The Green Bay Packers have had so many famous players take the field for the team over the century with Don Hutson, Bart Starr, Willie Davis, Paul Hornung, Herb Adderley, James Lofton, Brett Favre and Reggie White among the many former Packers who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But here is a look at ten prominent former NFL players who you may not remember also briefly played for the Packers even though they are better known for playing elsewhere. Some of these players made an impact for the Packers while others did little during their brief tenure in Green Bay. There are two Pro Football Hall of Famers on this list. Let’s see how many you remember playing for the Pack:
- RB Delvin Williams (1981)
Williams had a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the 1970s, one with the 49ers and one with the Dolphins. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and earned All Pro honors in 1978, his first season playing for Don Shula in Miami.
The Packers signed Williams in 1981 and he played in one game for the Packers without getting to carry the football before being waived by Bart Starr.
- QB Vince Ferragamo (1986)
Ferragamo is best remembered as the quarterback who led the Los Angeles Rams to Super Bowl XIV after taking over late in the season for the injured Pat Haden.
After stints in Canada and Buffalo, Ferragamo landed in Green Bay in 1986 as a backup to Randy Wright. Ferragamo played in three early season games for the Packers that year and completed 23-of-40 passes for 283 yards and one touchdown. His only Packers TD pass was a four-yard toss to Mark Lewis in a 42-7 loss to the Vikings.
Green Bay was Ferragamo’s last stop in the NFL and he retired after the 1986 season.
- QB Jim Zorn (1985)
The lefthanded quarterback is best known as the first starter for the expansion Seattle Seahawks from 1976 until 1982. He was an exciting quarterback who could scramble and improvise which was vital for a team that was just starting out. He combined with Steve Largent to create the Seahawks’ first dangerous passing threat.
Zorn joined the Packers in 1985 and started five games after Lynn Dickey was injured or benched. He only completed 45.5 percent of his passes with Green Bay but threw four touchdowns and the Packers finished 3-2 in his five starts.
After his playing career ended, Zorn went into coaching and was the head coach in Washington in 2008 and 2009.
- DT Steve McMichael (1994)
McMichael was best known for his time in Chicago where he was a two-time All Pro playing for the vaunted Bears defense from 1981-1993. He was with the Bears during their only Super Bowl season in 1985.
McMichael joined the Packers in 1994 and started 14 games while recording 2.5 sacks. Unfortunately, Mongo was on his last legs and retired after the 1994 season.
McMichael later became a professional wrestler. In 2021, he announced he has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and would no longer make public appearances.
- QB Jim McMahon (1995-96)
While we’re on the subject of famous Bears who finished their careers with the Packers, Jim McMahon, the BYU alum who was the Bears quarterback in 1985, finished his career as Brett Favre’s backup in Green Bay in 1995 and 1996.
In two seasons with the Packers, he appeared in six games but threw only five passes, completing four of them for 45 yards. He did, however, win a second Super Bowl ring with the Packers by serving as Favre’s backup in Super Bowl XXXI.
- WR Andre Rison (1996)
Rison was a five-time Pro Bowler and one time All Pro with his most successful seasons coming in Atlanta while the team was using the run and shoot offense.
“Bad Moon” had five 1,000-yard receiving seasons and led the NFL in touchdown catches with 15 in 1993.
The Packers signed Rison late in the 1996 season when injuries ravaged the wide receiver position. In five games with the Packers, Rison caught only 13 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.
He is best remembered in Green Bay for the two passes he caught in Super Bowl XXXI including a 54-yard touchdown pass that gave the Packers an early 7-0 lead over the New England Patriots. It would be the last game of Rison’s brief time with the Pack.
- DB Emlen Tunnell (1959-1961)
Tunnell spent 11 years with the New York Giants and was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and a four-time All Pro. Vince Lombardi knew him from his time as an assistant coach with the Giants and brought him to Green Bay in 1959 to provide leadership and experience for his young team.
Tunnell earned Pro Bowl honors one more time with the Packers in 1959 and remained a starter in 1960. His final NFL season came in 1961 when he won second NFL Championship as the Packers crushed his former team 37-0 in the title game. It was the final game of his NFL career.
Tunnell was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
- WR Mark Clayton (1993)
Clayton is best remembered as part of the “Marks Brothers” receiving duo along with Mark Duper who had so much success with the Dolphins in the 1980s. Clayton had five Pro Bowl seasons with the Dolphins and was a part of the Miami team that went to the Super Bowl after the 1984 season.
Twice, Clayton led the NFL in touchdown catches with 18 in 1984 and again with 14 in 1988.
He joined the Packers in 1993 to start opposite Sterling Sharpe. The results were mixed as Clayton caught only 32 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
During his career, he caught passes from Dan Marino and Brett Favre. He retired after the 1993 season with 582 catches and 84 touchdowns.
- QB Mark Brunell (1993-1994)
Former Packers GM Ron Wolf liked to take a flier on quarterbacks in the later rounds of each NFL draft and he chose Brunell in the fifth round in 1993.
Brunell served two years as a backup to Favre and appeared in two games during the 1994 season. He completed just 12-of-27 passes for 95 yards as a Packer although he did run for one touchdown in a game against the Vikings.
Brunell joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and earned three Pro Bowl berths there. He was a backup quarterback on the Saints Super Bowl winning club in 2009.
The former University of Washington star is considered one of the better lefthanded quarterbacks of all time and is presently the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions.
- LB Ted Hendricks (1974)
Hendricks stood 6’7” and weighed 220 pounds during his playing days. His size, length and quickness made him one of the best linebackers of all-time. “The Mad Stork” made the Pro Bowl eight times, was All Pro four times and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of both the 1970s and 1980s.
Hendricks played for the Colts for five seasons before joining the Packers in 1974. He teamed with Fred Carr and Jim Carter to give the Packers three outstanding starting linebackers.
While he was only in Green Bay one season, it was an outstanding year for Hendricks. He was named All Pro after intercepting five passes, recording a safety, recovering a fumble and blocking a total of seven kicks in 14 games (three field goals, three punts and an extra point).
The Packers couldn’t re-sign Hendricks and when he signed with the Raiders, Green Bay received two first-round picks as compensation. Hendricks went on to win three more Super Bowls with the Raiders and played in four more Pro Bowls.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
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