quarterback is talking about a potential run for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

A University of Tennessee star, Shuler was drafted in 1994 by the Washington Redskins with the 3rd overall draft choice. The Redskins proceeded to sign Shuler to a 7-year, $19.25 million contract. After bombing out with Washington, he was traded to the New Orleans Saints for a fifth round draft pick. Then, after being cut by the Saints, he signed with Oakland, but never appeared on their regular season roster.

heath2Most of his fame on the football field came at Tennessee, where Shuler gained national attention as one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks. He broke most of the Volunteer passing records (at least until they were re-broken by Peyton Manning a few years later). In 1993, he came in second in the vote for the Heisman Trophy. However, his pro career was litter with failures, as he finished with a lowly career passer rating of 54.3, and in 2004 ESPN rated him the 17th biggest sports flop of the past 25 years. In 2008, ESPN rated him the 4th biggest NFL Draft bust of all time.

In July 2005, Shuler announced his intentions to seek the Democratic nomination to run against eight-term incumbent Republican Charles H. Taylor in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district. The district covers most of the Western North Carolina mountains where Shuler grew up. On November 7, 2006, Shuler defeated Taylor 54 percent to 46 percent, and became a United States representative. He easily won re-election this November garnering 62 percent of the vote.

Now comes word that he could be looking to challenge incumbent Republican Richard Burr in the state’s 2010 Senate election. Like Shuler, Burr has football ties, playing defensive back while attending Wake Forest in the 1970s.  Burr won the Senate seat vacated by John Edwards when he decided not to seek re-election in 2004.

North Carolina is a traditionally Republican state, but voted for Democrat Barack Obama this year, as well as ousting Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole in favor of Democrat Kay Hagan. A Shuler victory seems possible. However, if Shuler runs and fails to get elected, will he make ESPN’s All-Time Senate busts list?

Thanks to Hugging Harold Reynolds for alerting us of this story.