Record Number of Black Quarterbacks

Currently there are nine starting. That's more than we've ever had.

Michael Vick (Brian Cleary/Getty Images); E.J. Manuel (Al Bello/Getty); Robert Griffin III (Patrick McDermott/Getty)

(The Root) -- Once praised only for their athleticism and running ability, black NFL quarterbacks today are bucking a system that has stereotyped them since the beginning of the National Football League. The new crop of black NFL quarterbacks are eager to show everyone that they can torch opponents with their feet but just as easily can pick apart a defense with their arms and brains. This NFL season, a projected nine black quarterbacks could start for their teams on week 1, more than the NFL has ever seen in a single season.

1. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Back in 2009, when Freeman was drafted 17th overall by the Bucs, very few NFL fans had ever heard of the guy. Now, after a few up-and-down seasons and a couple of coaching changes, Freeman looks to add his name to the list of elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

2. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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RG3's rookie year was filled with spectacular plays and sighs of relief from a fan base clamoring for something positive. It ended in devastation when Griffin III tore his anterior cruciate ligament and had surgery to reconstruct the ACL and repair the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. Held as the savior to Washington Redskins football, RGIII is now (relatively) healthy and determined to build on a future that seems limitless on and off the field.

3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

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Funny thing about the NFL: Things can change in a blink of an eye. Just ask Kaepernick, who was catapulted into the 49er starting job last season after Alex Smith was sidelined with a concussion. Now described as the new golden boy of the Bay, Kaepernick has been given the keys to one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports.