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This Week in NFL History (May 31 to June 6): Joe Namath turns 78

Welcome to This Week in NFL History! Every week, the Research team will spotlight the anniversaries of notable events and birthdays.

May 31

  • Notable Birthdays: Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath (78), former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (36)

June 1

  • The NFL launched "NFL Sunday Ticket," a new season subscription service for satellite television dish owners in 1994

-Allowed fans to watch out-of-market TV games of their choosing from home

-DirecTV rights contract for Sunday Ticket with the NFL lasts through the 2022 season

  •  The Rams released Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner in 2004

-2-time NFL MVP (both with Rams), 4-time Pro Bowl selection (3 with Rams) & 2-time 1st-Team All-Pro (both with Rams)

-After serving as a veteran mentor to first overall draft pick Eli Manning in 2004, Warner threw for 15,843 pass yards & 100 pass TD with a 91.9 passer rating (all ranked top-10) with the Cardinals from 2005-2009

-2009 Pro Bowl selection & helped lead the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII (only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history) in the final 5 seasons of his career

  • Notable Birthday: wide receiver Santana Moss (42)

June 2

  • The Panthers re-signed quarterback Cam Newton to a 5-year, $103.8M contract extension in 2015

-2015 AP NFL MVP & 2015 1st-Team All-Pro (Won in 1st season following extension after becoming only player in NFL history with 30+ pass TD (35) & 10+ rush TD (10) in a single season en route to a Super Bowl 50 appearance)

-2011 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year & 3-time Pro Bowl selection

-70 rush TD are the most all-time by a QB (HOF Steve Young is 2nd with 43)

-Drafted 1st overall in 2011 NFL Draft by the Panthers

  • The Cowboys released Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders in 2000

-Super Bowl XXX Champion, 4-time Pro Bowl selection, 3-time 1st-Team All-Pro in 5 seasons with the Cowboys from 1995-1999

  • Notable Birthdays: Hall of Famer Tex Schramm

June 3

  • The Broncos acquired Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett (34 years old) from the Cowboys in exchange for a 1989 conditional 5th Rd pick in 1988

-181 carries, 703 rush yards, 5 rush TD in 12th & final NFL season in 1988

-4-time Pro Bowl selection, 1981 1st-Team All-Pro, 1977 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year & Super Bowl XII Champion in 11 seasons with the Cowboys from 1977-1987

  • A group headed by Tom Benson Jr., was approved to purchase the New Orleans Saints from John W. Mecom, Jr in 1985

-All 14 playoff appearances & Super Bowl XLIV Championship occurred after he purchased the franchise

-Tom's wife Gayle became the owner following his death in 2018

  • Notable Birthday: Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas (78)

June 4

  • In 1974, the NFL awarded its 28th franchise to Seattle to begin play in the 1976 season

-19 playoff appearances, 3 Super Bowl appearances & 1 Super Bowl title (XLVIII) in 45 seasons since 1976

  • The 49ers waived wide receiver Jerry Rice after 16 seasons (1985-2000) in 2001

-3-time Super Bowl Champion, 13 career Pro Bowl selections (12 with SF), 10-time 1st-Team All-Pro (T-most in NFL history) & 2-time AP Offensive Player of the Year

-19,247 rec yards & 176 rec TD with 49ers (would have been most in NFL history had Rice retired after 16 seasons)

-Played 4 more seasons with the Raiders & Seahawks (2001-2004)

  • The Bears re-signed Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher to a 9-year, $56M contract extension in 2003

-8-time Pro Bowl selection, 4-time 1st-Team All-Pro, 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year, 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year & 2000's All-Decade Team member in 13 seasons with the Bears (2000-2012)

  • Notable Birthday: Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (24)

June 5

  • 3 HOFers were selected in the first 4 picks of the Supplemental Draft (used to distribute rights of USFL & CFL players) in 1984

-TB selected HOF QB Steve Young 1st overall: Traded to 49ers after 2 seasons & became a 3-time Super Bowl Champion, 2-time NFL MVP, 7-time Pro Bowl selection & 3-time 1st-Team All-Pro with the 49ers

-NYG selected HOF T Gary Zimmerman 3rd overall: Traded to Vikings in 1986 before ever playing in NFL; Super Bowl XXXII Champion with Broncos, 7-time Pro Bowl selection (4 with MIN), 3-time 1st-Team All-Pro (2 with MIN), 1980's & 1990's All-Decade Team Member

-PHI selected HOF DE Reggie White 4th overall: Super Bowl XXXI Champion with Packers, 2-time AP Defensive Player of the Year (1 with PHI), 13-time Pro Bowl selection (7 with PHI), 8-time 1st-Team All-Pro (6 with PHI), 1980's All-Decade Team Member

  • The Raiders signed Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice in 2001

-2003 Pro Bowl selection (final selection of career) & member of Raiders 2002 AFC Champions team

  • Notable Birthdays: HOF Art Donovan, HOF Marion Motley, MIN HC Mike Zimmer (65), WR Torry Holt (45), WR Marques Colston (38) & CAR QB Sam Darnold (24)

June 6

  • Washington signed defensive back Deion Sanders in 2000

-4 INT, 9 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble & 2 fumble recoveries in only season with the team in 2000

-Retired for 3 seasons after 2000 before playing final 2 seasons with Ravens in 2004-2005

  • Notable Birthdays: HOF Bobby Mitchell & Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (29)

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