Joe Namath spurns NFL to sign record deal with AFL’s New York Jets

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On January 2, 1965, quarterback Joe Namath spurns the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals to sign with the American Football League’s New York Jets. The contract, reportedly for  $427,000, is the most lucrative signed by a rookie in any sport. The deal with Namath, a star at the University of Alabama for head coach Bear Bryant, is a coup for the AFL.



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