Steve Young began his professional football career by bucking the NFL system and signing with the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. Despite being coveted by most NFL teams, he opted to accept a $40 million contract from the Express at a time when the USFL was trying to out-bid the NFL for the best collegiate players.
Young didnt sign with Los Angeles until after the sixth game of the season, but he still started 12 games for them in his first season. During his rookie year he also became the first professional football player to rush for over 100 yards and throw for over 300 yards in the same game.
Young was only with Los Angeles until September of 1985 when he was released from his contract and was then drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1984 NFL supplemental draft. He spent two seasons with the Bucs, starting 19 games before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a second and fourth-round draft pick.
After several frustrating seasons of waiting for the immortal Joe Montana to hang it up, Young finally got his chance as the full-time starting quarterback for the 49ers. He showed signs of how great he could be on the occasions that he filled in for Montana due to injury or in a mop-up role, and he quickly developed into one of the premier quarterbacks in the league once he was handed the reigns full time.
Young piled up many awards and honors throughout his Hall of Fame career. In 1992 he was named NFL Most Valuable Player and was named starting quarterback in the Pro Bowl. He was also named Player of the Year by The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. In 1994 he was again named NFL Player of the Year and a starter in the Pro Bowl. He also set a single-season NFL record for quarterback rating with a score of 112.8.
Ending his career with a mark of 97.6, Young has the highest career QB rating in the history of the National Football League. He is also the only quarterback to have a rating of over 100 in six seasons. Steve was also named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl XXIX.