Joe Staley called it a career after 13 seasons and 14 quarterbacks with the 49ers.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The All-Decade left tackle saw it all with San Francisco, playing for six different head coaches in two different stadiums. Nothing epitomizes the up-and-down nature of the 49ers this century than the sheer number of QBs he protected. Staley was consistently great, but his quarterbacks were not.

The full list of quarterbacks who played in the same game as Staley isn't a "who's who" as much as it is a "who's that" of 49ers history.

  • Alex Smith
  • Trent Dilfer
  • Chris Weinke
  • Shaun Hill
  • J.T. O'Sullivan
  • David Carr
  • Troy Smith
  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Colt McCoy
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Brian Hoyer
  • C.J. Beathard
  • Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Nick Mullens

While Carr and McCoy never started and only played in relief, the list includes three "franchise" QBs (Alex Smith, Kaepernick and Garoppolo). The rest took the reigns due to those three's injuries and/or ineffectiveness, acquitting themselves to ... varying degrees as San Francisco's signal-caller.

Staley's career perfectly dovetailed with their search for a star quarterback after passing on Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft. That search, as much as anything, was about finding someone as good as the man tasked with protecting his blind side.

[RELATED: 49ers acquire star tackle Williams as Staley's replacement]

Despite playing with more than a baker's dozen of QBs, Staley thrived with San Francisco. All told, Staley earned six Pro Bowl nods, including five straight from 2011 through 2015. He was an easy choice for the NFL's All-Decade team earlier this month, starring for 49ers teams that were good, bad and everything in between during the 2010s.


What if the 49ers enjoyed a level of success at quarterback approaching Staley's at left tackle? That's a question the Faithful will ask themselves for years to come.

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