The 1977 Offseason – Timing Is Everything For The 49ers And Raiders
Roughly thirty years ago, not so big news was made by the two Bay Area NFL football teams. In two roster moves that were greeted with mild interest, the 49ers and Raiders showed that timing is everything… even in the National Football League.
O.J. Simpson had grown up in the San Francisco area and had won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Southern California. After achieving incredible statistics running the ball for the Buffalo Bills, he was sent home to finish his career with the 49ers.
Jim Plunkett had been a local hero, winning the Heisman Trophy while quarterbacking Stanford University to unprecedented success. Plunkett entered the league with much fan fare, but after less than successful seasons in New England he was shipped to the 49ers, and in 1977 they released him and he was signed by the Oakland Raiders.
O.J. Simpson would go on to put up less than great numbers for the 49ers, while Jim Plunkett would help lead the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins while grabbing the Super Bowl XV MVP award for himself.
Two local heroes, both Heisman Trophy Winners, both changing bay area teams during the same year with decidedly different results. Timing is everything… even in the NFL.