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He played for them?

Montana, Unitas, Manning and Culpepper all went to the AFC West.

In light of the Ichiro Suzuki trade to the Yankees, Jason Lisk wrote about other prominent star baseball players who switched teams late in their career. I’m going to do the same for football.

The table below shows all players who accumulated at least 100 points of career AV with one team and then switched teams. Len Dawson played for the Steelers and Browns before embarking on a Hall of Fame career with the Chiefs, but he won’t make this list since he never switched teams after his tenure in Kansas City. Johnny Unitas does because he finished his career with the Chargers. Brett Favre’s stint with the Falcons doesn’t count, but his time with the Jets and Vikings does.1

As you might suspect, the top of the list is dominated by quarterbacks. Peyton Manning will join Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Brett Favre as Hall of Fame quarterbacks that looked a bit out of place donning other colors. But it’s actually quarterback Jim Hart who spent the most seasons with one team, the St. Louis Cardinals, before a one-year stint with the Redskins.

YearsYearsPlayerTmAVOther teams
1992--200716Brett FavreGNB222NYJ-MIN
1998--201114Peyton ManningIND220DEN
1985--200016Jerry RiceSFO215OAK-SEA
1956--197217Johnny UnitasBAL201SDG
1985--199915Bruce SmithBUF193WAS
1964--197815Carl EllerMIN187SEA
1967--197812Alan PageMIN178CHI
1952--196514Bill GeorgeCHI169RAM
1990--200213Junior SeauSDG162MIA-NWE
1990--200213Emmitt SmithDAL162ARI
1968--198114Ron YaryMIN153RAM
1979--199214Joe MontanaSFO146KAN
1988--200316Tim BrownRAI143TAM
2001--20099LaDainian TomlinsonSDG142NYJ
1996--200712Zach ThomasMIA141DAL
1981--199313Rickey JacksonNOR141SFO
1997--200711Jason TaylorMIA136WAS-NYJ
1988--199912Thurman ThomasBUF135MIA
1974--198815Mike WebsterPIT135KAN
1956--197015Forrest GreggGNB135DAL
1955--196612Doug AtkinsCHI135NOR
1972--198312Franco HarrisPIT133SEA
1966--198318Jim HartSTL133WAS
1985--19928Reggie WhitePHI132GNB-CAR
1950--19589Emlen TunnellNYG132GNB
1997--200812Tony GonzalezKAN131ATL
1985--199915Andre ReedBUF131WAS
1977--198711Tony DorsettDAL131DEN
1961--197111Deacon JonesRAM129SDG-WAS
1988--199912Randall McDanielMIN129TAM
1994--200714Isaac BruceRAM128SFO
1999--200911Donovan McNabbPHI127WAS-MIN
1981--199010Ronnie LottSFO125RAI-NYJ
1995--20039Warren SappTAM125OAK
1978--199316Clay MatthewsCLE125ATL
1980--199314Art MonkWAS123NYJ-PHI
1961--197313Jim TyrerDTX123WAS
1987--199610Rod WoodsonPIT122SFO-BAL-OAK
1996--200813Brian DawkinsPHI121DEN
1990--200011Richmond WebbMIA121CIN
1981--199313Steve McMichaelCHI121GNB
1984--199310Warren MoonHOU120MIN-SEA-KAN
1990--200112Cris CarterMIN120MIA
1997--200812Orlando PaceSTL119CHI
1990--200011John RandleMIN119SEA
1961--19699Herb AdderleyGNB119DAL
1999--200810Torry HoltSTL117JAX
1999--201113Jeff SaturdayIND116GNB
1983--199311Richard DentCHI116SFO-IND-PHI
1995--200511Steve McNairHOU115BAL
1953--196311Jim RingoGNB115PHI
1985--199511Ray ChildressHOU114DAL
1999--20057Edgerrin JamesIND113ARI-SEA
1950--19578Len FordCLE111GNB
1994--200512Larry AllenDAL110SFO
1954--196512Stan JonesCHI108WAS
1996--200712Willie AndersonCIN107BAL
1965--197612Joe NamathNYJ107RAM
1963--197614Winston HillNYJ107RAM
1985--19939Chris DolemanMIN106ATL-SFO
1998--200811Fred TaylorJAX106NWE
1982--199211Marcus AllenRAI106KAN
1977--198913Stanley MorganNWE106IND
1980--199112Jacob GreenSEA105SFO
1971--19788Isiah RobertsonRAM105BUF
1969--19779O.J. SimpsonBUF105SFO
1988--199710Greg LloydPIT104CAR
1995--20039Mark BrunellJAX103WAS-NOR-NYJ
2001--201010Chad OchocincoCIN102NWE
1971--198313Harold CarmichaelPHI102DAL
1963--197715Jackie SmithSTL102DAL
1958--196912Ken GrayCRD102HOU
1985--199511Randall CunninghamPHI101MIN-DAL-BAL
1959--196810Richie PetitbonCHI101RAM-WAS
1985--199511Lomas BrownDET100ARI-CLE-NYG-TAM
1973--198412Joe FergusonBUF100DET-TAM-IND
1983--19908Roger CraigSFO100RAI-MIN
1979--198911Fred SmerlasBUF100SFO-NWE
1977--198913Raymond ClaybornNWE100CLE
1968--197811Claude HumphreyATL100PHI

Jeff Saturday will finally get to snap the ball to a franchise quarterback.

Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos obviously stole headlines this off-season. But he’s not the only prominent Colt who switched teams this off-season, as Jeff Saturday is now in Green Bay. He’s the only other player with 100 points of career AV with one team that will be suiting up for a new one in 2012.

Let’s close out the week with a poll:

[poll id=”4″]

  1. Note that pass rushers Chris Doleman, Jason Taylor and Richard Dent all returned to their original teams after a stint with another franchise; for them, I’m only including their AV during their first stay with those teams. []
  • Tim Truemper

    Then of course, I’m old. Voted for Johnny U

  • Richie

    I don’t remember Orlando Pace on the Bears at all!

    Is there an easy way to trim this list some more? Marcus Allen and Thurman Thomas aren’t quite the same thing.

    How about only seeing the guys who accumulated less than 10 career AV for one of their “twilight” teams?

    • Andrew

      The reason you don’t remember Pace being with the Bears is because he was ineffective and i believe injured for much of his less-than-two-year tenure. He sat behind Chris Williams before the Bears cut him.

  • Jeff W

    Dont forget Favre playing for the Falcons before his glory days. Still seems strange when I see footage of him there.

  • MARK

    Please add another couple to the list: Lance Alworth played for the Cowboys after a stellar career with the San Diego Chargers; John Jefferson was traded to the Green Bay Packers and withered; Fred Dean left the Chargers and played with the 49’ers.