Signing with the enemy
- Published: March 14, 2013 at 07:11 p.m.
- Updated: March 17, 2013 at 08:17 p.m.
Wes Welker just wants to win a championship. And if he happens to be able to stick it to the Patriots? Well, that's even better. While Welker might not admit he made the move out of spite, he still signed up with his former quarterback's biggest rival. But it's not unprecedented. Here's a look at some of the big NFL stars who signed with the enemy.
Marcus Allen - Raiders/Chiefs
Allen still remains to this day one of the most popular players in Raiders history. A Heisman Trophy-winning tailback at USC, Allen jumped immediately to the Los Angeles Raiders, who would win a Super Bowl in 1983. Yet, for reasons undisclosed, Allen fell out of favor with owner Al Davis and the relationship never thawed. Allen joined the Chiefs. Those Monday night games with Allen running wild on the field and Davis' steely gaze looking down were some of the most riveting NFL moments of the 1990s.
Brett Favre - Packers/Vikings
This one is likely still fresh in our mind. Favre retired, returned and then retired again. And then there was something where he went to the Jets, got Eric Mangini fired and the team ended up with Mark Sanchez. Sorry, that part gets fuzzy. Favre did eventually sign up with the Vikings and the look of him in Minnesota was one of the most surreal of my football memory.
Deion Sanders - Falcons/49ers/Cowboys
Sanders became one of the first mercenaries in current NFL free agency when he went from the Falcons to the NFC West-rival 49ers. After he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl title, Sanders then joined San Francisco's rival at the time, the Dallas Cowboys, and helped them to the Lombardi Trophy.
Ken Norton, Jr. - Cowboys/49ers
Norton was a key cog in the middle of the Cowboys teams which won Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII. Then he did the unthinkable when he joined the rival 49ers in the middle of this great feud. Norton's switch paid off immediately when the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIX. As an added twist, the UCLA alum then became a coaching assistant at USC before he followed Pete Carroll to Seattle.
Adam Vinatieri - Colts/Patriots
When Vinatieri was unceremoniously dumped by the Patriots (notice a trend) one of the first things he wanted to do was stick it to his former team by joining Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. And it should be noted the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl without him.
Rod Woodson - Steelers/Ravens
There was a buffer between spots with a quick trip out to San Francisco. But Woodson did the unthinkable when one of the Steelers all-time greats jumped to the other side of this bitter blood feud. Even more sickening for Steelers fans, he helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl title in 2000.
Bill Belichick - Jets/Patriots
Belichick was the hand-picked successor for the New York Jets when Bill Parcells stepped down after the 1999 season. Belichick was actually hired as the Jets coach, but in one of the strangest scenes in NFL history Belichick used his hiring press conference to announce his resignation. He then went on to the Patriots and, well, you know the rest.
Curtis Martin - Patriots/Jets
Martin started his Hall of Fame career with the Patriots, but as a restricted free-agent in 1998, he signed a deal with the New York Jets to rejoin his former coach Bill Parcells. Just adding a further wrinkle to this rivalry.
Thurman Thomas - Bills/ Dolphins
Thomas was one of the lynchpins in the high-powered Bills offense which won four AFC championships to kick off the 1990s. But when Thomas' run was over in Buffalo, he tried to keep the magic going for one more season in Miami in 2000.
Lyle Alzado - Broncos/Raiders
All right, Alzado was traded from the Broncos to the Browns. And then it was Cleveland who traded him to the Raiders. So, it's not like he signed with them. But just to share a story from his first week with the Raiders, Alzado had trouble keeping his helmet on during practice as it kept popping off his head. As Alzado further mused, he felt it was some force in the universe which tried to keep a Raiders helmet off his head.
Isaac Bruce - L.A. Rams/49ers
There aren't many indignities for fans of the Los Angeles Rams to suffer through, especially since the St. Louis version already won a Super Bowl. But the final gut-punch came when the very last of the Los Angeles Rams signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers. That, friends, was too far.
Art Monk - Redskins/Eagles
Redskins fans wished Monk well when he left the team after the 1993 season and joined the Jets the following year. It's the business of football. A lot of those fans didn't quite understand when Monk joined the Eagles in 1995.
Emmitt Smith - Cowboys/Cardinals
All right, all right, to see Smith go from the Cowboys to the Cardinals didn't jolt you as if, say, he went to the Redskins, Giants or Eagles. But still, this was a NFC East rival. What, you aren't buying this? Fair enough.
Greg Jennings - Packers/Vikings
Following in the footsteps of his erstwhile gunslinger, Greg Jennings decided to make the trek across the border and leave behind the Frozen Tundra for the Metrodome. Green Bay fans will likely miss Jennings and his crazy commercials, but not as much as Jennings will miss Aaron Rodgers. He won't find it quite as easy to catch passes in bed when they're delivered from erratic arm of Christian Ponder.