Vincent Testaverde is a now-retired American Football quarterback who has two decades worth of professional experience on the field. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers first drafted him in 1987.
Later in the National Football League, he played 21 seasons for seven different teams,, including Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys, to name a few.
No wonder Testaverde had earned a fair amount of success in his lifetime. He had set multiple records over the course of his 21-year professional career.
However, due to his constant turnovers, he could never stay long with any professional team.
Before diving into Testaverde’s career and life journey, here some interesting facts about him.
|Full name||Vincent Frank Testaverde Sr.|
|Birthdate||November 13, 1963|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|High School||Sewanhaka (Floral Park, New York)|
|Wife’s Name||Mitzi Testaverde|
|Children’s Name||Vincent Testaverde Jr
Alicia Marie Testaverde
|Weight||107 kg (235 lbs)|
|Beard or Mustache||Unknown|
|Profession||American Football player|
|Played for||Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Jets
New England Patriots
|Drafted Year||1987 / Round: 1/ Pick: 1|
|Salary||$26 million (approx.)|
|Net worth||$10 million|
|Merch||Jersey, Trading Card|
Testaverde Early Life and Family
Vincent also known as Vinny was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 13th November 1963. When it comes to his family, there is not much information. However, it has come to light that he lived in Elmont, New York, on Long Island.
When it comes to his siblings, it is unknown whether Testaverde has any siblings or not as their identities are not revealed, so it might be safe to assume that he is the only child of her parents.
Testaverde lived in Elmont, Long Island, where hehe went to school at Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park. He later graduated in the year 1981.
After completing his High School journey, he went to Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia. He went there for a post-graduate year of college preparatory work.
Testaverde was offered an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Miami. There he became a Miami Hurricanes football team member, where he played from 1982 to 1986.
In 1986, as a senior, Testaverde was a consensus first-team All-American who won the Heisman Trophy. He was one of the top collegiate football programs of the 1980s and 1990s.
Testaverde was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. He played a major role in the history of the University of Miami as a quarterback dynasty.
Additionally, he was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on May 7th, 2013.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987-1992) and Mockery
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Testaverde as the first overall draft pick in the 1987 NFL Draft. He struggled a lot in his second season with a 47.6% completion rate for 3,240 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 35 interceptions.
Testaverde had an issue of colorblindness, due to which he received a lot of taunts from his fans and radio personalities.
A radio station in 1988 in Tampa had rented a billboard with the image of Testaverde standing in front of a blue background. The billboard consisted of a mockery statement, “Vinny thinks this is orange.”
A such number of mockery and errors made many question his intelligence. The then-president of the National Football League Players Association, Gene Upshaw, unaware that his comment was audible to many viewing through a direct satellite uplink, made an unprofessional comment.
During an NFL Live! Commercial break, Upshaw commented that Testaverde was so dumb that he would drag the electric cord through his swimming pool while trimming the hedges and claimed himself to be a better quarterback than Testaverde.
Such criticism played an important role in his improvement as in his last season with Tampa Bay, in 1992, he threw for a 57.5 completion rate for 2,554 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.
Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens (1993-1997)
Testaverde signed an unrestricted free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 1993. He was kept as a backup to his Miami Hurricane teammate, Bernie Kosar. However, the then Browns head coach Bill Belichick made him a started after Kosar’s release.
He spent almost 3 seasons in the Cleveland Browns and also led the team into the playoffs. Cleveland won the AFC wildcard game against New England. However, later they were defeated by Pittsburgh.
In 1995, along with most of the Browns roster, staff, and coaches, he moved to Baltimore to play two seasons with the newly formed team, Baltimore Ravens.
There, he scored his first touchdown on a 9-yard run in the Ravens’ history. At the end of the season, he had a record of 4,000 yards passing, 33 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions.
His first Pro Bowl appearance was made with the Ravens in 1996.
Later he signed a restricted four-year contract with the Ravens ahead of the 1997 season. He was complimented on his loyalty to the team by Ravens owner Art Modell.
However, in 1997 he did not perform well as compared to the previous year. Compared to 15 interceptions, he threw only 18 touchdowns.
Backup Eric Zeier also replaced him after suffering from an injury. The Zeier became popular with the fans when he led the team to two consecutive wins.
New York Jets (1998-2003)
Testaverde began his first season with his hometown, the New York Jets, in the year 1998. There, he was able to flourish, completing 61.5% of his passes with 29 touchdowns, along with seven interceptions and a 101.6 quarterback rating. This marked Pro Bowl for the second time.
In a game against Seattle Seahawks, he was involved in a play that was cited as an impetus for the NFL’s adoption of a new instant replay review system.
Testaverde contributed for his team, the Ravens, to win by 32-32, and the loss was said to have cost the Seahawks a playoff berth, and the coach Dennis Erickson lost his job.
Despite various controversies, the 1998 season was considered as the best season of Testaverde’s in the NFL. The Jets also won the AFC East for the first time since the merger. They also earned a first-round bye as well as a home playoff game.
Despite their success, they lost to the Super Bowl champion, Denver Broncos, in the AFC Championship.
Testaverde could not play in their first game against the New England Patriots due to a ruptured Achilles tendon. This caused him to not participate for the rest of the season.
Finally, he returned quarterback the Jets in 2000. The major highlight of the season was the “Monday Night Miracle” game against the Miami Dolphins. According to the fans’ selection, this was considered the most excellent game in Monday Night Football history.
The Jets falling behind in the game, 30-7 going into the fourth quarter, had brought victory in the game with 40-37 behind five touchdown passes from Testaverde.
However, in 2001 in the back to playoffs, they were defeated in the first round by the Oakland Raiders. In 2002, he was replaced by Chd Pennington after a 1-3 start.
Dallas Cowboys (2004)
After one year, Bill Parcells, the head coach’s retirement by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones brought Testaverde to the Cowboys in 2004.
He was first signed to be a backup and mentor to the young Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter. However, Carter was abruptly cut by the team for allegedly failing a drug test.
This brought an opportunity for Testaverde, and he was given the position of starting quarterback job.
Many were unsure about his ability to play in the NFL; the play calling and the protection schemes allowed him to showcase his arm, which had mixed results.
In the NFC East division, the Dallas Cowboys finished the 2004 season 6-10, tied for third and last place. The one-year contract of Testaverde’s with the team expired early in 2005.
Testaverde was replaced by Parcell’s 1993 number one draft pick, Drew Bledsoe as the Cowboy’s top quarterback.
The young player had 3,532 passing yards and 287 completions during that time, the third-best total of his career. It was also the third-most passing yards in the Dallas Cowboys franchise history.
He also tied the franchise record for 300-yard passing games in a season with three. This led him to become the fifth quarterback in league history to pass for over 300 yards at forty years of age.
Second stint with the New York Jets (2005)
Vinny then re-signed his contract with the New York Jets on 27 September 2005. Due to many injuries and knocked by both Chd Pennington and backup Jay Fiedler for the 2005 season, he decided to re-sign the contract.
In a home game against his originally drafted team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was named the Jet’s starting quarterback.
He set a new NFL record for the most consecutive seasons with at least one touchdown pass in a game against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football’s final ABC telecast.
Testaverde’s pass is notable as the last touchdown pass thrown on Monday Night Football while ABC still broadcasted it.
New England Patriots (2006)
As a backup started to Tom Brady, Testaverde was signed by the New England Patriots on November 14, 2006.
He threw a touchdown pass on a game against the Tennessee Titans, which gave him at least one touchdown pass for the twentieth straight season, extending his NFL record.
He was able to defeat his former team, the New York Jets, in the first round of playoffs with the New England Patriots’ help.
Being able to contribute much, Testaverde stated his interest in re-signing the contract for Patriots in the 2007 NFL season.
He confirmed this with Sporting News Radio and officially signed a one-year contract. The contract was for 825,000 dollars.
Carolina Panthers (2007)
On October 10, 2007, the Panthers signed a contract with Testaverde due to its members’ injuries. His first game was against the Arizona Cardinals, where he wore the jersey number 16.
He threw a 65-yard touchdown pass in the game, which extended his NFL record to 21 consecutive seasons with a touchdown pass.
It was a 25-10 victory for the Panthers, and he became the oldest starting quarterback to win a game in the NFL. He broke the record of Tom Brady by having the highest thrown touchdown passes.
He was also named the starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts. With the contribution of Testaverde, the Panthers were in the longest opening drive for a touchdown in franchise history, 18 plays and lasting for 11 minutes and one second.
Later, he suffered from a strained Achilles tendon and had to leave the field. Former Houston Texans quarterback David Carr had initiated to replace him.
Along with Favre, Testaverde was considered “Senior Bowl” as they were the oldest starting quarterback duo in the game of NFL history.
At the age of 44, he became the second-oldest starting quarterback in NFL history. In a game against the San Francisco 49ers, he threw two touchdown passes. Testaverde broke his own record with the Panthers’ win for the oldest starter to win an NFL game.
On December 29, 2007, he announced his plans for retirement, which would take effect only after the season’s final game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 30.
The victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought an end to the former player’s NFL career.
He made an official announcement of his retirement from professional football in January 2008. He became the first eligible player for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
Despite having a record of throwing more yards and more touchdowns in the NFL than any other eligible quarterback, Testaverde is not in the Hall of Fame. He has only moderate success in terms of wins and losses.
Several NFL records related to longevity in the league, including the NFL record for having thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons, the most losses by a starting quarterback with 123, and throwing touchdown passes to an NFL record, he holds 70 different players.
Testaverde’s Net Worth
While being a player in the NFL, he earned around $14 million in salary. Later after adjusting for inflation, he roughly earned around $26 million.
Testaverde’s net worth in 2020 is estimated to be roughly 1 million dollars to 5 million dollars.
Vinny Testaverde’s Wife and Son
Testaverde is married to his wife, Mitzi Testaverde. They met one another in Tempe, Arizona, in January of 1987.
At that time, he was preparing for the Fiesta Bowl with the Miami Hurricanes.
“I’m just going to play my own game.”- Vincent Testaverde Jr.
Vincent might have spent his 21 years in the NFL but his legacy will remain forever. Not to mention, the 24-year-old son, Vincent Testaverde Jr. has followed the footsteps of his father.
Despite having a leverage because of his father status, Testaverde Jr. is determined in makig his own name apart from his father.
“I’m just going to play my own game. I’m not going to try to play the way my dad played because I’m a different person.”
Vincent then continued,
“He’s a different player. I’m just going to learn and perform the best I can.”
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)
Did Vinny Testaverde win a Superbowl?
Vinny Testaverde was an NFL player for 21 years. However, despite his 21 years journey, he never won a Super Bowl.
How old was Vinny Testaverde when he retired from the NFL?
Testaverde retired in January 2008 at the age of 44.
Is Vinny Testaverde color blind?
Yes, Vinny Testaverde was color blind, which caused him to throw the ball at the wrong players.