Who are some players that came to the 49ers late in their careers and were forgotten?
There are NFL players past and present who are forever tied to one franchise in the minds of fans. That is typically due to the length of their careers with that team, a vast amount of accolades achieved within a certain amount of time with that team or both.
The San Francisco 49ers have a whole stable of former players who will forever be tied to the franchise. The easy ones to throw out for San Francisco are quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice, both of whom had nice long careers with the team and also helped lead the Niners to multiple Super Bowls with their play.
Linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are another pair of former 49ers who will forever be linked with the franchise for what they did in the less than a decade timeframe in which they were both active.
But what about Montana and Rice post-49ers? Chances are some fans will remember Montana’s short stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. Chances are even slimmer, though, fans immediately recall Rice played on the Seattle Seahawks in 2004.
When a player builds his career with one team, his identity becomes inexplicably tied to that team. And when they depart, the new fit seems almost unnatural at first.
Then years later, the reaction when that player is brought up playing for their late-career team, the reaction is typically something like, “oh yeah I forgot he played for that team.”
The 49ers also have a handful of players who built their names elsewhere and joined the franchise in their twilight years.
Who were some of those players, how did they end up in San Francisco and how did they fare?