By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 26: June 7, 1972The Bills trade Marlin Briscoe to Miami for a first-round draft choice in 1973 (Joe DeLamielleure).

The story of Marlin Briscoe is a fascinating one. He was a rookie cornerback in 1968 for the Denver Broncos when starter Steve Tensi was injured. Briscoe was asked to replace him, and in doing so became the first African American starting quarterback in pro football history. Briscoe did fine, but he was not even invited to work out as a quarterback during training camp the following fall. Briscoe was cut by the Broncos.

The talented athlete landed in Buffalo that year, and worked his way into the starting lineup as a wide receiver in 1969 even though he had never played the position before. In the next two years, Briscoe caught a total of 101 passes for 1,639 yards. However, the Bills made a coaching change before the 1972 season. They hired the same man that cut Briscoe from the Broncos: Lou Saban. Briscoe figured his days in Buffalo were numbered.

And they were. The wide receiver was off to Miami, where he was part of the only undefeated team in National Football League history. However, the Bills used the first-round draft choice they received for Briscoe wisely. Joe DeLamielleure was a three-time first-team All-Pro pick, and eventually landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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