“Johnny U” or “The Golden Arm,” depending upon your preference, is an NFL legend.
A three-time NFL MVP, 10-time Pro Bowl selection and NFL champion, Unitas didn’t have the luxury of taking the easy route to the NFL.
Although Unitas was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955, the Steelers cut him soon afterward because they had a log-jam at the quarterback position. Unitas was the odd man out.
After being cut by the Steelers, Unitas spent his time as a construction worker, playing semi-pro football on the side.
In 1956, the Baltimore Colts signed Unitas to a $7,000 contract. If you factor in inflation, that equates to about $59,000 in today's money.
Although there were still some hard times ahead for Unitas (he was still buried on the depth chart), he eventually found his way and became a legend in the process.
He’s known for playing in “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” the first overtime game in NFL history. The Colts, led by Unitas, won the game against the New York Giants, winning the NFL championship in the process.
Johnny U’s record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games still stands to this day.
Not bad for a construction worker.
If you would like to read more about Unitas, go here.