1976 NFL expansion draft

The 1976 National Football League (NFL) expansion draft was held March 30–31, 1976. The expansion teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, each selected 39 players from the other 26 NFL teams. When one player was chosen from an existing team, that team was then permitted to protect two additional players. The expansion teams continued until three players had been picked from each of the existing teams.[1]

The expansion draft was originally scheduled for January 23–24, but was postponed when the owners of the Seahawks and Buccaneers filed a lawsuit against the players' union with worries that the organization would try to prevent the draft. The court case delayed both the expansion draft and the annual college draft.[2]

Seattle selections

Player Position College Original NFL team
Wayne Baker DT BYU San Francisco 49ers
Carl Barisich DT Princeton Cleveland Browns
Nick Bebout OT Wyoming Atlanta Falcons
Lyle Blackwood DB TCU Cincinnati Bengals
Ed Bradley LB Wake Forest Pittsburgh Steelers
Dave Brown DB Michigan Pittsburgh Steelers
Don Clune WR Pennsylvania New York Giants
Rondy Colbert DB Lamar New York Giants
Dwayne Crump DB Fresno State St. Louis Cardinals
Mike Curtis LB Duke Baltimore Colts
Jerry Davis DB Morris Brown New York Jets
John Demarie OG LSU Cleveland Browns
Norm Evans OT TCU Miami Dolphins
Ken Geddes LB Nebraska Los Angeles Rams
Neil Graff QB Wisconsin New England Patriots
Don Hansen LB Illinois Atlanta Falcons
Gary Hayman RB Penn State Buffalo Bills
Fred Hoaglin C Pittsburgh Houston Oilers
Ron Howard TE Seattle Dallas Cowboys
Ken Hutcherson LB Livingston State Green Bay Packers
Gordon Jolley OT Utah Detroit Lions
Gary Keithley QB Texas-El Paso St. Louis Cardinals
Art Kuehn C UCLA Washington Redskins
Kerry Marbury RB West Virginia New England Patriots
Al Matthews DB Texas A&I Green Bay Packers
Sam McCullum WR Montana State Minnesota Vikings
John McMakin TE Clemson Detroit Lions
Eddie McMillan DB Florida State Los Angeles Rams
Bill Olds RB Nebraska Baltimore Colts
Jesse O'Neal DE Grambling State Houston Oilers
Joe Owens DE Alcorn State New Orleans Saints
Bob Penchion OG Alcorn State San Francisco 49ers
Bob Picard WR Eastern Washington State Philadelphia Eagles
Rocky Rasley OG Oregon State Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Taylor DB Georgia Denver Broncos
Dave Tipton DE Stanford San Diego Chargers
Charles Waddell TE North Carolina San Diego Chargers
Larry Woods DT Tennessee State New York Jets
Roland Woolsey DB Boise State Dallas Cowboys

Tampa Bay selections

Player Position College Original NFL team
Larry Ball LB Louisville Detroit Lions
Joe Blahak DB Nebraska Minnesota Vikings
Bubba Bridges DT Colorado Denver Broncos
Bubba Broussard LB Houston Chicago Bears
Louis Carter RB Maryland Oakland Raiders
Steve Colavito LB Wake Forest Philadelphia Eagles
Mark Cotney DB Cameron State Houston Oilers
Mike Current OT Ohio State Denver Broncos
Anthony Davis RB USC New York Jets
Ricky Davis DB Alabama Cincinnati Bengals
Earl Douthitt DB Iowa Chicago Bears
Bruce Elia LB Ohio State Miami Dolphins
Larry Ely LB Iowa Chicago Bears
Howard Fest OG Texas Cincinnati Bengals
Ira Gordon OG Kansas State San Diego Chargers
Jimmy Gunn LB USC New York Giants
Harold Hart RB Texas Southern Oakland Raiders
Durwood Keeton DB Oklahoma New England Patriots
Jim Kearney DB Prairie View Kansas City Chiefs
Vince Kendrick RB Florida Atlanta Falcons
Morris LaGrand RB Tampa New Orleans Saints
Willie McGee WR Alcorn State Los Angeles Rams
John (J.K.) McKay WR USC Cleveland Browns
Bob Moore TE Stanford Oakland Raiders
Manfred Moore RB USC San Francisco 49ers
Frank Oliver DB Kentucky State Buffalo Bills
Dave Pear DT Washington Baltimore Colts
Cal Peterson LB UCLA Dallas Cowboys
Dave Reavis OT Arkansas Pittsburgh Steelers
Council Rudolph DE Kentucky State St. Louis Cardinals
Dan Ryczek C Virginia Washington Redskins
Barry Smith WR Florida State Green Bay Packers
Ken Stone DB Vanderbilt Washington Redskins
Doug Swift LB Amherst Miami Dolphins
Dave Thompson OT-C Clemson New Orleans Saints
Pat Toomay DE Vanderbilt Buffalo Bills
John Ward C-OG Oklahoma State Minnesota Vikings
Lawrence Williams WR Texas Tech Kansas City Chiefs
Dan Yochum OT Syracuse Philadelphia Eagles


  1. ^ "1976 NFL Expansion Draft". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  2. ^ "Drafts delayed by Bucs". St. Petersburg Times. 14 January 1976. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
Bob Picard

Robert Picard is a former American football wide receiver who spent three years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions. He played college football at Eastern Washington State.

Cal Peterson

Calvin Elston Peterson (born October 6, 1952) is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Raiders. He played college football at UCLA.

Dan Yochum

Dan Yochum (born August 19, 1950) is a former offensive lineman for the Montreal Alouettes from 1972–1980 and the Edmonton Eskimos in 1980 of the Canadian Football League. He won three Grey Cups for the Alouettes and was a four-time CFL All-Star.

Yochum was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States. He was selected in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles after a stellar career at Syracuse University, but opted to go to Canada that season. The Eagles, which held his NFL rights, made him available in the 1976 NFL expansion draft, being claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he never attended their training camp or played for them.

Yochum was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Doug Swift

Douglas A. Swift (born October 24, 1948) is a former American football linebacker who played six seasons in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins. Swift moved into the starting lineup as a rookie and held the strongside linebacker position for the next six seasons, including the Dolphins' Super Bowl victories following the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Swift's blitz late in the second quarter of Super Bowl VII forced Washington Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer to make a hurried throw, which Nick Buoniconti intercepted and returned into Washington territory to set up the Dolphins' second touchdown in a 14-7 victory, cementing Miami's 17-0 season. Made available in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, he chose to retire from football and enter medical school rather than report to the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.He is a graduate of both Nottingham High School and Amherst College (1970). Swift is an anesthesiologist in Philadelphia.

Essex Johnson

Essex L. Johnson (born October 15, 1946) is a former professional American football running back for eight seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals and one season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Howard Fest

Howard Arthur Fest (born April 11, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former American football offensive lineman who played in the American Football League (AFL) and in the National Football League (NFL).

He attended Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio. He played college football at the University of Texas, where he was a tight end. As a sophomore during the 1965 season, he played sparingly and caught one pass for nine yards as the Longhorns went 6-4 under College Football Hall of Fame coach Darrell Royal. In his junior year he was switched to offensive tackle as the Longhorns went 7-4, including a 19-0 win in the Bluebonnet Bowl over Ole Miss. In his senior season of 1967, the Longhorns were 6-4.After his senior year, he was chosen in the sixth round (139th overall) of the 1968 NFL/AFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.He was an original member of the AFL Cincinnati Bengals, playing with them for eight years. He began his career at tackle, but later moved to guard. He was given the nickname "Mr. Consistency" by his teammates.During his eight seasons with the Bengals, he never missed a game, playing in 112 games, of which he started 63.

He was made available in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, and was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played two seasons. He started all 14 games of the 1976 season. He played in just one game his final season of 1977.

Ira Gordon

Ira Lawrence Gordon (born May 5, 1947 in Kilbourne, Louisiana) is a former professional American football player who played offensive tackle for six seasons for the San Diego Chargers. He was a starter for the last two. Left unprotected in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, he was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was expected to start for the Bucs, but wound up as a surprise training camp cut. Coach John McKay would not comment on outgoing players, but had earlier expressed concern that, although Gordon had potential to be one of the league's better guards, he would have difficulty learning the team's offensive system due to missing much of training camp with a contract dispute. Gordon believed that Buccaneer coaches soured on his outspokenness over harsh practice conditions, which included two-a-day practices in the Tampa sun with no water breaks, and refused to play football after the experience. The brother of Arizona State University and Miami Dolphins linebacker Larry Gordon, he worked in Phoenix, Arizona as a drug counselor after his NFL career.

Joe Blahak

Joseph Philip Blahak (August 29, 1950 – April 25, 2016) was a professional football player, a defensive back for several National Football League (NFL) teams in the mid-1970s. He played college football at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln under head coach Bob Devaney, and was a member of the 1970 and 1971 undefeated national championship teams.

John McKay Jr.

John Kenneth "J.K." McKay (born March 28, 1953) is a former American football player, trial attorney, and executive with positions at the Alliance of American Football and the University of Southern California. As a professional athlete, McKay played wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1976 to 1978.

Lawrence Williams

Lawrence Williams or Laurence Williams may refer to:

Lawrence G. Williams (1913–1975), American politician

Lawrence P. Williams (1905–1996), British motion picture art director

Lawrence Williams (American football), American football player, see 1976 NFL expansion draft

Lawrence Williams (cricketer) (born 1946), Welsh former cricketer

Lawrence Williams (writer), co-writer of The Monster Maker

L. F. Rushbrook Williams (Laurence Frederic Rushbrook Williams, 1890–1978), British historian and civil servant

Laurence Williams (nuclear engineer) (born 1946), British nuclear power safety expert and academic

Lawrence Williams (banker) (c. 1955–2014), Guyanese banking official

Manfred Moore

Manfred Moore (born December 22, 1950) is a former professional American football running back and, briefly, rugby league footballer of the 1970s.

Mark Cotney

Mark Cotney (born June 26, 1952 in Altus, Oklahoma), is a former professional American football player who played in 10 NFL seasons from 1975-1984 for the Houston Oilers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Selected by the Buccaneers in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, he was a member of the original winless 1976 team and the 1979 team that played in the 1979 NFC Championship game. He retired in 1986 on advice from his doctors, after suffering two cracked vertebrae in his neck while tackling Gerald Riggs in a 1985 preseason game. He continues to live in the Tampa area.

Mike Curtis (American football)

James Michael "Mike" Curtis (born March 27, 1943) is a former professional American football player for the Baltimore Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, who played 14 seasons from 1965 to 1978 in the National Football League. He was a four-time Pro Bowler in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1974. He was considered one of the meanest players of his era.[1] Although sacks were not official during the time he played, Curtis was a good blitzer, recording 22 sacks, including one in which a famous photograph was taken of Curtis tackling Roman Gabriel's head. Curtis also picked off 25 passes and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1970 by a panel of 101 sportswriters.

Neil Graff

Neil Graff is a former quarterback in the National Football League. He was drafted in the sixteenth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings and later played with the New England Patriots for two seasons. Later he was selected in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and split that season as a member of the Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, though he did not see any playing time in a regular season game with either team. He played the following year with the Steelers before being a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1978 NFL season, but once again did not play during the regular season. One of two NFL quarterbacks born in the state of South Dakota, The other being HOF player, Norm Van Brocklin, born in Parade, SD. Graff is an inductee in the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.

Norm Evans

Norman Earl Evans (born September 28, 1942) is a former American football player. He played professionally as an offensive tackle for fourteen seasons, first in the American Football League (AFL) and later in the National Football League (NFL). Evans is the only player in NFL history to be chosen in two expansion drafts. The Miami Dolphins took Evans from the Houston Oilers in the 1966 AFL Expansion draft. He played 10 seasons with Miami. Evans was also chosen by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft and played three seasons there. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and played in three Super Bowls, all with the Dolphins.

Norman was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but his football playing days began in Donna, Texas, then a small town of 7,500 people with a 2A football team.

Pat Toomay

Patrick Jay Toomay (born May 17, 1948) is a former professional football player, a defensive end for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland Raiders. He played college football at Vanderbilt University and was selected in the sixth round of the 1970 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He is the author of books about professional football, including The Crunch and the novel On Any Given Sunday.

Rocky Rasley

Rocky Rasley (born April 27, 1947) is a former American football guard in the National Football League from 1969–1970, 1972–1976. He attended Bakersfield's South High School and Bakersfield College before enrolling at Oregon State University where he played college football under Dee Andros during the "Giant Killers" season of 1967. The entire 1967 squad was later inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Rasley was also inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame.Rasley was one of five Beavers selected in the 1969 NFL Draft, and was selected in the ninth round (216th overall) by the Detroit Lions. He played with the Lions for the 1969 and 1970 seasons, was on the Lions' taxi-squad during 1971, and rejoined the team for the 1972 and 1973 seasons. He then went to the New Orleans Saints for a season, followed by a season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Rasley was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1976 NFL Expansion Draft, but did not make the active roster and wound up playing for the San Francisco 49ers his last season.Prior to joining the NFL, Rasley was a competitive wrestler. He finished 6th in the heavyweight (+100kg) weight class at the 1969 FILA Wrestling World Championships, placing behind event winner Aleksandr Medved. Rasley also wrestled for the Oregon State Beavers wrestling team, and was a letterman in 1968.

Roland Woolsey

Roland Bert Woolsey (born August 11, 1953) is a former professional American football cornerback in the NFL. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, he also played for the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, and St. Louis Cardinals. From rural Idaho, he played college football at Boise State University.

Vince Kendrick

Vincent Kendrick (March 18, 1952 – March 21, 2015) was an American former college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons during the 1970s. Kendrick played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.

Early era (1936–1959)
AFL and NFL era (1960–1966)
Common draft (1967–1969)
Modern era (1970–present)
Expansion drafts
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Division championships (10)
Conference championships (3)
League championships (1)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Seasons (43)
Culture and lore
Wild card berths (3)
Division championships (6)
Conference championships (1)
League championships (1)
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