Tuesday morning, NFL fans awoke to shocking news. Tom Brady, who has been with the New England Patriots for 20 seasons, announced on Twitter that he’d be playing for another franchise in 2020.
It’s rare in sports to see players – elite or not – spend their entire career with one team. Some of the best quarterbacks of our era – Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and now Brady – didn’t even pull it off.
Let’s take a look at 10 NFL stars who you probably forgot ended their careers with random teams.
1. Emmitt Smith – Smith, considered one of the best running backs in NFL history, did most of his damage with the Dallas Cowboys from 1990-2002. But did you remember that he played for the Arizona Cardinals for two seasons in 2003 and 2004? After that he finally hung it up.
2. Randy Moss – Moss did most of his damage for the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots, but he also played for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. Did you remember that he ended his career with the 49ers in 2012?
3. Ed Reed – Reed is considered by many to be the best defensive back in NFL history. He played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-2012, but actually continued his career in 2013 with the Houston Texans and then the New York Jets.
4. Brett Favre – Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 1991 but spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers. He played for the New York Jets in one bizarre season in 2008 and then actually finished his career with the Packers’ rival – the Minnesota Vikings – in 2009 and 2010.
5. Ricky Williams – Williams, one of the most prolific runnings back in college football history, was drafted by the New Orleans Saints and traded to the Miami Dolphins after three seasons. He briefly retired, then returned to football – first in Canada, then with Miami. He finished his career up with the Baltimore Ravens in 2011.
6. Terrell Owens – T.O. is one of the most controversial NFL players in league history, but there’s also no doubt he was one of the most productive. He saw most of his success for the 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys, but he later played for the Buffalo Bills, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks. He signed with Seattle in August of 2012 but was cut before the season started.
7. Jerry Rice – Rice is regarded as the best wide receiver in league history, and for good reason. The three-time Super Bowl champ owns dozens of records for his efforts. But he like, the others on this list, had an unceremonious end to his career. He played for the 49ers from 1985-2000 before spending a few seasons in Oakland. He final time on the field came for the Seattle Seahawks, though he was a practice squad member for the Denver Broncos in 2005.
8. Wes Welker – Welker played for five NFL teams, though most remember him for his time with Brady and the Patriots. But did you know he actually finished his career with the St. Louis Rams in 2015? He only caught 13 passes for the team.
9. LaDainian Tomlinson – L.T. is one of the best tailbacks in NFL history, and most of his greatness came as a member of the San Diego Chargers. But he ended his career with the New York Jets for two seasons. He had only 280 rushing yards in his final season.
10. Torry Holt – Holt was a stud for the St. Louis Rams from 1999-2008 but later played for the Jacksonville Jaguars for a season. In 2010, he signed with the New England Patriots, but he injured his knee and never suited up for the franchise.
Which jersey will Brady be wearing when he hangs it up?