Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/8/12
The common perception abound is that Peyton Manning’s departure from the Colts and subsequent arrival to the Broncos makes the 2012 offseason unique. While the NFL’s first four-time MVP and Super Bowl XLI MVP leaving the only team he has ever played for professionally has been a surprising chain of events, it is hardly the first time that a quarterback who has been named to Pro Bowls and reached the playoffs with one team has changed uniforms. In fact, it happens just about every year.

Last offseason, it was Matt Hasselbeck; who reached three Pro Bowls and an appearance in Super Bowl XL with the Seahawks; who left Seattle to sign a free agent contract with the Titans. During the 2011 season, Carson Palmer; who reached two Pro Bowls and two post seasons in Cincinnati; was traded by the Bengals to the Raiders. Vince Young took two Pro Bowl selections and a postseason berth with him when he left the Titans to become an Eagle.
Two offseason ago, Donovan McNabb; who reached six Pro Bowls, five NFC Championship Games, and a Super Bowl XXXIX appearance with the Eagles; was traded to the rival Redskins. The same offseason, Jake Delhomme; who notched a Pro Bowl selection and a Super Bowl XXXVIII appearance with the Panthers; left Carolina behind to become a Brown.

Three years ago, Jay Cutler was the marquee quarterback acquisition of the year, as the 2008 Pro Bowl signal-caller was traded by the Broncos to the Bears. Cutler’s fellow Pro Bowl selection at the time, Brett Favre; who earned a Hawaiian vacation in his one year as a Jet; left New York to become Cutler’s divisional foe with the Vikings. The same offseason, Michael Vick; who was named to three Pro Bowls, reached an NFC Championship Game, and two post seasons with the Falcons; signed with the Eagles upon his release from prison.

The 2008 offseason was when Brett Favre left the Packers; whom he reached nine Pro Bowls, earned three MVP awards, won two conference championships, and a Super Bowl XXXI championship with; to spend his one year as a Jet. The previous year, Trent Green; who earned two Pro Bowl selections and led the Chiefs to two postseason berths during his six years in Kansas City; was traded to the Dolphins.

The 2006 offseason produced a quarterback carousel, the impact of which has forever altered the NFL’s course. Drew Brees; whose most significant career accomplishment at the time was leading the Chargers to a postseason berth while earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2004; signed with the Saints. Daunte Culpepper; who earned three Pro Bowl nods and led two playoff berths, including an appearance in the 2000 NFC Championship Game, with the Vikings; left the Twin Cities after being traded to the Dolphins. The quarterback acquisition of the year that at the time may have seemed most significant was Steve McNair; who was named to three Pro Bowls and led four playoff berths, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV; leaving the Titans to sign with the Ravens.

2005’s offseason saw Drew Bledsoe, who earned one Pro Bowl nod during his three years in Buffalo, leave the Bills to sign with the Cowboys. Bledsoe was also the most notable signal-caller to change teams in 2002; when he was traded by the Patriots to the Bills, after having been named to three Pro Bowls and leading New England to four postseason berths, including a trip to Super Bowl XXXI. 2004 was significant for Kurt Warner; who earned two league MVP awards, three Pro Bowl selections, and led two NFC championships, including a Super Bowl XXXIV championship with the Rams, before signing with the Giants; and Mark Brunell; who was named to three Pro Bowl teams and led four playoff berths, including two in the AFC Championship Game with the Jaguars, before being traded to the Redskins.

The only year in recent memory in which a quarterback did not leave a team he had been named to a Pro Bowl while with for another squad was 2003. However, that year, Jake Plummer; who had led the Cardinals to a postseason berth in 1998; signed with the Broncos, where he would earn a Pro Bowl berth en route to an AFC Championship Game appearance in 2005.

Given that franchise quarterbacks changing teams has been established as essentially an annual tradition, one must wonder what the 2013 offseason will hold and who the next renowned signal-caller will be to don a new uniform. Will Drew Brees’ contract saga with the Saints drag on, making a split between the two inevitable? Will Ben Roethlisberger’s off-field demons creep up again, officially wearing out the patience of the Rooney family? Will Michael Vick have another injury-riddled campaign that will convince Andy Reid and the Eagles to make a clean break of their own? Will the Texans decide that the potential of T.J. Yates is more tantalizing than the present of Matt Schaub? Stay tuned.

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