By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on April 2, 2014
With the news of DeSean Jackson signing with the Washington Redskins, it got me thinking about what other big-named NFL players have signed with their division rival. Check out these 10 players who betrayed their fans by joining sides with the enemy.
Donovan McNabb didn’t freely join the Redskins as the Philadelphia Eagles traded him after the 2009 season. Regardless, McNabb did suit up under center for Philadelphia’s division rival, which is why he finds himself on this list. The signal caller got the ultimate revenge when he led the Redskins over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 3, 2010.
It was just a little over two weeks ago that defensive playmaker Julius Peppers betrayed the Chicago Bears by signing with the Green Bay Packers. Arguably the fiercest rivalry in the NFL, the Packers and Bears always find ways to top each other. The combination of Peppers and Clay Matthews could be too much for Jay Cutler to handle.
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t want James Harrison’s expensive contract anymore so they released him. Harrison decided to stick it to his former team by inking a deal with rival Cincinnati Bengals. It was one of the worst seasons of his career as he recorded 30 tackles and just two sacks.
The shock of Terrell Owens joining the Dallas Cowboys was almost too much to bear, and it didn’t sit well with Eagles fans either. As a member of the San Francisco 49ers in 2000, Owens famously celebrated on the Dallas star logo at midfield after he scored a touchdown. Later in the contest, Owens tried to do it again but safety George Teague prevented it from happening. Six years later Owens was a member of the Cowboys.
The Minnesota Vikings made it clear that they were heading in a new direction without Jared Allen. The sack machine had several suitors, but it was Chicago who swooped in at the last second to sign a contract with him. Needless to say, fans in Minnesota weren’t too thrilled about it, especially since it will be Allen who will be taking down their quarterback twice a year.
Darrelle Revis stirred the pot with New York Jets fans when he stated he wanted to play for a winner after he signed with the New England Patriots. I can’t imagine Revis will receive a warm welcome from the Jets when the two teams play each other in 2014.
Greg Jennings became just another Packer to join forces with Green Bay North, also known as the Vikings. He certainly isn’t the most famous player from Green Bay to sign with Minnesota. However, the fans still didn’t approve of his decision. The Packers got the last laugh as Jennings is stuck on a team without a decent quarterback, while Green Bay continues to win the division year after year.
Once upon a time, the Atlanta Falcons and 49ers were division rivals in the NFC West. Sanders, who began his career in Atlanta, signed with San Francisco on a one-year deal. To add salt to the wound, it was arguably the best season of his career as he recorded six interceptions, including three returned for a touchdown. Sanders’ return to Atlanta was met with controversy, which stemmed from his brawl with former teammate Andre Rison.
Marcus Allen had a falling out with the Los Angeles Raiders towards the end of his time with the team. It was a known fact that Raiders owner Al Davis tried to devalue and essentially ruin Allen’s career. Thankfully, the Hall of Famer got his wish to part ways when he joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. That season, he led the AFC in touchdowns (12) and was a big reason why Kansas City reached the AFC Championship game.
One of the most talked about happening in sports was when Brett Favre unretired so that he could sign with the Minnesota Vikings. There is a belief that Favre did it out of spite, while others believe the quarterback wanted to be on a team that gave him the best chance to win a Super Bowl. One of the most dramatic moments in NFL history occurred when Favre made his return to Lambeau Field and defeated his former team.
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