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How Old Was Steve Young When He Retired?
Watching professional football is a favorite pastime for many Americans, and it’s no wonder. The level of skill, talent, and tenacity that these players must execute is mind-blowing, not to mention how strong their mental and emotional health must be as well.
Most NFL players won’t stay on the field for more than about four seasons. Whether it’s an injury that drives them to retire, or just younger, faster, more talented players coming up through the NFL draft picks, a typical NFL player will usually be off the field long before their 30th birthday.
And let’s not forget…to even get to the point of being chosen to play in the NFL at all is a feat in and of itself. Every year, thousands of new college graduates are hoping to get drafted to the NFL. But, even many of the best don’t make it.
So it’s no wonder we as fans are fascinated by the players who have careers that end up spanning decades, sometimes keeping them on the field way past that 30th birthday. How these superstars do it is still a bit of a mystery, but digging deeper into their story is a fun way to try and figure out what they seem to have that no one else does.
Steve Young is one of these superstars, and his career highlights, successes, and ultimate retirement reasons are all part of his stardom. Let’s dig deeper and see what we can discover about this well-celebrated athlete.
1. Steve Young Had a Long Career of 15 Seasons
Steve Young’s career started a bit differently than most professional football stars.
Graduating from Brigham Young University in 1983 after having played quarterback for the team, Young was drafted to the recently-formed United States Football League (USFL) to play as starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Express.
Though many were shocked by this decision, it was one of many that Steve Young would make in his career that went against other people’s expectations.
After playing for the Los Angeles Express for a couple of seasons, Young began to get dissatisfied with the way the team was being managed and decided to leave the team and the USFL altogether. He became the first draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986.
But after only one season with the Buccaneers, Young left the Buccaneers and began his career at the San Francisco 49ers. He played for the 49ers for the next 13 seasons, eventually retiring from football after his last season with the team.
2. Steve Young Had Multiple Super Bowl Wins
During his 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Young saw the majority of his impressive success while playing for this franchise.
Though he began his tenure with the 49ers as a backup quarterback to the already-famed Joe Montana, Young quickly gained traction and attention as his career advanced.
By the start of his third season with the team, Young was playing as the starting quarterback and began his impressive climb to football success. He would go on to be the 49ers starting quarterback until his retirement in 1999 at the age of 38 years old.
During those years, Young led the 49ers to three Super Bowl victories, Super Bowl XXIII (1989), Super Bowl XXIV (1990), and Super Bowl XXIX (1995).
He was also named MVP after his Super Bowl XXIV win against the San Diego Chargers.
3. Steve Young Had So Many Concussions He Had to Retire From Football for Good
During the later years of his career, Steve Young was plagued by a series of injuries that began compromising his ability to play the sport to his full ability, from torn ligaments in his arm to an ankle injury that kept him out for a series of games when he was in his 13th season.
But it was the trauma from multiple concussions throughout his career that eventually led Young to decide to retire. After having suffered seven concussions (two in one season), he began to worry about the long-term effects these types of brain injuries would have on his overall health.
Young, along with many other well-known retired athletes in the football world, has been vocal in the media about the consequences that can result when a player continues to play after being diagnosed with a concussion.
He has expressed concern about his own memory loss and long-term health and has attributed it to his eventual retirement at the age of 38 years and after 15 seasons of playing professionally.