Peyton Manning

When Peyton Manning left the Indianapolis Colts four years ago, history suggested his second act would flop. When franchise cornerstones continued their careers elsewhere rather than retiring, the results were often cruel: Willie Mays with the Mets, Johnny Unitas with the Chargers and Hakeem Olajuwon with the Raptors.

But by winning the Super Bowl with Denver, Manning became a rarity, like Raymond Bourque, who left the Bruins after 21 seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche. (Must be the mountain air.)

Joe Montana (Chiefs) and Brett Favre (Vikings) each advanced to the conference championship game once with their new teams, but Manning was able to reach the Super Bowl twice with the Broncos, winning it in February against Carolina.

Here are nearly two dozen athletes who just look completely wrong in a certain uniform, like Patrick Ewing with the Orlando Magic:

Franchise Cornerstones Ending Career In Strange Uniforms

Emmitt Smith, Cardinals
 

Emmitt Smith, Cardinals

Smith registered less than 1,200 rushing yards in two years with the Cardinals, a total he surpassed in nine separate seasons in Dallas.

Joe Namath, Rams
 

Joe Namath, Rams

His battered knees limited Broadway Joe to four games with Los Angeles in which he had three touchdowns and five interceptions.

Joe Montana, Chiefs
 

Joe Montana, Chiefs

Montana went 17-8 as a starter in Kansas City and took the Chiefs to their only AFC championship game in January 1994.

Johnny Unitas, Chargers
 

Johnny Unitas, Chargers

After his legendary career with the Colts, Unitas went 1-3 as a 40-year-old starter for the Chargers.

Marcus Allen, Chiefs
 

Marcus Allen, Chiefs

Allen did more than just hold on at the end of his career with 3,698 rushing yards in five seasons with the Chiefs. But it's still tough to picture him as something other than a Raider.

O.J. Simpson, 49ers
 

O.J. Simpson, 49ers

Simpson came home to San Francisco after nine seasons with the Bills. But he didn't have much left, gaining 1,053 yards in two seasons with the 49ers.

Tony Dorsett, Broncos
 

Tony Dorsett, Broncos

Dorsett actually was more productive in his lone season with Denver (703 yards) than in his final season as a Cowboy (456).

Franco Harris, Seahawks
 

Franco Harris, Seahawks

After nine Pro Bowls and four Super Bowl titles with the Steelers, Harris finished up with 170 yards in eight games for Seattle.

Jerry Rice, Seahawks
 

Jerry Rice, Seahawks

Rice made it back to the Super Bowl with the Raiders to legitimize his post-49ers career, but his final 11 games were with the Seahawks.

Brett Favre, Jets and Vikings
 

Brett Favre, Jets and Vikings

Favre's inclusion comes with an asterisk. He did begin with career with the Falcons, attempting four passes in two games, before becoming a Packers icon. Favre announced his retirement in March 2008 only to second thoughts. He played a season with the Jets, then two more with the Vikings with the highlight being an appearance in the 2009 NFC championship game, an overtime loss at New Orleans.

Babe Ruth, Braves
 

Babe Ruth, Braves

Ruth went to the National League as a 40-year-old and hit six home runs in 28 games.

Willie Mays, Mets
 

Willie Mays, Mets

Mays' falling down in the outfield during the 1973 World Series is often cited as the prime example of an icon who stayed too long.

Karl Malone, Lakers
 

Karl Malone, Lakers

The Mailman chased that elusive championship ring as a 40-year-old with the Lakers, but came up short in the Finals again as the Pistons handled Los Angeles in five games.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Raptors
 

Hakeem Olajuwon, Raptors

Olajuwon averaged 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in 61 games for Toronto.

Patrick Ewing, Sonics/Magic
 

Patrick Ewing, Sonics/Magic

Ewing spent one season each with the Sonics and Magic, and with Orlando, he just started four of the 65 games in which he appeared.

Walt Frazier, Cavaliers
 

Walt Frazier, Cavaliers

In the primitive days of free agency, a team had to give compensation for signing another's player, which is how Clyde ended up in Cleveland.

Dominique Wilkins, 4 teams
 

Dominique Wilkins, 4 teams

Hard to believe that the Human Highlight Film suited up for four teams after the Hawks: Clippers, Celtics, Spurs and Magic.

Bobby Orr, Blackhawks
 

Bobby Orr, Blackhawks

The Bruins offered Orr 18.6 percent ownership of the franchise during contract negotiations, but he said he was never informed of this by his agent, Alan Eagleson, who steered him to Chicago.

Ray Bourque, Avalanche
 

Ray Bourque, Avalanche

After two runner-up finishes in the Stanley Cup Final during his 21 seasons with Boston, Bourque went out as a champ with Colorado in 2001.

Brian Leetch, Maple Leafs/Bruins
 

Brian Leetch, Maple Leafs/Bruins

Mark Messier called Leetch the greatest Ranger of them all. But Leetch, the first American to win the Conn Smythe, finished up his career with Original Six rivals Toronto and Boston.

Mike Modano, Red Wings
 

Mike Modano, Red Wings

Modano was the face of the Stars franchise in Minnesota and Dallas, but the Michigan-born center took a victory lap with Detroit as a 40-year-old.

 

Martin Brodeur, Blues

Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins for a goalie and shutouts, helped the New Jersey Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final five times, winning three championships. But his final seven appearances came with St. Louis.

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As stipulated when we first compiled this list in 2012, Michael Jordan as a Wizard and Guy Lafleur as a Ranger and Nordique didn't qualify because they actually retired for a few seasons before deciding to make a comeback.

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