With the recent deal struck by Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers for five years and worth 137.5 million, and the heroic efforts by backup quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles still recent in our minds, NFL teams have woken up to the value that lies in developing and possessing a talented backup quarterback on their rosters. The quarterback is, without a doubt, the most important position on the field, as suggested by the salary gap between them and the other positions in the league. The Philadelphia Eagles knew what they had in backup Nick Foles when they signed him to a five-year, $27.5 million deal (last three years are voidable, thus, in reality, it's a two-year, $11 million deal) this past offseason.

The question then becomes, would you rather have a highly paid backup that can win you a Super Bowl, should your starter fall, or a cap-friendly option to just try to keep your team alive and competitive?

Both sides to the 2017 NFL backup quarterback story

One of the most coined phrases in the NFL is how it is a copycat league. While most fans of the game would assume that only adheres to the tactics on the field, that train of thought takes credence in the front office as well. If the 2017 NFL season could be summed up in one phrase, then it would be dubbed the year of the backup. A sentiment validated by the spectacular performances by Jimmy Garoppolo, Case Keenum, and Super Bowl hero Nick Foles (26-5 record between them).

For every great story, though, there is one of tragedy. Fans are quick to forget about the subpar performances of Brett Hundley, Blaine Gabbert/Drew Stanton, Jacoby Brissett, and Tom Savage (9-20 record between them) who took over for the remainder of the season on their respective teams (min. six games started).

Quarterback heavy offseason?

This year isn't the first time backup quarterbacks have come in and saved their franchise. Last year, we had the emergence of Dak Prescott and how he essentially forced Tony Romo to retire. A few years before that, Kirk Cousins snatched the job away from RGIII after having solid performances during his limited action.

Around that same time, Colin Kaepernick took Alex Smith's job and sent him packing to Kansas City. Backup quarterbacks have always been emerging from the shadows and into the spotlight, but this year saw that increase exponentially. Once again, the NFL is a copycat league. While the entirety of the league may not switch to that new backup quarterback model overnight, fans should be keenly interested to see how the salary and quality of backup quarterbacks escalate going into the 2018 season.