I am glad that Tom Brady has finally signed with another team and the hype is over. This week one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League (NFL) ended his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now the Buccaneers are obvious favorites to win the Super Bowl right? Not so fast my friends. I got to thinking about other quarterbacks who changed teams late in their careers.
Johnny Unitas was a legend with the Baltimore Colts from 1956-1972. He led the Colts to three NFL championships and one Super Bowl title. I don’t think anyone can imagine Unitas In any other uniform but in 1973, Unitas played his last season with the San Diego Chargers. He played only five games and threw for three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Joe Namath is another legend who finished his career with another team. After playing for the New York Jets from 1965-1976, Namath was traded to the Los Angeles Rams where he played his final season in 1977. He was benched after throwing four interceptions in a Monday Night game against the Chicago Bears and retired at the end of the season.
Joe Montana was instrumental in the San Francisco 49ers’ dynasty. He wore the uniform from 1979-1992. During his tenure with the 49ers, he led the team to four Super Bowl titles. In 1993, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Montana had success in his final two seasons playing in 25 games and four playoff games.
Peyton Manning is perhaps one of the most memorable success stories of a quarterback who finished his career with another team. After playing 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011 and a Super Bowl title, Manning signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent in 2012. He played his final four seasons with the Broncos and led them to a Super Bowl championship in his final season.
Personally, I think Brady should have finished his career in a Patriots’ uniform but he has said that he still has something to prove. After winning six Super Bowls, I’m not sure he needs to prove anything to anyone. It would be sad to see him end with a finish like Unitas and Namath.