San Francisco 49ers: Ranking the 10 Best Quarterbacks in Franchise History

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4. John Brodie

Quarterback John Brodie spent a remarkable 17 years with the 49ers from 1957-1973 (which is still the team-record for the longest-tenured player — one year longer than wide receiver Jerry Rice). He threw for 31,548 yards (second-best in franchise history) and 214 TDs (third-best in franchise history).

In 1965, he led the NFL with 3,112 passing yards and 30 TDs, which earned him an Associated Press Second-Team All-Pro nomination. In 1970, he helped end a 13-year playoff drought by leading the team to a 10-3-1 record, throwing 24 TDs and winning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award and his second Pro Bowl nomination.

Brodie was known for his quick release, and his mastery of the play-action fake was unique at the time. With head coach Dick Nolan, Brodie helped win the 49ers’ first-ever division crown in 1970, and backed it up again the next season.

At the time of his retirement, he was ranked third in the NFL’s career passing yards behind Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton.

Brodie is one of only 12 49ers players who have had their jersey number retired. Not only was he an easy pick for this list at No. 4, he goes down as one of the greatest 49ers players (in any position) of all-time.

Next: No. 3: Y.A. Tittle