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Flashback Friday: The Steve Young trade

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The 49ers QB turned 58 on Friday

San Francisco 49ers vs Washington Redskins Photo by Doug Pensinger/Allsport/Getty Images

xI had zero ties to the San Francisco 49ers growing up, but that didn’t mean I didn’t watch them. As a lefty that played quarterback, I gravitated towards Steve Young. He was and is still one of my favorite players to watch of all-time. The Hall of Fame quarterback turned 58-years old on Friday. USA TODAY had a series going over the 13 worst trades of all-time, and Young was included.

Young was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in the 1984 supplemental draft. The Buccaneers were a relatively new franchise. They had only been in the league for nine years when they picked Young, who made his debut in 1985 after spending ‘84 with the Los Angeles Express of the USFL. Young started 19 games for Tampa Bay, where he won three of those starts.

The trade

His time with the Bucs didn’t go well, and Tampa Bay was ready to move on. In 1987, they drafted Vinny Testaverde with the No. 1 overall pick.

Enter San Francisco.

The 49ers traded a second and fourth-round pick in 1987 for Young. Joe Montana was going into his ninth season and was 31-years old. Even 30-ish years ago, that told you the value of a quarterback. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the 49ers won the trade. The Bucs drafted Winston Moss and Bruce Hill, who never made any Pro Bowl. They also didn’t have a winning season until 1997.

The same cannot be said for the Niners. Young was 91-33 as a starter, won a Super Bowl, two MVP awards, and was on the All-Pro team three times, as well as seven Pro Bowl nods. Oh, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. I wonder who won the trade.

Happy birthday, Steve.