ESPN’s documentary “Elway to Marino” was fascinating to watch, with many nuggets revealed such as this one: the San Francisco 49ers explored a trade that would have sent Joe Montana to the Baltimore Colts for No. 1 overall pick John Elway in 1983.
Elway famously refused to play for Baltimore, and they had no other choice but to trade him.
In the documentary, Bill Walsh was in contact with the Colts and pondered pulling the trigger on the deal, but in the end decided it wasn’t necessary. The 49ers were coming off of a 3-6 strike-shortended season, but had won the Super Bowl the year before, with Montana named the MVP.
Elway was eventually traded to the Denver Broncos for QB Mark Herrmann, rights to OL Chris Hinton and a first-round pick about a month after the draft.
How weird would it have been to watch Elway throw to Rice instead of Montana?