Ranking QB Farewell Tours
COVID-19 has most sports leagues shut down for the foreseeable future. This leaves the NFL to pick up most of that slack as it starts its free agent signing period, and boy has it not disappointed. Todd Gurley to the Falcons, DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, Stefon Diggs to the Bills, Teddy 2 Gloves to Carolina, Emmanuel Sanders to the Saints and those are just a few high profile names that are changing teams.
Not to mention Chargers longtime franchise QB Phillip Rivers is heading to Indy for one last hurrah with a Colts team that has some potential. Oh, also one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady is joining the Bucs. Leaving his stomping grounds in New England where Tom led the Patriots to 6 Super Bowl wins. Looks like Tom and Phillip are going to do what other big name QBs have done at the end of their careers. Go on a farewell tour with a team they believe they can lead to the Super Bowl and get themselves one more ring(or a first ring in Rivers situation, as well as others on this list). I'm going to rank from Worst to First, the Farewell Tours of notable QBs from over the years of the NFL.
7. Johnny Unitas
· 1956-72 with the Baltimore Colts: 39,768 yards, 287 TDs with 246 INTs. Johnny led the Colts to 3 NFL titles (1958, 59, 68) as well as a Super Bowl (1971).
· His farewell tour took him to San Diego, where he played 4 games before being replaced by Dan Fouts ultimately ending his career. In his 4 games with the Chargers he was 1-3 with 471 yards with 3 TD and 7 INTs.
6. Joe Namath
· 1965-1976 with the New York Jets: 27,057 yards, 170 TDs with 220 INTs. Broadway Joe won 1 Super Bowl with the Jets, upsetting the Baltimore Colts.
· He played his final season in LA with the Rams. Much like Johnny U, Joe only played 4 games before being benched. In his 4 games with the Rams: 2-2 record, 606 yards with 3 TDs and 5 INTs.
5. Donovan McNabb
· 1999-2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles: 32,873 yards, 216 TDs with 100 INTs. Donovan was a solid, above average QB in Philly for 11 years. Took them to the playoffs 7 times in those 11 seasons, he led the Eagles to one Super Bowl appearance, where they lost to the Pats.
· His farewell tour started with a season in Washington where he was very underwhelming. Posting a 5-8 record with 3,377 yards, 14 TDS and 15 INTs. No playoffs for him in Washington led him to sign with the Vikings in 2011 where he only played 6 games going 1-5. He threw for 1026 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INTs.
4. Steve McNair
· 1995-2005 with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans: 27,141 yards, 156 TDs with 103 INTs. Steve led the Titans to 4 playoff appearances making the Super Bowl 1 time losing to the Rams in 2000 in that crazy 23 – 16 game that came down the final play.
· Finally getting into the good farewell tours. Steves took him to Baltimore where he spent 2 seasons with the Ravens. He posted a 15-7 record in 2 seasons with 4,163 yards, 18TDs and 16 INTs. He led the Ravens to a first round bye in his first season with them, but they were upset by the Colts in the Divisional round. His final NFL season Steve played 6 games going 2-4.
3. Brett Favre
· 1991-2007 with the Green Bay Packers: 61,655 yards, 442 TDs and 286 INTs. In 16 seasons with the Pack, Brett led them to 11 playoff appearances going to 2 Super Bowls, winning 1.
· The first year of Favres farewell tour led him to New York to play with the Jets. In a season with them he recorded 3,472 yards with 22 TDs and 22 INTs. A very average season for a 39 year old vet. After a season with the Jets he decided for one more go around. He picked the Minnesota Vikings, a hated rival of the team he spent his entire career at. Brett took the Vikings to the NFC Title game, a RUN PLAY away from another Super Bowl birth. He threw a costly pick late in the game and you know the rest. He had his best statistical year with the Vikes in 2009 throwing for 4,202 yards, 33 TDs and 7 INTs. He came back to the Vikes in 2010, where he was underwhelming. Ended his career on a cold night at TCF bank Stadium against the Bears.
2. Joe Montana
· 1979-1992 with the San Francisco 49ers: 35,124 yards, 244 TDs and 123 INTs. Joe is top 3 on most peoples best QB of all-time list for good reason. In 13 seasons with San Fran, he led them to 9 playoff appearances and won 4 Super Bowls. By the way he only went to 4 SBs.
· His farewell tour took place in Kansas City where he was 17-8 taking the Chiefs to the playoffs twice in 2 seasons. His stats: 5,427 yards, 29 TDs and 16 INTs. In his first season with the Chiefs, they lost in the AFC title game to the Bills and in his last season they lost in Wild Card weekend to the Dolphins. Ultimately, Joe Montana ended his career with 2 very nice seasons and brought Kansas City to the postseason, almost getting them to the Super Bowl.
1. Peyton Manning
· 1998-2011 with the Indianapolis Colts: 54,828 yards, 399 TDs and 198 INTs. Manning had a hell of a career in Indy. 11 playoff appearances in 13 seasons which is insane along with winning 1 of the 2 super bowls he went to.
· Mannings career ending with 4 years in Denver bringing them to the playoffs all 4 seasons. Winning 1 Super Bowl and losing another. Stats with the Broncos looked like this: 17,112 with 140 TDs and 53 INTs. Although people argue that his defense won his 2015 Super Bowl, he still was the QB and got a ring. This made it very easy to put him at number one for this list.
Fans will have to wait and see how Tom Bradys career will end in Tampa as well as how Rivers ends his career in Indy. In my opinion, I think both QBs picked great situations and I expect them to put up respectable numbers. All I know for fact is the NFL is changing, some teams who have been struggling are going to turn the corner this season and really make the NFL competitive next season. Especially in the NFC, with the Bucs, Cards, and Falcons all making moves to drastically improve their squads. I think I speak for everyone in saying I cant wait for this 2020-21 season.