With Phil Simms evidently heading to pasture as a football broadcaster, it’s fun to recall that the former NFL quarterback nearly joined the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Before the 1979 NFL draft, Simms believed his college career at Morehead State destined him to be a mid- to late-round selection. That didn’t exactly guarantee him a great NFL opportunity. So Simms listened intently when Roughriders head coach Ron Lancaster made a lucrative contract offer to play in the CFL. Lancaster wanted Simms to sign before the draft and, apparently, it almost worked.
Simms promised Lancaster he would consider the offer and let him know, but he may as well wait for the NFL draft. The San Francisco 49ers projected Simms for the third round, but they instead got stuck with Joe Montana when the New York Giants surprisingly plucked Simms in the first round, seventh overall. Giants fans were dismayed. So was Simms, but he ultimately won a Super Bowl during a 14-year career with New York.
And after getting drafted, Simms called Lancaster as promised to thank him and politely decline the Riders’ offer.