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Jeff George
No. 11, 1, 3
Personal information
Born: (1967-12-08) December 8, 1967 (age 54)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Warren Central
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
NFL Draft:1990 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:27,602
Passer rating:80.4
Player stats at

Jeffrey Scott George (born December 8, 1967) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons. He played college football at Illinois, where he won the Sammy Baugh Trophy, and was selected first overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1990 NFL Draft. A member of seven teams during his career, George helped the Atlanta Falcons in 1995 and the Minnesota Vikings in 1999 reach the playoffs and led the league in passing yards during the 1997 season with the Oakland Raiders. George's NFL tenure would also be marked by frequent conflicts with coaches and management, which resulted in his departure from most of the teams he played for.

Early life

George was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Warren Central High School, where he received the Dial Award for the national high school scholar-athlete of the year in 1985 and was the first Gatorade National Player of the Year. He attended Purdue University and the University of Illinois.

College career

George transferred after a year at Purdue when the coach who recruited him, Leon Burtnett, resigned. Burtnett's replacement was Fred Akers, who had been known for his teams that used a run-heavy option type offense that required a more mobile quarterback. George subsequently committed to the University of Miami, but he backed out when coach Jimmy Johnson would not guarantee him a starting job. George stayed at Illinois for two years, leaving with a year of eligibility remaining after being assured he would be drafted as one of the first five picks of the NFL draft (he was picked No. 1 overall).

He would finish his college career with 6,212 yards and 35 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. In 1989, he threw for 2,738 yards with 22 TD vs 12 INT.

Professional career

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts traded to draft George, making him the first pick in the 1990 draft, and signed him to the richest rookie contract in NFL history at the time (worth a total of $15 million). George threw 46 interceptions to 41 touchdowns and lost 35 of his 49 career starts as a Colt; his only winning season with the Colts was 1992, during which he played ten games and threw 15 interceptions to seven touchdowns. Before the 1993 season, he refused to report to training camp and only returned to the team when Jim Irsay made it clear that George would have to pay a huge penalty fee for breach of contract if he did not get back to work. The Colts traded George to the Atlanta Falcons after the 1993 season.

Atlanta Falcons

In 1995, George led the Falcons to their first playoff appearance since 1991. On September 22, 1996, in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, George got into a heated argument on the sidelines with Falcons coach June Jones, all of which was caught on camera for a national television audience. Jones suspended George for the remainder of the 1996 season and Atlanta dealt George to the Oakland Raiders after the season. It was later confirmed that George blamed team management for his problems and felt Jones betrayed him by not standing up to this alleged mistreatment. Years after the incident, Jones became an advocate for George, stating that the TV argument was overblown and that George was a good quarterback, a team player and worthy of being on an NFL roster.

George's record with the Falcons was 16–19; he had the best completion percentage (60.5) of his career with 50 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.

Oakland Raiders

George signed with the Oakland Raiders after leaving Atlanta. In the 1997 season opener, George was a part of NFL history. George's first start as a Raider also happened to be the first NFL regular-season game played in the state of Tennessee. The Oilers, in their first home game since their controversial relocation from Houston, ruined George's debut (he threw three touchdowns to Tim Brown) by beating the Raiders, 24-21, on an Al Del Greco field goal in overtime. Another notable moment for the Silver and Black came in Week 8; against the visiting Broncos, George delivered a workmanlike performance (9-12, 96 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT). Thanks in large part to Napoleon Kaufman's 227-yard performance on the ground, the host Raiders upset the eventual world champions, 28-25. In his eighth year in the NFL, he had arguably his finest statistical year, throwing for 29 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions, for a 91.2 passer rating. However, despite George's stellar statistics, the team struggled overall; their defense finished 28th in scoring. Oakland finished 4–12 in Joe Bugel's one and only season as the Raiders' head coach.

The next year, the offense had changed to head coach Jon Gruden's West Coast scheme, a controlled-pass approach, that did not suit George's strengths. George was inconsistent at the beginning of the year, and later struggled with a groin pull, telling a local radio audience that he was finished for the year. He also ignored the offensive coordinator's play calls during the 1998 season and ran his own plays through a wristband containing plays (in an interview, George told Joe Theismann that he did what the coaches wanted on 1st and 2nd down, and simply threw it to Tim Brown on 3rd down). The Raiders ended George's Oakland tenure when they signed free-agent quarterback Rich Gannon.

Minnesota Vikings

George next played for the Vikings, as a backup to Randall Cunningham. Cunningham struggled at the start of the 1999 season and was benched. George took over the starting role in 10 games as a starter, going 8–2 with 23 touchdowns, 8.6 yards per attempt and a 94.2 rating in leading Minnesota to the playoffs. George earned his first career playoff win, throwing three touchdown passes to lead the Vikings over the Dallas Cowboys 27–10. The Vikings lost the next week to the eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 49–37. When George took too long to agree to terms with the Vikings in the offseason[citation needed], they chose not to renew his contract. George ended up signing with the Washington Redskins.

Washington Redskins

George hoped to return to Minnesota as a starting quarterback but was told by head coach Dennis Green to "shop around". After attempting to speak to other teams about securing a starting quarterback job, he was eventually offered a one-year, $400,000 contract by Minnesota, with incentives of up to $1.4 million. Rather than sign with the Vikings, George signed a four-year contract worth $14.8 million with the Washington Redskins as Brad Johnson's backup.[1] Johnson went down in week 9; George replaced him and went 1–2 in the next three games. Johnson returned but played poorly against the New York Giants. George replaced him and started two games, both losses, after Norv Turner was fired in favor of interim coach Terry Robiskie. After the season, Johnson departed Washington for Tampa Bay, leaving George as the Redskins' starter going into 2001.

Before the 2001 season, Washington hired as head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who promised to install a West Coast scheme similar to that of Gruden in Oakland. George clashed with Schottenheimer over the offense, though the coach promised to work George through any problems he might have with the scheme. Washington released George after a 37–0 Monday Night loss to the Green Bay Packers, in which George had a 34.6 passer rating, the worst in the first two weeks of the 2001 season. The Redskins were 0–2, having been outscored 67–3. George was given 24 hours to remove his personal items from the Redskins' facilities before they were discarded. He was replaced by Tony Banks, who led the team to an 8-8 record after an 0-5 start.

Seattle Seahawks

George seemingly retired after his last game in Washington, but he proceeded to make several sideline appearances in the following years. He signed briefly with the Seattle Seahawks in late 2002 as an emergency quarterback.

Chicago Bears

In 2004, after two years away from the game, George joined his seventh club, the Chicago Bears. He signed a one-year contract in November for a backup role, but he never took the field during a game. George was not retained by the Bears for the 2005 season or signed by another team. The Detroit Lions worked him out during their bye week if they needed another quarterback but George was not offered a contract.

Oakland Raiders (second stint)

On August 28, 2006, the Oakland Raiders signed George. He was expected to compete for the third-string quarterback position. However, he was released during final cuts only five days later on September 2, 2006.

NFL career statistics

Led the league
Bold Career high
Year Team GP Comp Att Pct Yards Avg Lng TD Int Rtg Fum
1990 IND 13 181 334 54.2 2,152 6.4 75 16 13 73.8 0
1991 IND 16 292 485 60.2 2,910 6.0 49 10 12 73.8 8
1992 IND 10 167 306 54.6 1,963 6.4 57 7 15 61.5 3
1993 IND 13 234 407 57.5 2,526 6.2 72 8 6 76.3 3
1994 ATL 16 322 524 61.5 3,734 7.1 85 23 18 83.3 4
1995 ATL 16 336 557 60.3 4,143 7.4 62 24 11 89.5 3
1996 ATL 3 56 99 56.6 698 7.0 67 3 3 76.1 1
1997 OAK 16 290 521 55.7 3,917 7.5 76 29 9 91.2 5
1998 OAK 8 93 169 55.0 1,186 7.0 75 4 5 72.7 5
1999 MIN 12 191 329 58.1 2,816 8.6 80 23 12 94.2 7
2000 WAS 6 113 194 58.2 1,389 7.2 50 7 6 79.6 2
2001 WAS 2 23 42 54.8 168 4.0 17 0 3 34.6 0
Career[2] 131 2,298 3,967 57.9 27,602 7.0 85 154 113 80.4 41


While George spent time on active NFL rosters through 2006, he had not attempted a pass since the 2001 season with the Washington Redskins. It was speculated that he might have replaced third-string quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo due to his friendship with Randy Moss. Moss has previously stated that George was his favorite of all the quarterbacks he's worked with. He has also commented in the past that he and George would take weekend fishing trips together when they both lived in Minnesota.

On October 30, 2007, during Mike and Mike in the Morning, Michael Kim in a SportsCenter update reported that George was interested in making another comeback, this time with the Minnesota Vikings, a team where he once had some success.

In November 2008, in an appearance on Sirius NFL Radio, George said, "I find it hard to believe there isn't a place in the game for me. My arm feels like I'm 25", he said. "I'm not asking to be a starter, I just want a spot on a team. I still hold out hope I can play in this league. I'm working out three or four days a week, staying ready. Some people might laugh about it. I've been hearing the excuse, 'You're too old,' but I look at guys now playing near 40, and if you can throw it like I can throw it ... Why wouldn't you take a look at me?"[3] He said of coming back: "I’ve been trying to figure out how to get back in, and it just amazes me that I’m not on somebody's roster. I’ve been throwing two or three times a week, and every time I go out there to throw, I can’t believe I’m not a backup somewhere. I know it's a young man's game, but you can’t tell me I’m not better than some of the quarterbacks that are out there. I look at teams like Minnesota or Chicago, and I want to scream at the people in charge, ‘What are you thinking?’"

On August 4, 2010, George announced on KFAN Sports radio in Minnesota that he would have been willing to step in for veteran QB Brett Favre if Favre had decided to retire from the Minnesota Vikings.[4]

Personal life

His son, Jeff Jr., followed in his father's footsteps and played quarterback for the University of Illinois before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh.


George has made occasional appearances on NFL Total Access with Rich Eisen and Terrell Davis. Following George's final seasons in the NFL, Jason Whitlock wrote several columns expressing his belief that George could still play and was deserving of an NFL try-out.[5] George and Whitlock are longtime friends, having played high school football together.[5]


  1. ^ P.288 Peterson, Armand. The Vikings Reader. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009
  2. ^ "Jeff George Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Silver, Michael (March 27, 2009). "George still grasping for one last shot at glory – NFL – Yahoo! Sports". Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  4. ^ "Veteran quarterback makes pitch to replace Brett Favre | ProFootballTalk". Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "George deserves a shot, but does he want it?". Fox Sports. August 6, 2009. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2009.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 January 2022, at 04:55
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