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How quarterback instability has defined certain NFL teams

Yardbarker Logo By Sam Robinson of Yardbarker | Slide 2 of 30: The top 49ers quarterback for over a decade, John Brodie won MVP acclaim in 1970 and took the team to three straight playoffs during his late 30s. Brodie wrapped his career after the 1973 season, leading to a 49ers decline. Longtime backup Steve Spurrier's shoulder injury prevented him from taking over in 1974; Joe Reed started that season. While Spurrier returned, the 49ers made two trades to keep the ex-Heisman winner benched. San Francisco acquired 35-year-old journeyman Norm Snead at the 1974 trade deadline and set a precedent only the 2022 Browns have followed by trading three first-rounders for a QB (Jim Plunkett) in 1976.

San Francisco 49ers, 1973-76

The top 49ers quarterback for over a decade, John Brodie won MVP acclaim in 1970 and took the team to three straight playoffs during his late 30s. Brodie wrapped his career after the 1973 season, leading to a 49ers decline. Longtime backup Steve Spurrier's shoulder injury prevented him from taking over in 1974; Joe Reed started that season. While Spurrier returned, the 49ers made two trades to keep the ex-Heisman winner benched. San Francisco acquired 35-year-old journeyman Norm Snead at the 1974 trade deadline and set a precedent only the 2022 Browns have followed by trading three first-rounders for a QB (Jim Plunkett) in 1976.

© Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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