Warren Moon came out of the University of Washington as the Rose Bowl MVP winning quarterback, but despite his success at the college level he was undrafted in the 1978 NFL Draft. At the time, most black quarterbacks were encouraged to change to different positions, but Moon said in numerous interviews before the draft that he intended to play quarterback. With no NFL offers, Moon felt he had no option but to pursue his pro football career in the Canadian Football League.
Moon played six seasons in the CFL, all for the Edmonton Eskimos, and was one of the most successful quarterbacks the league had ever seen. In his time in the CFL, Moon would lead the Eskimos to five consecutive Grey Cup victories from 1978 to 1982. In his final year in the league, Moon would break the league record for passing yards and would win the Most Outstanding Player Award. He would eventually be welcomed into the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour as well as the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Only after these six wildly successful seasons was there an NFL team willing to take another look at Warren Moon. When he announced he was coming to the NFL he was a free agent and could sign with anyone he wanted to. After a lucrative bidding war, he signed with the Houston Oilers and went on to play good enough that in 1989 he signed a new contract that made him the highest paid player ever to play football in the NFL up to that time. Moon left the Oilers following the 1993 season as the team’s all time passing leader in a number of categories. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he had a couple of successful years before moving on to the Seattle Seahawks and eventually the Kansas City Chiefs.
Warren Moon couldn’t get a four year school to take a chance on him until he proved himself at the quarterback position at West Los Angeles College. Then, after being a success in the Pac-10 conference, he couldn’t get an NFL team interested in employing him until proving himself in the Canadian Football League. When his career was over though, he was a member of both the CFL Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and when his statistics are added up between both leagues they are nearly untouchable by any other quarterback in pro football history. Warren Moon, simply one of the best quarterbacks ever.