Marlin Briscoe, a trailblazer as the first Black quarterback in the AFL, died at age 76.
It was confirmed to the AP by his family that he was hospitalized because of circulation issues in his legs and died of pneumonia in Norwalk, CA.
The 5-foot-10 decorated college quarterback from Nebraska-Omaha was drafted at the 1968 AFL draft by the Denver Broncos but as a cornerback.
He pushed for a chance to play QB and delivered, starting there as a rookie. Briscoe finished as runner-up in AFL Rookie of the Year voting.
The ensuing season he was not given a chance to start again under center and asked for his release. He then got a chance in Buffalo with the Bills and played wide receiver. At the time, Buffalo had their quarterback position set with the likes of Jack Kemp on the roster.
Briscoe led the Bills in touchdowns in three of his years in Orchard Park. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in 1970.
Briscoe was then traded to the Miami Dolphins. He was part of their undefeated 1972 squad while there.
After three seasons with the Dolphins, Briscoe went on to spend time with the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots. He retired after the 1976 season.