How the Giants almost helped the Vikings win a Super Bowl

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Fran Tarkenton
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) Fran Tarkenton /

After he was re-acquired from the New York Giants, quarterback Fran Tarkenton led the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowl appearances.

After six seasons in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Vikings made the decision to trade Pro Bowl quarterback Fran Tarkenton to the New York Giants during the 1967 offseason.

Tarkenton started 77 games in his first six years with the Vikings, but the franchise only won 35 percent of these starts, and they never qualified for the playoffs.

The veteran quarterback was given a fresh start with the Giants in 1967, and he went on to suit up in a New York uniform for the next five seasons. Tarkenton emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the league during his tenure with the Giants, as he was voted to the Pro Bowl in four of his five years with the team. Still, his play on the field never resulted in New York earning a spot in the postseason.

New York Giants traded Fran Tarkenton back to Minnesota Vikings in 1972

Still in search of his first playoff appearance, Tarkenton found his way out of New York during the 1972 offseason when he was traded back to the Vikings.

This deal ended up working out marvelously for Minnesota and the veteran signal-caller. After he returned to the Vikings, Tarkenton continued to play at a high level, and it resulted in Minnesota appearing in not one, not two, but three Super Bowls from 1973 to 1976.

Unfortunately, the Vikings came up empty-handed in each of their three Super Bowl appearances with Tarkenton starting under center. All these years later, however, Tarkenton is still the last quarterback to take part in a Super Bowl in a Minnesota uniform.

Had the Vikings been able to win at least one of the three Super Bowls they participated in from 1973 to 1976, they would have not only had the Hall of Fame quarterback to thank, but they would have had to thank the Giants for trading him back to them also.

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