It is a very uncommon thing when a player manages to play their entire career with one organization. As this list is going to prove time and time again, even if they are considered to be some of the best to ever play, it does not mean that these careers ended in a blaze of glory and in the city that they made a name for themselves.
An example is Eric Dickerson, who was outstanding for the Rams and the Colts, but definitely left far fewer people impressed in comparison to his tenure with the Raiders and Falcons. Or Shaun Alexander, who played the last year of his career in Washington but was so ineffective, rushing for only 24 yards, that he may as well have just retired when he stopped playing for Seattle.
The flip side can also be true as some players in the league may have also gotten a start in places that you might not remember, like Steve Young, who Tampa Bay had hoped would be their saviour, or Danny Amendola, who turned a role on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad into a great career.
Their legacies weren't built in these cities you are about to read about and if you asked some of them, like Franco Harris, who ended his career in Seattle, they would probably rather not remember they played there at all. Being amazing football players does not mean they always made amazing decisions with regards to their career. This is Every NFL Team's Most Random Player Fans Forgot About.
32 Danny Amendola - Dallas Cowboys
When Danny Amendola suits up this year, it is as a member of the Miami Dolphins. But prior to that. Amendola made a name for himself as a member of the New England Patriots, including winning two super bowls with the team. But both of those things may just make it even harder to remember that when Danny first entered into the league, it was as a member of the Dallas Cowboys as the team signed him after he went undrafted. Amendola was eventually cut before the regular season started but still managed to spend the year on the practice squad for the team where he surely gained a ton of experience.
31 Kurt Warner - New York Giants
Kurt Warner was an influential part in helping create the "Greatest Show on Turf" as a member of the St. Louis Rams. Warner spent 1998-2003 in St.Louis, including winning a Super Bowl. But when it came time for Warner to call it quits, most fans might not remember (or would just rather choose not to) the fact that Warner's career then saw him play for the New York Giants where he did start the season for the team but was replaced by Eli Manning with 7 games left in the season who would then go on to play the next 210 games for the Giants as the starting quarterback before stopping, ranking as the 2nd highest ironman streak for a QB in NFL history.
30 Art Monk - Philadelphia Eagles
Art Monk is one of the most influential members to ever play for the Washington Redskins. Which may make it even more difficult to see that when Monk's career was over it was in the uniform of one of their NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. Monk failed to make a splash in Philly, only appearing in 3 games (and starting in 1) before he realized that his time in the NFL was done. Prior to that Monk had played from 1980-1993 in Washington, with his best year coming in 1984 where he received 1,372 yards and 7 TDs and spent the 1994 season as a member of the Jets.
29 Shaun Alexander - Washington Redskins
Shaun Alexander owes a lot of his success in Seattle to the offensive line that he ran behind, including Hall of Famer Walter Jones who always did what he could to provide a running lane. And while the last two years he played in Seattle were nothing close to what he achieved in his breakout 2005 season that had him rush for 1,880 yards and also saw him win the MVP award (as well as offensive player of the year), he still managed to start in 10 games both of the following years. But when Washington called him up in 2008, it led to only 4 games played (none started), 24 yards and a forgettable end to his career.
28 Jared Allen - Chicago Bears
Jared Allen is definitely one of the more outspoken (but talented) players in the NFL. Which is something that the Kansas City Chiefs who drafted him in 2004 learned quickly, as did the fans of the Minnesota Vikings who fell in love with Allen when he played there from 2008-2013, including the 2011 season where he recorded a career-high 22 sacks. And while there were still things to appreciate about Allen's tenure in Chicago that included a small break where he spent 12 games in Carolina before returning to Chicago, the legacy that he has left on the game of football was not created in Chicago.
27 Jeff Saturday - Green Bay Packers
Peyton Manning has many people in his life that I am sure he would say were influential in the amount of success that he was able to attain in the NFL. But I am sure he would also agree that there is just something special about the bond between the center and the QB. And for Peyton, the man who passed him the ball for years was Jeff Saturday who played with the team from 1999 until 2011. Perhaps it made sense for Saturday to move on, after all, Manning did, but that did not make it any less unusual to see him spending the last year of his career as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
26 Donovan McNabb - Minnesota Vikings
Donovan McNabb may never be as loved in the city of Philadelphia as Nick Foles, after all, McNabb just got them to a Super Bowl before losing to Tom Brady, but Foles won! And you can also rest assured that McNabb did not do anything of note to build a career for himself when he played for the Minnesota Vikings. After spending 1999-2009 in Philly, McNabb went on to have a lackluster end to his career that saw him spend 2010 in Washington where he started 13 games and an even worse 2011 as a member of the Vikings when he played in only 6.
25 Daunte Culpepper - Detroit Lions
Daunte Culpepper definitely had a great amount of passion when it came to playing football. In fact, when Daunte Culpepper finally finished playing football, it was for the Sacramento Mountain Lions who play in the United Football League which is perhaps proof enough that retirement was a hard pill for Culpepper to swallow. And while I don't know if anyone has aspirations to play (or end their career) in the UFL, after his last shot in the NFL washed out when he joined the Detroit Lions and played 10 games in two years, losing all of them, he must have been left with limited offers. At least he can always look back fondly on some of his better years when he played for the Minnesota Vikings.
24 Joe Horn - Atlanta Falcons
The rivalry between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints is one of the most passionate ones in the NFL. Which means that Joe Horn's decision to go from the Saints to the Falcons surely would have upset many people in Saints nation. Horn had previously played for the Saints from 2000-2006, with 3 seasons seeing him receive more than 1,300 yards. Prior to making a name for himself in New Orleans, Horn also spent 1996-1999 as a member of the Chiefs. Perhaps thankfully for Saints fans, Horn's final year that saw him play in Atlanta flamed out after 12 games, 243 yards, and only one touchdown.
23 Reggie White - Carolina Panthers
If you want to think back fondly on the career of Reggie White, it is understandable if you are thinking of memories of him wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey - which he did for 8 years - or a Packers jersey, as he played there for 6 years. But if you are picturing him as a member of the Carolina Panthers before either of those teams, you are probably going to be in the minority. White had officially retired from football in 1999 but was convinced to come out and play the following year for the Panthers where he recorded 5.5 sacks, a noticeable decline from the 16 that he had in his season with Green Bay prior to retirement.
22 Adrian Peterson - New Orleans Saints
Adrian Peterson is working hard to extend the life of his career this year as a member of the Washington Redskins. If he can succeed at that, perhaps there is an even higher chance that people forget about his small blip as a member of the New Orleans Saints. Peterson dominated the league as a member of the Vikings from 2007-2016 with his most dominant performance coming in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards. Prior to struggling with the Saints, of whom he only played 4 games and rushed 81 yards for, Peterson also had a failed stint in Arizona that saw him play in 6 games.
21 Steve Young - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When thinking about some of the best San Francisco 49ers, Steve Young definitely needs to be considered. But that might just make it all the more confusing to think of Young in any uniform besides a 49ers one. Yet when Steve was drafted, it was the Buccaneers who took a shot on him. Much to the disappointment of the fanbase, as Young's two years, weren't anything impressive with an overall record of 3-16. Young was shipped out of town when the Buccaneers drafted Vinny Testaverde with the first overall pick in the draft back in 1987.
20 Emmitt Smith - Arizona Cardinals
There are a lot of reasons for the powerhouse Cowboys teams in the 90s that won 3 Super Bowls, but you don't talk for very long before you start mentioning Emmitt Smith. Smith rushed for over 18,000 yards during his Hall of Fame career, almost all of which were as a member of the Cowboys who he played for from 1990-2002. But when the Cowboys decided that Smith's best days were behind him, a point that was perhaps proven by his 256 yards (and 5 games started) the following season, Smith signed a two-year contract to finish his career up in Arizona.
19 Joe Namath - Los Angeles Rams
Joe Namath is always going to be one of the most recognizable sports figures in New York due to the 11 seasons that he was the quarterback of the Jets. Even if some of those seasons definitely did not pan out the way that he had hoped! Which also must be how Namath felt about the last year of his career that saw him go from New York to Los Angeles to play quarterback for the Rams. Namath put up a 2-2 record in the 4 games he played, but the bright lights of Hollywood definitely weren't shining on Broadway Joe.
18 O.J. Simpson - San Francisco 49ers
When you think about O.J. Simpson there are many different things that might come to your mind, including things related to his activities away from the football field that does not exactly paint the best picture of him. But if you are asked to picture O.J. Simpson running through defenders and dominating on the football field, the jersey that you see on him is one that is probably representative of the Buffalo Bills. Simpson played for the team from 1969-1977 but was traded to the San Francisco 49ers after his 1977 season saw him sidelined due to injuries. As a member of the 49ers, Simpson played two seasons and rushed for a little over 1,000 yards.
17 Franco Harris - Seattle Seahawks
Franco Harris was one of the more efficient running backs to ever suit up, a reputation that was backed up by the fact that he helped the Steelers win 4 Super Bowls and spent 8 seasons rushing for more than 1,000 yards. But for Steelers fans, it was the Rooney family that you can blame for also ending Harris' time in Pittsburgh as they refused to offer him a pay raise after the 1983 season. As a result, Harris played the remainder of his career that ended up being 8 games as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. In hindsight, I wouldn't be surprised if Harris wishes he hadn't asked for the raise!
16 Terrell Owens - Buffalo Bills
Whenever Terrell Owens hit the field you knew you always needed to have your popcorn ready. But sadly for Owens, that happened a lot less when he was a member of the Buffalo Bills for the 2009 season that saw the Bills sport the worst record in the AFC East. Owens was coming off the much brighter spotlight of Dallas and after only one year in Buffalo, moved on to what would be his final stint in the NFL as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals who had an even worse record than Buffalo did the previous year, going 4-12 in comparison to Buffalo's 6-10.
15 Brandon Marshall - Miami Dolphins
Brandon Marshall may be still looking pretty unusual to you this year when you see him try and make plays for the Seattle Seahawks. But by the time his career ends the Seahawks are not going to be the only team that Marshall made a pit stop at. Seattle is the 6th team that Marshall has played for after entering the league with the Broncos. Marshall also played 2 seasons in Miami, though you might forget that at times, as he went on to become an even more explosive player in Chicago for 3 seasons; including a career-high 1,508 yards in his first year there.
14 Chad Johnson - New England Patriots
Chad Johnson is one of the most outspoken players to ever play in the NFL. Which means it was perhaps a disaster in the making that he decided to play the last year of his career as a member of the New England Patriots. But unlike most years where Johnson was able to entertain people on and off the field, his last year featured few reasons for him to want to celebrate and saw him only play in 3 games and 276 yards. In contrast, Wes Welker led the team with 1,569 receiving hards. Johnson did have a TD though so at least he can say he caught a TD pass from Tom Brady?
13 Brett Favre - New York Jets
Brett Farve is definitely going to be remembered as a member of the Packers, and due to their hatred of the Vikings, he'll also definitely be remembered and perhaps not even forgiven in some fan's eyes for when he "crossed state lines" and played for the Vikings. But the stop in the middle of the two of them when he played for the New York Jets is probably going to be left off a lot of fan's minds when they think over the career of Favre as the storyline that developed there is a lot less interesting than what he accomplished in Minnesota.
12 Ricky Williams - Baltimore Ravens
Ricky Williams will always go down as an example of a player who was never able to get to his full potential. Williams made the decision to retire from the league in 2004, came back in 2005 and only started in 3 games before going on to be suspended for all of 2006 when he violated the substance abuse policy. During all of that, it was Dolphins fans who were put at the mercy of Williams' off-field issues. But the team and Williams eventually decided to go their separate ways and in what proved to be his last year in the NFL, Williams played for the Baltimore Ravens.
11 James Harrison - Cincinnati Bengals
If James Harrison could pick any team to upset Steelers fans, it would be if he had signed to play with the Baltimore Ravens. And thankfully, it was not as bad as that. But staying in the AFC North was still a decision that I'm sure rubbed a few fans the wrong way. Harrison only spent one year as a member of the Bengals before he realized that the place he truly belonged was back in Pittsburgh where he played another 3 years before spending 1 game as a Patriot, before yet again, returning to the Steelers.
10 Willie McGinest - Cleveland Browns
The New England Patriots have no shortage of amazing players in their organization at the current moment. And if you went back to the mid-90s and started looking at some of their biggest names, you would also come across some fantastic talent. Such as the dominant force that was Willie McGinest who until 2005 was a phenomenal defensive player for the team. Willie also won 3 super bowls with the Patriots, but understandably did not return to another one when you learn that the last 3 years of his career were spent as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
9 Michael Vick - Pittsburgh Steelers
Michael Vick made a name for himself as one of the most electrifying players in football when he was playing for the Atlanta Falcons. After his absence from the league for legal issues, he also managed to come back and play some incredible football for the Philadelphia Eagles. But that is probably where you can stop thinking about his career and probably where if he had the power of hindsight, Vick would agree is probably where it should have stopped. His time in Pittsburgh did see him start after an injury to Ben Roethlisberger but Vick's year and career in Pittsburgh ended after he injured his hamstring. Vick was eventually deemed inactive by the team.
8 Ed Reed - Houston Texans
Ed Reed was a member of the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-2012 and will surely be wearing purple when the time comes for him to be entered into the Hall of Fame. Reed was selected to 9 Pro Bowls during the course of his career and was also the defensive player of the year back in 2004. And while those are reasons as to why Texans fans were excited to sign him, Reed was off the starting roster by week 9 and released before the season was done; despite signing a three-year deal at the start of the year. Reed did finish the year as a member of the New York Jets, but that also was not the most memorable.
7 Andre Johnson - Indianapolis Colts
When you think of great members of the Houston Texans, there might not be as many names that come to mind in comparison to some of the more historic NFL franchises such as the Steelers or Cowboys. But if there was one member of the Houston Texans that may have endeared the most number of fans, that person may have to be Andre Johnson. Picked 3rd overall, Johnson played in Houston from 2003 until 2014. As for 2015? Let's just pretend he didn't actually play 14 games for the Colts! Though the 8 he played in for the Titans the following year wasn't exactly an improvement!
6 Torry Holt - Jacksonville Jaguars
If Torry Holt had it his way, the last year of his career would have been as a member of the Patriots. But after signing with the team, he required surgery on his knee and it meant he ended up never seeing the field with the team as he was released before the season started. Holt had spent a decade with the Rams before signing what he was hoping would be a three year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sadly for Holt, the team elected to go in a different direction and let him go after the first year in the deal.
5 Randy Moss - Tennessee Titans
Randy Moss played a majority of his career as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, though he also tore it up when he joined the Patriots for several years, even if he fell short in the ultimate goal of winning a super bowl. What was a lot less memorable for Moss was the end of his career that saw him suit up as a member of the Titans for 8 games, during which he was only able to take in 80 yards which are numbers that definitely are not something that is worth remembering the Titans for.
4 Jerry Rice - Denver Broncos
The most memorable moments for Jerry Rice when he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers, which may make it all the more awkward that his last time playing in the NFL was as a member of the Seattle Seahawks where he played in 11 games and had 362 yards. But that was not the last team that had wanted to take a shot with him. Rice had signed with the Broncos and was expected to play for them, but decided that retirement was the better option when he learned that he would only qualify as being the 4th receiver on the team.
3 Joe Montana - Kansas City Chiefs
Now if you want to be completely upfront to Joe Montana, he definitely did not exactly fall off the face of the earth when he went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1993 and 1994 season, including throwing for 3,283 yards in '94, which was also his last year in the league. But the 4 Super Bowl rings that he can put on his hand are because he was outstanding as a member of the San Francisco 49er which is definitely something that people talk about on a far more frequent basis.
2 Johnny Unitas - San Diego Chargers
The Baltimore Colts might not be a team anymore, but that does not mean that the legacy of Johnny Unitas is one that should be ignored. Unitas is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time with several seasons seeing him throw for over 3,000 yards, a feat that was impressive when you learned it was in 1960, 1963 and 1967. Unitas' last year as a pro though only lasted 5 games and it was not as a member of the Baltimore Colts. Instead, it was the San Diego Chargers who that year played a trio of quarterbacks including Wayne Clarke for 4 games and Dan Fouts.
1 Eric Dickerson - Oakland Raiders
The prime of Eric Dickerson's career was split evenly between the Rams and the Colts as he spent 5 years with both organizations and accomplished amazing things including putting up 2,105 yards during the 2nd year of his career. That was not the case for the last two years of Dickerson's career though, the first of which was spent as a member of the Oakland Raiders. Dickerson still played in all 16 games and had 729 yards, but the team moved on leading to an unimpressive end as a member of the Falcons where Dickerson played in only 4 games and ran for 91 yards.