In the NFL, certain quarterbacks have become synonymous with a single organization. However, it’s amazing how many of these quarterbacks end up switching teams late in their career. Tom Brady is the latest example of a legendary quarterback who won’t be spending his entire career with a single team. While it’ll be weird seeing Brady suiting up for the Buccaneers, here are the other Hall of Fame worthy quarterbacks we had to get used to seeing in a different jersey late in their careers.
Joe Montana, Chiefs
Montana won four Super Bowls with the 49ers, making him arguably the greatest player in franchise history. However, that didn’t exactly earn him a lifetime contract to stay in San Francisco. After Montana missed nearly two full seasons because of an elbow injury, the 49ers were ready to move on from him and keep moving forward with Steve Young, who was a more than adequate replacement.
San Francisco traded Montana to Kansas City, where he spent the final two seasons of his career. With Marcus Allen coming aboard at the same time, Montana went to the Pro Bowl in 1993 while also leading the Chiefs to their first division title in 22 years. However, he got hurt in the AFC Championship Game, which Kansas City lost to Buffalo. Montana took the Chiefs to the playoffs again the following year in what would be his last season.
Donovan McNabb, Redskins & Vikings
As most fans remember, McNabb was booed when the Eagles drafted. However, all he did in his 11 seasons in Philadelphia was win five division titles, take the Eagles to the playoffs eight times, and get the Eagles to the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly a quarter-century.
While Andy Reid claimed McNabb was still the team’s starter ahead of the 2010 season, he was soon traded to the division-rival Redskins. McNabb ended up signing a five-year contract with Washington that November, only to get benched a month later. He was traded the next off-season to the Vikings but benched again after Minnesota started the season 1-5. McNabb was released in December but didn’t sign with another team before the end of the season and soon called it a career.
Brett Favre, Jets & Vikings
Favre was the starter in Green Bay for 16 seasons and even a decade after winning MVP in three straight years, he was still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. However, the Packers couldn’t keep Aaron Rodgers on the bench forever, nor should they have.
After an unspectacular season with the Jets, Favre signed with the Vikings, putting him in the same division as the Packers. In 2009, he showed that he could still player, leading Minnesota to a 12-4 record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game. However, the 2010 season didn’t go quite as well. Late in the season, Favre suffered a concussion against the Bears and never played in another game, retiring after the season.
Joe Namath, Rams
Most fans only know Namath for the charismatic Jets quarterback who led them to glory in Super Bowl III. The thing most people don’t remember about him is the series of injuries he suffered in the years that followed.
After 12 seasons in New York, Namath was released so he could sign with the Rams. However, the injuries made him a shadow of his former self. Namath began the season as a starter but was benched four games into the 1977 season, which turned out to be his only with the Rams and last in the NFL.
Peyton Manning, Broncos
Manning is one of the few success stories of quarterbacks who switched teams late in their career. Of course, he gave the Colts 13 brilliant seasons, winning four MVP’s and never missing a game. Well, he never missed a game until he sat out all of 2011 because of multiple neck surgeries. Indianapolis tanked that season without him, enabling them to draft Andrew Luck and release Manning, putting him on the free-agent market.
A lot of teams wanted him, but the Broncos turned out to be the best fit. During his second season in Denver, Manning won league MVP for the fifth time while setting NFL records for both passing yards and touchdowns, leading arguably the most prolific offense in NFL history. Two years later, despite missing time late in the season due to injury, Manning helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 and ride off into the sunset as a champion.