Over the weekend, a fun Twitter discussion got going after someone tweeted out a prompt asking who is the one former player on your favorite team who you wish spent his entire career with the franchise.
Who's the one former player on your favorite team who you wish spent his entire career there?— Joe (@JoeRiveraSN) May 18, 2018
The San Francisco 49ers have had all sorts of greats pass through, whether it be a young player they drafted who then moved on, or a temporary piece brought in to one of their Super Bowl contenders.
My first thought was Ricky Watters. I went to players who started with the 49ers and spent at least a decent amount of time with them. In reality, if you look at any player who spent time on the 49ers, you would include Deion Sanders, Randy Moss, and Larry Allen, among others. I’d say Deion is probably the choice there, although Moss and Allen are intriguing options.
But what if we split this into two questions. The first is naming any player who spent any time with the 49ers. The second is naming any player who started his career or otherwise spent a large portion of his career with the 49ers.
On the latter question, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are two players to consider just for completeness of their careers. It made sense for the 49ers to move on from Joe Montana given his age and injuries. And while Rice had plenty left in the tank, I’m not entirely surprise the team moved on.
Charles Haley is the one I probably should have thought of prior to Watters. While I think Watters brought dynamic play-making, Haley not leaving the 49ers would have been huge for that pass rush.
I’ve been trying to think of older players from the pre-Walsh years. Any thoughts off the top of your head in that regard?