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NFL Franchise Genealogy
Team Origins, Franchise Movement, and Name Changes

  Franchise Genealogy
• 1920s
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1970

• The NFL and AFL merge their schedules and go to a two-conference, six-division format.
• The AFL becomes the AFC.
• The NFL becomes the NFC.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Colts move to the AFC.

Here is how the NFL is now aligned:

American Football Conference
Eastern Division
• Baltimore Colts
• Boston Patiots
• Buffalo Bills
• Miami Dolphins
• New York Jets

Central Division
• Cincinnati Bengals
• Cleveland Browns
• Houston Oilers
• Pittsburgh Steelers

Western Division
• Denver Broncos
• Kansas City Cheifs
• Oakland Raiders
• San Diego Chargers

National Football Conference
Eastern Division
• Dallas Cowboys
• New York Giants
• Philadelphia Eagles
• St. Louis Cardinals
• Washington Redskins

Central Division
• Chicago Bears
• Detroit Lions
• Green Bay Packers
• Minnesota Vikings

Western Division
• Atlanta Falcons
• New Orleans Saints
• Los Angeles Rams
• San Francisco 49ers

1971

• The Boston Patriots moved to Foxboro and changed their name to the New England Patriots.

1974

• Tampa Bay is awarded a franchise by the NFL.
• Seattle is awarded a franchise by the NFL.

1976

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin play in the AFC Western Division.
• The Seattle Seahawks begin play in the NFC Western Division.

1977

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers move to the NFC Central Division.
• The Seattle Seahawks move to the AFC Western Division.

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