Rich Gannon

NFL MVP Quarterback

Rich Gannon played 18 seasons in the NFL and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2002, when he led the Oakland Raiders to the AFC Championship.

A two-time All-Pro and four-time choice for the Pro Bowl, Gannon played for the Minnesota Vikings (1987-1992), Washington Redskins (1993), Kansas City Chiefs (1995-1998) and the Raiders (1999-2004). Gannon led the NFL in passing yards in 2002.

Known for his skills in reading defenses and his versatility, Gannon spent portions of his early career as a backup quarterback. But when he took over in Kansas City and then Oakland as the starter, he was among the league’s best QBs.

Gannon played college football at the University of Delaware, first as a punter before switching to quarterback during his sophomore year. It was a wise move by the coaching staff: Gannon set 21 school records, including total offense (7,436 yards), passing yards (5,927) and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,509).

Drafted in the fourth round in 1987 by the New England Patriots — who wanted to convert Gannon to other positions — he was traded to the Vikings, for whom he played six seasons and eventually became the starter. Following a year in Washington, he moved on to the Chiefs before signing with the Raiders. A perfect fit in Jon Gruden’s West Coast Offense, Gannon made the Pro Bowl during his first season with Oakland. He surpassed that in 2002 by leading the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII, a loss to Tampa Bay (coached by Gruden).

Gannon finished his career with 28,743 passing yards and 180 passing touchdowns.

Gannon was raised in Philadelphia, and attended Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School. He won three varsity letters each in football and crew, and won two in basketball. Gannon was first team All-Philadelphia as a punter and quarterback.

After his playing career, Gannon joined CBS as an NFL analyst. He also works for SiriusXM Satellite Radio as an analyst and has been a frequent contributor to The 33rd Team.