The NFL is an ever-changing professional football league in the United States. Not only that, quite a few pro football players are accustomed to what seems like never-ending changes during their respective careers in the league. These fluctuating changes include career stops where a player gets traded or decides to sign with a new team in a new city. But, like the most of us, those career stops may come out of nowhere and no one would expect a person to pack up their bags up and run off to a different metropolitan area where we might not know anyone in the area ahead of time.
Anyhow, football is a sport of change ranging from sport-related rules like the tuck rule, which states when an offensive player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body, to personal regulations like not being allowed to wear pink even if it's an awareness month. Whatever the commands say, they don't really have a choice but to follow a command in order to avoid a fine and/or punishment by the league. So there you have it—players are regular people just like you and I.
Here are 20 random career stops even hardcore fans forgot these NFL players had. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Enjoy my list.
20 Edgerrin James: Seattle Seahawks
Edgerrin James has gotten a little under appreciated over the years. While Peyton Manning was growing as a quarterback in Indianapolis, Edgerrin James was the no.1 weapon in the Colts offense and made life easier for the young Peyton. Eventually, James's role was reduced in the offense and the Colts moved on. James was on the 2008 Arizona Cardinals squad that went to the Super Bowl, but his most forgotten career stop was his last one, in Seattle. James played just seven games with Seattle, mustering 125 yards on 46 carries.
19 Deion Sanders: Washington Redskins - 2000
Former football cornerback and baseball center/left fielder Deion Sanders is known as "Primetime" for a reason. The 51-year-old is a two-time Super Bowl champion (XXIX, XXX), an eight-time Pro Bowl member (1991-94, 1996-99), an eight-time All-Pro member (1991-94, 1996-99) and the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Primetime is better known as a member of the Super Bowl-winning San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
It's not everyday where you hear a NFL fan of any team rave about his days with the Washington Redskins. After all, Primetime spent just one year with the Redskins in 2000 before retiring from football for the first time.
18 Jerry Rice: Seattle Seahawks - 2004
Former wide receiver Jerry Rice is regarded as one of the greatest NFL players of all time. But, of course, we'll let you all debate that opinion.
Anyway, Rice was best known as a star wide receiver on the San Francisco 49ers' rosters from 1985-2000. After that, the former first-round pick went to the other side of the Bay Area, where he spent 2001-2004 with the Oakland Raiders, up north to the Seattle Seahawks (2004) and to the mountains to wrap up his career with the Denver Broncos (2005).
But, like you may already know, Rice's year in the Pacific Northwest is pretty much a forgotten fact among most, if not all, football fans.
17 Warren Moon: Kansas City Chiefs - 1999-00
Former quarterback Warren Moon has played in both the NFL and CFL over his 23-season pro football career.
Unfortunately, Moon doesn't have a Super Bowl ring to show off, but his extensive career was nothing short of fantastic for a ring-less quarterback.
The 61-year-old won five Grey Cups in the CFL before going to the Houston Oilers (1984-1993), Minnesota Vikings (1994-96), Seattle Seahawks (1997-98) and Kansas City Chiefs (1999-2000). The latter is probably the most forgettable career stop pertaining to Moon's career that still has a lot of football fans unable to recall Moon's final stop.
16 Emmitt Smith: Arizona Cardinals - 2003-04
Former running back Emmitt Smith who's known as the NFL's all-time leading rusher during his 15 seasons in the league from 1990-2004.
Smith, as you may already know, began his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him 17th overall in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft, and remained in the State of Texas until 2002. Then, Smith concluded his career with a brief stint with the Arizona Cardinals from 2003-04.
Smith had a decent first year in Arizona, but it was clear he wasn't the same runner he was in Dallas.
15 Ryan Leaf: Dallas Cowboys - 2001
Former quarterback Ryan Leaf is arguably the biggest bust in NFL Draft history, and his tenure with the Chargers went just about as badly as one could imagine.
But let's take a look at the career stops Leaf once had. The 42-year-old is doing well now, but he used to struggle to tread water as a member of the San Diego Chargers (who drafted him with the second overall pick in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft) from 1998-2000, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2001), Dallas Cowboys (2001) and Seattle Seahawks (2002).
Sure, I can make a case for the Buccaneers or Seahawks, but it's hard for anyone to remember that he played for America's Team at one point of his unscrupulous career.
14 Joe Namath: Los Angeles Rams - 1977
Former quarterback Joe Namath was a AFL icon and played the majority of career with the New York Jets from 1965-1976 and concluded his career with a brief stop in Los Angeles with the Rams in 1977.
Namath, who's also known as "Broadway Joe," was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
And, even though Namath's career wasn't one of the longest in the league, he still had an enduring influence on the game for the future generations.
So yeah, Namath hoped to revive his career in L.A., but various injuries forced him to be benched for the 1977 season.
13 Reggie White: Carolina Panthers - 2000
The late Reggie White (1961-2004) was a former defensive end who played in the NFL for 15 seasons from 1985-2000. White originally began his pro career as a member of the USFL's Memphis Snowboats, whom he played for from 1984-85.
Okay, back to the NFL talk, White played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1985-1992, Green Bay Packers (1993-98) and Carolina Panthers (2000). Yet, it's fairly difficult to recall that the former first-round pick of the 1984 Supplemental Draft was a member of the Panthers, despite the fact that he started in all 16 games and had 5.5 sacks along with one forced fumble while in his final year in Charlotte, N.C.
12 Wes Welker: St. Louis Rams - 2015
Current Houston Texans assistant coach and former NFL wide receiver Wes Welker was better known as a member of the New England Patriots from 2007-2012. Welker also played for the San Diego Chargers (2004), Miami Dolphins (2004-06), Denver Broncos (2013-14) and St. Louis Rams (2015).
So there you go. Welker was quite dominant in New England, despite not winning a Super Bowl championship with the Patriots. The 37-year-old made it to five Pro Bowls from 2008-2012 in addition to two First-Team All-Pro (2009, 2011) and two Second-Team All-Pro (2007-2008) teams.
By the way, Welker never started in a single game for the Rams, which is likely why you don't remember he made his last career stop in St. Louis.
11 Albert Haynesworth: New England Patriots - 2011
Former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth played in the NFL for 10 seasons from 2002-2011. The 37-year-old was originally drafted 15th overall in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, whom he played for seven seasons from 2002-2008.
Haynesworth played for both the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his final career year of 2011.
Technically, either team could qualify as an forgettable career stop, but I'm going with the Patriots because it wasn't long before the team placed him on waivers following a confrontation with assistant coach Pepper Johnson on the Pats' sidelines at the Gillette Stadium.
10 Zach Thomas: Dallas Cowboys - 2008
Remember Miami Dolphins' middle linebacker Zach Thomas? Most likely, especially if you're a Dolphins fan. After all, the 45-year-old was drafted with the 154th pick in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Aqua and Orange.
Thomas played for the Dolphins from 1996-2007, which is a fairly long tenure for any football player out there, especially a linebacker. Then, Thomas played just one year with the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Despite starting 14 of 16 games in Arlington, Thomas was limited in playing first and second downs, yet wrapped up the 2008 season with 94 total tackles.
9 Ahman Green: Houston Texans - 2007-08
Former running back Ahman Green is a fan favorite among most, if not all, Green Bay Packers fans. The 41-year-old played college football for the famed Nebraska Huskers and then entered the 1998 NFL Draft, where he was drafted 76th overall in the third round by the Seattle Seahawks, whom he played for from 1998-99.
Green, however, was better known for his time in Green Bay as a member of the Green and Gold. Green stayed in Green Bay from 2000-06 and played brief stints with the Houston Texans (2007-08), Packers (2009) before moving on to the Arena Football League, with the Omaha Nighthawks (2010) and then the CFL's Montreal Alouettes (2011)—all of which can be forgotten stops, but the Texans' stop was short-lived, as Green was released by the team following a quiet reunion with his former head coach Mike Sherman.
8 Randy Moss: Tennessee Titans — 2010
Former wide receiver Randy Moss is one of the most popular names in the sports world, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the first NFL team that will likely come to anyone's mind is the Minnesota Vikings because the 41-year-old played for the team from 1998-2004.
Moss, a former 21st overall pick in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft, went on to play for the Oakland Raiders (2005-06), New England Patriots (2007-2010), Vikings (2010), Tennessee Titans (2010) and San Francisco 49ers (2012).
Moreover, Moss' stint with the Titans didn't last long, as the team let him go as a free agent after just half a season in the Music City.
Moss played for three different teams in 2010, with the Pats trading him to Minnesota, only for the Vikings to waive Moss after a month, where the Titans scooped him up.
7 Donovan McNabb: Minnesota Vikings - 2011
Former quarterback Donovan McNabb played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2009. The 41-year-old was originally drafted second overall in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Eagles, who saw potential in the multi-sport athlete who played football and men's basketball at Syracuse University.
McHabb also played for the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings in 2010 and 2011, respectively. While the average football fan will remember McNabb being traded to Philly's division rival in Washington, it's a tad bit harder for all of us to remember that his last stop was in Minneapolis since he decided to retire as a member of the Eagles on July 29, 2013.
6 Jim Harbaugh: Carolina Panthers - 2001
Unless if you've been living under a rock, you're well-aware that Jim Harbaugh is the current head coach of the Michigan football team and a former pro coach for the Oakland Raiders (2002-03), San Diego Toreros (2004-06), Stanford Cardinal (2007-2010) and San Francisco 49ers (2011-14).
But do you remember that Harbaugh is a former quarterback? Yeah, that's right. The 54-year-old was drafted 26th overall in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, whom he played for from 1987-1993.
Harbaugh then played for the Indianapolis Colts from 1994-97 and followed up with brief stints with the Baltimore Ravens (1998), San Diego Chargers (1999-2000), Detroit Lions (2001) and Carolina Panthers (2001). Of course, any one of those stints could be forgettable, but he suited up for six games in Charlotte, N.C. and never actually played, so...
5 Terrell Owens: Cincinnati Bengals - 2010
Terrell Owens is now a Hall of Fame wide receiver who made a lot of excellent strides in the NFL.
The 44-year-old was originally drafted 89th overall in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, whom he played for from 1996-2003.
T.O. spent one year with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2004-05 and two years with the Dallas Cowboys from 2006-08 before making unexpected stops with the Buffalo Bills (2009), Cincinnati Bengals (2010), Allen Wranglers (2012) and Seattle Seahawks (2012).
Sure, I could claim that everyone forgot that T.O. was a member of the Seahawks, but he was only invited to training camp and didn't even make the team, so I'm going to go with the Bengals since he suffered a season-ending injury of a torn ACL during the 2011 offseason.
4 Steve Young: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1985-86
Former quarterback Steve Young is best known for his 13 NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 1987-1999. But, you know, Young started his pro football career with the Los Angeles Express, who drafted him in the first round of the 1984 Supplemental Draft, from 1984-85. Young then played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1985-86.
Young was a three-time Super Bowl champion (XXIII, XXIV, XXIX) and Super Bowl XXIX MVP. Young was also named to seven Pro Bowls (1992-98).
So yeah, Young has a lot of glory days with the 49ers and they obviously outshine his previous stops in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay.
3 Eddie George: Dallas Cowboys - 2004
We've already seen on this list that the Cowboys got rid of an aging running back despite being the most prolific rusher in NFL history. But the Cowboys instead acquired an aging back here, with Eddie George coming to Dallas after spending his entire career with the Oilers/Titans franchise. By the time George got to Dallas, years of being the focal point of the offense had taken its toll on him and he wasn't able to bruise defenders with his punishing style the way he had before. He spent just one unproductive season in Dallas before retiring.
2 Jim McMahon: Arizona Cardinals - 1994
Former quarterback Jim McMahon is a then-BYU star who was a two-time All-American (1980, 1981) and seamlessly shifted to the NFL, where he was drafted fifth overall in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, whom he played for from 1982-88. He then played brief stints with the San Diego Chargers (1982), Philadelphia Eagles (1990-92), Minnesota Vikings (1993), Arizona Cardinals (1994), Cleveland Browns (1995) and Green Bay Packers (1995-96).
Of course, the latter would be the perfect example, but it's difficult to recall that McMahon was a member of the Cardinals.
Arizona was where he made his final career start against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3 of the 1994 NFL season.
1 Kurt Warner: New York Giants - 2004
Former quarterback Kurt Warner is obviously known for his five-year tenure with the St. Louis Rams, but the 47-year-old originally went undrafted in the 1994 NFL Draft and spent short time periods with the Green Bay Packers (1994) and Iowa Barnstormers (1995-97) before his big break.
However, you'd probably forget that Warner played for the St. Louis Rams in 2004 and concluded his NFL career after four years with the Arizona Cardinals from 2005-09. But, I'm going to go with the Giants since most, if not all, football fans forgot that he was the Giants' starting quarterback before Eli Manning took over his everyday duties.