American Football Wiki
Elvis Grbac
Personal Information
Jersey #(s)
11, 18
Born {{{birthdate}}}
Career information
Year(s) 19932001
NFL Draft 1993 / Round: 8 / Pick: 219
College University of Michigan
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 99-81
Yards 16,769
QB Rating 79.65
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Elvis M. Grbac (born August 13, 1970 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a retired American football quarterback who played in the NFL. During his career he was a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. In college he was a two-time passing efficiency champion and the quarterback for Heisman Trophy-winner Desmond Howard.

College career[]

Elvis Grbac played college football at the University of Michigan from 1989 to 1992. He led the Wolverines to two Rose Bowls in 1991 and 1992 and is best remembered for throwing to wide receiver Desmond Howard during the latter's Heisman-winning campaign in 1991. Grbac finished his career at Michigan as the school's all-time leader in passing attempts (835), completions (522), passing yards (6,460) and passing touchdowns (71). These marks were later broken by John Navarre in 2003 and surpassed by Chad Henne in 2006–07.

He also established the Big Ten Conference career passing efficiency record that would stand for six season until it was surpassed by Joe Germaine.[1] He was a two-time national passing efficiency champion during his junior and senior seasons.[2] He was a three-time Big Ten champion in this statistic.

NFL career[]

Grbac was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He served as Steve Young's backup from 1994 to 1996. In 1997, Grbac signed with the Kansas City Chiefs to be their starting quarterback. His best season statistically came in 2000 when he passed for 4,169 yards and 28 touchdowns with a passer rating of 89.9 en route to the Pro Bowl.

Grbac also played for the Baltimore Ravens before retiring in 2001 when the Ravens cut him in a salary cap move after he refused to renegotiate his contract. At the time of his retirement, Grbac had been in negotiations with the Denver Broncos—Denver was interested in signing him as a backup to starting quarterback Brian Griese, but Grbac opted for retirement.

The Baltimore Ravens were defending Super Bowl champions when Grbac replaced quarterback Trent Dilfer at the start of the 2001 season. Upon signing, Grbac mocked Dilfer in the press: "It's time that a quarterback comes in here and provides leadership, a go-to guy, a vertical passing game. This is a great team. I can make it better."[3] Grbac posted mediocre passing statistics that year, but still managed to lead the Ravens to an 8-6 regular season record and a playoff win over the Miami Dolphins before losing in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. During the season, he was taunted and booed by Baltimore fans and harshly criticized by the Baltimore press. When Grbac was injured midway through the season and temporarily replaced by backup Randall Cunningham, the taunt "Elvis has left the building" was used. Grbac was jeered upon his return to the lineup after Cunningham went 2-0 as a starter.

People's Sexiest Athlete[]

Grbac was featured as People's Sexiest Athlete in 1998. Sportswriter Jeff Pearlman claims this was because of a mistake by a photographer, told to photograph "the Chiefs quarterback," who accidentally photographed Grbac instead of the intended Rich Gannon.[4]


  1. Big Ten Conference Football Full Media Guide. CBS Interactive/Big Ten Conference (2010-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-07-08.
  2. 2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records. National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved on 2010-07-09.
  3. Grbac Tooting His Own Horn Again
  4. The Sad, Hilarious Tale Of Elvis Grbac, 1998's "Sexiest Athlete Alive". Deadspin. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.