As training camps open across the NFL this week the term “camp arm” is thrown around quite a bit. Camp arms are quarterbacks considered talented enough to be invited to compete for a backup role with a slim chance of playing or joining the practice squad. This does not mean the player lacks talent, perhaps the player will eventually be worthy of making the roster. In the interim the player is invited to training where if they exhibit credible proficiency they may eventually, through injury or trade have am opportunity to move up to a real roster.
Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, and Warren Moon all started out as undrafted camp arms. Even the greatest NFL player ever, Tom Brady, was once a 6th round camp arm.
After developing a relationship with Brady during his rehab of a broken hip at the collegiate level quarterback Dennis McCarthy out of Boston College fired the ball around with the New England Patriots. McCarthy has the prerequisites of a star, size, speed, arm talent, but an injury history.
Other camp arms like undrafted quarterback John Wolford of Wake Forest had pit stops in leagues like the AAF and the CFL before making an NFL roster. Wolford has the resume of an NFL stud but at 5’11” lacks size, however he made this most of his camps with the Jets and the Rams to earn a roster spot and a super bowl with Los Angeles.
Far more camp arms are simply just acquired by a franchise to throw the football to promising young receivers, each with a better chance at making the final roster. But there’s always a chance…