Nathan Peterman

American football player (born 1994)

American football player
  • Tennessee (2012–2014)
  • Pittsburgh (2015–2016)
NFL draft:2017 / Round: 5 / Pick: 171Career history
  • Buffalo Bills (2017–2018)
  • Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders (2018–2021)
  • Chicago Bears (2022–2023)
  • New Orleans Saints (2024–present)
Roster status:ActiveCareer NFL statistics as of 2023
Passing attempts:160
Passing completions:85
Completion percentage:53.1%
TD–INT:4–13
Passing yards:712
Passer rating:39.4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Nathan Michael Peterman (born May 4, 1994) is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tennessee and Pittsburgh before being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Peterman has also played for the Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears.

Early years

Peterman attended Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns, Florida.[1] While at Bartram Trail, he played for the Bears football team. As a senior, he passed for 2,392 yards and 36 touchdowns. Peterman was rated as a four-star recruit and committed to the University of Tennessee to play college football under head coach Derek Dooley.[2][3]

College career

Tennessee

In 2012, Peterman redshirted in first year at Tennessee. After the Vanderbilt game of that season, Dooley was fired as head coach.[4]

After his redshirt freshman year, Peterman's head coach was Butch Jones.[5] Peterman was one of the three backup quarterbacks as Justin Worley won the starting job in the offseason.[6][7] Peterman made his collegiate debut in a home game at Neyland Stadium against Austin Peay in relief of Worley in a 45–0 victory. He was 4-of-8 passing for 28 yards against the Governors.[8][9] After the game against #2 Oregon at Autzen Stadium, where Tennessee was defeated by a score of 59–14,[10] Worley was benched in favor of Peterman. Peterman made his first career start against #19 Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.[11] He was injured in the game and was eventually benched for Worley during the game after completing 4-of-11 passes for only five yards and two interceptions.[12] The injury ended up being a broken hand.[13] Overall, Peterman appeared in four games that season, completing 10-of-23 passes for 45 yards and two interceptions.[14]

As a sophomore in 2014, he remained behind Worley on the depth chart. He played in seven games and made one start, which came against #4 Alabama at Neyland Stadium, after Worley was injured in the 34–3 loss to #3 Ole Miss.[15] Despite getting the start, Joshua Dobbs relieved Peterman in the game.[16][17] Dobbs started the next game against South Carolina[18][19] and kept the job for the rest of the season. Peterman made one last appearance as a member of the Volunteers against Kentucky. In relief of Dobbs in the 50–16 victory, Peterman finished the game.[20] He completed 10-of-20 passes for 49 yards on the 2014 season.[21]

Pittsburgh

Peterman transferred as a graduate transfer to the University of Pittsburgh in 2015.[22][23] Under new head coach Pat Narduzzi, Peterman entered the season as the backup to Chad Voytik, but replaced him as the starter after two games.[24] In his first start, he completed 20-of-29 passes for 219 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27–24 loss to Iowa.[25] He kept the starting job for the rest of the year, completing 193-of-314 passes for 2,287 yards, 20 touchdowns, and eight interceptions as the Panthers finished with an 8–5 record.[26][27]

Peterman returned as a starter his senior year in Pittsburgh.[28] Peterman had a career day against the eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers on November 12. He threw for 308 yards and five touchdowns in the 43–42 victory. Pittsburgh's victory was Clemson's only loss of the season.[29] He threw for 2,855 yards with 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions as the Panthers once again finished with an 8–5 record.[30][31][32]

College statistics

Season GP Passing
Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int RTg
Tennessee Volunteers
2012 0 Redshirt Redshirt
2013 3 10 23 43.5 45 0 2 42.5
2014 6 10 20 50 49 0 0 70.6
Pittsburgh Panthers
2015 13 193 313 61.7 2,287 20 8 139.0
2016 13 185 306 60.5 2,855 27 7 163.4
Career 35 398 662 60.1 5,236 47 17 144.9

Professional career

Pre-draft

On November 16, 2016, it was announced that Peterman accepted an invitation to play in the 2017 Senior Bowl.[33] During Senior Bowl practices, Peterman impressed scouts and media in attendance after he displayed his decent size, accuracy, mobility, and his powerful arm. He met with representatives from the New Orleans Saints during the week and was praised by NFL analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis.[34] On January 28, 2017, Peterman played in the Senior Bowl and completed 16 of 23 pass attempt for 153 yards and a touchdown during the North 16–15 loss to the South. Peterman played for Chicago Bears head coach John Fox's North team during the game.[35] Peterman was one of 15 collegiate quarterbacks who received an invitation to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed the majority of combine drills, but opted to skip the bench press. Peterman finished fifth among quarterbacks in the three-cone drill, seventh in the 40-yard dash and tied for sixth in the vertical jump and short shuttle.[36]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 2+12 in
(1.89 m)
226 lb
(103 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9+78 in
(0.25 m)
4.82 s 1.67 s 2.80 s 4.31 s 7.14 s 31 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 2 in
(2.79 m)
33[37]
All values from NFL Combine[38]

Buffalo Bills

2017 season

The Buffalo Bills selected Peterman in the fifth round (171st overall pick) of the 2017 NFL Draft, as the eighth quarterback selected.[39][40]

Peterman was brought in to compete for the Bills' backup quarterback position along with T. J. Yates and Cardale Jones.[41] Peterman performed well enough to win the backup quarterback job after Jones was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers.[42] Following the third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Peterman became the only healthy quarterback for the Bills as starter Tyrod Taylor and Yates both sustained concussions in the game. This left open the possibility of Peterman starting for the team in Week 1,[43] but Taylor recovered in time to start the season opener against the New York Jets.[44] Had Peterman started the game, he would have been the second-lowest-drafted rookie quarterback to start a season opener since the AFL–NFL merger.[45] During Week 10 against the Saints, Peterman made his NFL debut with less than five minutes left in the game. With the Bills trailing 47–3, he led a scoring drive, completing 7 of 10 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown as the Bills lost by a score of 47–10. His first career touchdown pass was a 7-yard pass to tight end Nick O'Leary.[46][47]

On November 15, 2017, Peterman was named the Bills' starting quarterback for the team's Week 11 game against the Los Angeles Chargers due to Taylor's struggles.[48] During the game, Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half and was relieved by Taylor at the start of the second half.[49] His five interceptions tied an NFL record for the most thrown in a player's first career start.[50] Due to Taylor having suffered a knee injury in Week 13, Peterman started the Week 14 game against the Indianapolis Colts. During the game, which was played in a snowstorm, he completed 5 of 10 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game in the third quarter with a concussion.[51][52] The Bills won in overtime by a score of 13–7.[52]

On January 7, 2018, Peterman entered the Bills' Wild Card Round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with 1:43 remaining in the 4th quarter after Taylor suffered a concussion. He managed to convert two first downs for the Buffalo offense, including a four-yard scramble to move the chains on fourth down, before throwing a critical interception to Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, thus sealing the 10–3 win for Jacksonville and ending the Bills' season.[53][54]

2018 season

Peterman with the Buffalo Bills in 2018

In the 2018 offseason, the Bills traded Taylor to the Cleveland Browns. Peterman competed with rookie first-round draft pick Josh Allen and free-agent signing A. J. McCarron for the starting quarterback position.[55][56][57] On September 3, 2018, the Bills named Peterman their opening day starter over Allen after trading McCarron to the Oakland Raiders.[58]

Starting in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Peterman completed 5–18 passes, for 24 yards, throwing two interceptions and not leading the team to a first down until the third quarter. He was benched in favor of Josh Allen after posting a 0.0 passer rating as the Bills lost 47–3.[59][60]

On September 12, 2018, the Bills named Allen the starter for Week 2 against the Chargers, relegating Peterman to the bench.[61] Four weeks later, the Bills signed Derek Anderson to serve as Allen's backup.[62]

After Allen was injured against the Houston Texans and with Anderson inactive, Peterman entered the game and threw a touchdown to Zay Jones to put Buffalo in the lead. However, after the Texans tied the game at 13 late in the fourth quarter, Peterman threw two interceptions that cost the Bills the game, including a pick-six to cornerback Johnathan Joseph that proved to be Houston's winning score.[63] On October 17, 2018, Bills head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that Anderson would start Week 7 against the Colts with Allen ruled out.[64] However, after Anderson was hurt on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots, Peterman played against the Bears on November 4.[65] In what would become Peterman's final start as a Bill, he rushed for a touchdown, snapping the team's streak of 11 straight quarters and 39 straight possessions without a touchdown,[66] and threw for a career-high 188 yards, but also tossed three interceptions, including a pick six, as the Bills lost to the Bears by a score of 41–9.[67] By then, Peterman had become the butt of jokes among NFL fans for his play, which USA Today called "historically bad".[68]

Peterman was benched in favor of another mid–season signing, Matt Barkley, for the Week 10 matchup against the New York Jets.[69] Barkley led the Bills to a 41–10 win over the Jets.[70] With the Bills entering their bye week and Allen expected to be ready to play by the time of their next game, the Bills released Peterman on the evening of November 12. He finished his Buffalo career with four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 32.5.[71]

Oakland / Las Vegas Raiders

After workouts with the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, Peterman was signed by the Oakland Raiders as part of their practice squad on December 19, 2018,[72] as head coach Jon Gruden had previously raved about Peterman's play in college.[73] Peterman signed a reserve/future contract with the Raiders on January 1, 2019.[74]

Peterman had a strong preseason in 2019 but was placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury on September 2, 2019.[75]

On April 16, 2020, the Raiders re-signed Peterman, a restricted free agent, to an original-round tender.[76] He was fined US$15,000 by the NFL on October 5, 2020, for attending a maskless charity event hosted by teammate Darren Waller during the COVID-19 pandemic in violation of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols for the 2020 season.[77] Peterman made his first appearance for the Raiders in Week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons in relief of starter Derek Carr. Peterman completed 3 of 5 passes for 25 yards and rushed once for nine yards in the 43–6 blowout road loss.[78][79]

On February 4, 2021, Peterman signed a one-year contract extension with the Raiders.[80] During a Week 5 20–9 loss to the Bears, he briefly relieved Derek Carr in the fourth quarter after Carr suffered an injury.[81] On November 2, 2021, Peterman was released and was re-signed to the practice squad.[82] His contract expired when the team's season ended on January 15, 2022.

Chicago Bears

2022 season

On May 11, 2022, Peterman signed with the Bears.[83] He was released on August 30, 2022, and signed to the practice squad the next day.[84][85] The Bears flexed Peterman to the active roster on November 26, after an injury to starter Justin Fields.[86]

During pregame warmups in week 12, primary backup Trevor Siemian, who was slated to start that week, suffered an oblique injury which led many people to believe that the Bears were going to start Peterman against the New York Jets,[87] but Siemian ultimately ended up starting the game.[88][89]

On December 3, 2022, Peterman was signed to the active roster after Siemian was placed on injured reserve, becoming Fields' primary backup.[90] He made a relief appearance in place of Fields against his old team, the Bills, during the waning moments of a 35–13 defeat on Christmas Eve. Peterman completed two passes before spiking the ball at the 50-yard line and attempting a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted by Bills safety Jaquan Johnson, allowing Buffalo to close out the game.[91]

On January 4, 2023, Peterman was named the starter for the Week 18 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, replacing Justin Fields who was ruled out for a sore hip. Peterman threw for 114 yards and a touchdown in the 29–13 loss.[92]

2023 season

Peterman was re-signed to a one-year deal on March 31, 2023.[93] He was then released as part of final roster moves on August 29 but re-signed to the active roster on August 31.[94][95] He was named the second-string option behind starter Justin Fields and ahead of undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, beating out veteran P. J. Walker for the role.[96] On September 20, Peterman was cut for a second time and re-signed the next day.[97][98] However, he was demoted to third string before Week 4, in favor of an increasingly impressive Bagent.[99] On October 5, Peterman was cut for the third time that season but was signed to the practice squad on October 9.[100][101]

New Orleans Saints

On March 18, 2024, Peterman signed with the New Orleans Saints.[102]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2017 BUF 4 2 1–1 24 49 49.0 252 5.1 21 2 5 38.4 7 23 3.3 9 0 1 5 2 0
2018 BUF 4 2 0–2 44 81 54.3 296 3.7 26 1 7 30.7 10 50 5.0 24 1 7 34 0 0
OAK 0 0 DNP
2019 OAK 0 0
2020 LV 1 0 3 5 60.0 25 5.0 12 0 0 72.9 1 9 9.0 9 0 2 16 0 0
2021 LV 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 2 2 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0
2022 CHI 3 1 0–1 14 25 56.0 139 5.6 28 1 1 68.6 2 7 3.5 6 0 1 6 0 0
2023 CHI 2 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 2 −4 −2.0 −2 0 1 5 1 0
Career 15 5 1–4 85 160 53.1 712 4.5 28 4 13 39.4 24 87 3.6 24 1 12 66 3 0

Postseason

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacks Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg Lng TD Sck SckY Fum Lost
2017 BUF 1 0 1 3 33.3 14 4.7 14 0 1 9.7 1 4 4.0 4 0 0 0 1 0
2021 LV 0 0 DNP
Career 1 0 1 3 33.3 14 4.7 14 0 1 9.7 1 4 4.0 4 0 0 0 1 0

Personal life

The younger son of a pastor, Peterman credits his Christian faith in helping him face adversity. He is married to Morgan Peterman (née Shull), his college girlfriend from Tennessee.[103][104]

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  99. ^ "Bears' Nathan Peterman: Loses backup job". CBSSports.com. October 1, 2023. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  100. ^ Simmons, Myles (October 5, 2023). "Bears to activate Teven Jenkins, release Nathan Peterman". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 6, 2023.
  101. ^ "Nathan Peterman: Returns to Bears". CBSSports.com. October 9, 2023. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  102. ^ "New Orleans Saints agree to terms with quarterback Nathan Peterman". NewOrleansSaints.com. March 18, 2024.
  103. ^ Skurski, Jay (August 4, 2018). "Unwavering faith helped Nathan Peterman overcome five-interception nightmare". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  104. ^ Lumalu, James (November 15, 2017). "Meet Morgan Peterman – Wife of Bills QB Nathan Peterman". Busted Coverage. Retrieved November 2, 2018.

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