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3 NFL players who refused to play for a franchise 

Eli Manning during 2004 NFL Draft
Eli Manning during 2004 NFL Draft

In the NFL, you don't get to choose who you play for... unless you do. It's rare when a player refuses to play for a franchise, especially by the one that drafted them. Often players will request trades, sign elsewhere in free agency or just play disgruntled.

There are a few cases where players just straight up refuse to play for the team. In recent years, this has become more of a trend when a player gets franchise tagged, such as Le'Veon Bell and Davante Adams' situations. Here are three NFL players who completely refused to play for a franchise:

#1 - John Elway - Baltimore Colts

John Elway Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
John Elway Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders

John Elway was considered the best quarterback in the 1983 draft and he made it clear that he didn't want to play for the Baltimore Colts. The Colts held the first-overall pick in the draft. Elway and his father wanted to play closer to the West Coast.

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Elway's refusal to play for the team lasted six days as he was traded to the Denver Broncos. In return, the Colts got quarterback Mark Hermann, offensive tackle Chris Hinton, and Denver’s 1984 first-round pick, which ended up being Ron Solt. Elway went on to win two Super Bowls with the Broncos.

#2 - Antonio Brown - Buffalo Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills

Following the 2018 NFL season, Antonio Brown made it clear that he wanted Away from the Pittsburgh Steelers. On March 9, 2019, the Steelers agreed to trade Brown to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a third- and fifth-round selection. The Steelers reportedly reached an agreement to send Brown to the Buffalo Bills before dealing him to Oakland.

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The deal didn't go through because Brown refused to play for the Bills and called the news "fake news" on social media. This resulted in him being traded to the Raiders, where he never played a snap.

#3 - Eli Manning - San Diego Chargers

Eli Manning during 2004 NFL DRAFT
Eli Manning during 2004 NFL DRAFT

Eli Manning was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the first-overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. Manning was coveted as the number one quarterback coming out of Ole Miss. His father, Archie Manning said that he would refuse to play for the Chargers if drafted by them.

He was then traded to the New York Giants in exchange for rookie Phillip Rivers, a third-round pick, a 2005 first-round pick and a fifth-round pick. Manning winded up winning two Super Bowls with the Giants.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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