Word surfaced yesterday that Donovan McNabb -- the QB I wish the Buffalo Bills would pick up (no offense, Obi-Wan Fitzpatrick!) -- will likely end up with the Vikings, the team left behind by the other QB I wish the Bills would pick up.
That would be McNabb's third team in the NFL -- so I thought I'd present today's list of
Quarterbacks Who Made It To The Super Bowl Playing For Their Second (Or Later) Team:
1. Jim Kelly: Jim Kelly's Bills made it to four consecutive Super Bowls, making him the Nancy Kerrigan of the NFL (how many other second-place finishers can you name off the top of your head?) But that wasn't the first time Kelly led the league in finishing second: he started his pro career in the USFL, playing for the Houston Gamblers. Why'd he go there? He'd been drafted by the Bills, but opted not to join Buffalo because of lack of fan interest.
2. Kurt Warner: Warner famously once spent time stocking shelves at a Piggly Wiggly store. I tried to find out which one, but couldn't -- because Warner's played in numerous cities. Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1994, Warner didn't make the team. He then played for the Iowa Barnstormers and Amsterdam Admirals in minor league football before joining the Rams. After winning a few Super Bowls there (remember?) he went on to the Giants before making his final Super Bowl appearance with the Cardinals.
3. Brett Favre: Brett, if you go join Michael Vick, I will stop being your fan forever. Please don't. Check out Buffalo, instead! Favre's big successes in the NFL began with an ignominious, nearly anonymous, year spent on Jerry Glanville's Atlanta Falcons. What'd Glanville think of Favre? Not much: he said it would take a plane crash before Glanville would put him in a game.
4. Drew Brees: Brees began his career at San Diego, which (according to rumor) had signed Doug Flutie to help get the team ready to play for a shorter-than-average, mobile quarterback. Brees was only picked by San Diego in the first place because the Chargers had traded their own #1 pick to Atlanta, which used it to get Michael Vick. So, smart people on both sides of that trade. In 2004, Brees led the Chargers to a 12-4 record and the AFC Championship game, after which he was promptly let go by the Chargers and signed with the Saints.
5. Johnny Unitas: Johnny was a Steeler... for a while. The Steelers drafted him but they had 4 QBs and ended up letting Johnny U. and his haircut you could set a watch to go, letting him join the Colts so he could become the 1970s version of Jim Kelly.
6. Steve Young: Young was Kurt Warner before Kurt Warner was Kurt Warner: he played for the USFL for 2 years, going there not because he hated Buffalo but because they promised to pay him $40 million over 40 years (an annuity deal that he did because he wanted to help the team.) He then was drafted by the Buccaneers, spending two terrible years with them before going to the 49ers, where he proved that persistence, and playing with Jerry Rice, pays off.
7. John Elway/Eli Manning: Lastly but not leastly are these two QBs, technically each winning a Super Bowl on their second teams. Elway played his professional career with the Broncos but was drafted by the then-Baltimore Colts; he only went to Denver because he refused to play for Baltimore. A couple of decades later, Eli would do the same thing, getting drafted by San Diego but refusing to play for them and heading to the Giants, signalling the end of Kurt Warner's time in New York City.
You know, in retrospect, what might be an interesting list? Terrible decisions made by the San Diego Chargers.