By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 26: June 7, 1972 – The 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)