Despite there being a lot of major deal during free agency so far, nothing has compared with the Peyton Manning saga. It's going to be an adjustment seeing him wearing another NFL uniform.
#6 Joe Namath joins the LA Rams
It's weird to think of Broadway Joe playing for anyone other than the Jets (or perhaps the Alabama Crimson Tide), but it's easy to imagine him enjoying the high life in Los Angeles. However there wasn't much fun to be had on the field as a Ram – he spent his final year in the game backing up Pat Haden.
#5 Fran Tarkenton joins the New York Giants
University of Georgia product Tarkenton is the only player on the list to return to his original team. He was drafted by the expansion Vikings and became their first starting quarterback. His scrambling style was hated by coach Norm Van Brocklin and after six solid seasons in Minnesota was traded to the Giants – where he improved, but failed to take the G Men to the playoffs. After five years in the Big Apple (during which time the Vikings reached a Super Bowl), he was traded back to Minnesota: he spent six more seasons there winning three NFC Championships under supportive coach Bud Grant. But he's the only player on this list without a Super Bowl ring.
#4 Johnny Unitas joins the San Diego Chargers
The first of two players on the list to make their name away from the team that drafted him. In Unitas's case it was the Steelers that picked him out of Louisville but released him before he found fame as a Colt. A wonderful career had a sad end when he was traded to a struggling Chargers team, where he split time at quarterback with Wayne Clark and rookie Dan Fouts.
#3 Brett Favre joins the New York Jets
Favre played in just two games for the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted him in 1991, before being traded to the Green Bay Packers in 1992, where he became a legend.But the relationship soured, in part thanks to the franchise's (correct) belief that Aaron Rodgers was the future. Favre wasn't used to not getting his own way and eventually forced the Packers to trade him to a team of his choosing. He selected the Jets but his poor play down the stretch helped condemn the team to watching the playoffs on TV. New York decided to release him in the offseason and he returned to the NFC North with the Vikings. He led Minnesota to the NFC Championship game following the 2009 season, but 2010 was far less successful and he opted for retirement in January 2011.
#2 Peyton Manning joins the Denver Broncos
We don't quite know what to expect from Peyton Manning (the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, out of Tennessee) in Denver, but the most celebrated player to ever hit free agency will be expected to take the Broncos further in the postseason than Tim Tebow managed. Manning is one of the best to play the game and could still have enough in the tank to win a Super Bowl, like he did with the Colts.
#1 Joe Montana joins the Kansas City Chiefs
The Notre Dame star was the player the 49ers built their 'team of the '80s' dynasty around. But in the '90s he was plagued by injury problems, allowing Steve Young to take his place as starter. San Francisco traded him to the Chiefs in 1993 and the Montana magic transferred to Missouri. KC made the playoffs in both of Montana's seasons but despite a pair of magical postseason comebacks at the end of the '93 season the Chiefs were stopped in the AFC title game by the Bills. If we'd been lucky we might have seen Joe Cool face the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX, but again the playoffs ended in disappointment: a defeat by Dan Marino's Dolphins brought the curtain down on an incredible career.