In 1965, Namath was drafted by the Cardinals of the NFL, as well as the Jets in the AFL, and as we know, he ultimately chose the Jets. His salary was a then-record $427,000.
Namath was AFL rookie of the year in 1965, and was the first pro QB to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season when he did in 1967 (4,007).
He played through many knee injuries throughout his career, but still led the Jets to the win in Super Bowl III, as well know, after he guaranteed the win during the week of the game.
After the Super Bowl season, the Jets, and football almost lost Joe Namath. He opened a bar called Bachelors III, and the league, in order to keep it’s image, ordered him to divest his interest in the bar. Namath defiantly refused, and retired from the game instead. He met with the then commissioner, the late Pete Rozelle, and they came to an agreement that if he let go of his interest in the NY bar, he could play.
He went on to play for the Jets through 1976, before he finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
He was a four time AFL all star. He is a top 100 player of all time, and a hall of famer, although if you look at his stats, he only threw for 173 TDs vs 220 INTs.
He brought the AFL to prominence, and made the merger possible. Spotlight, on the great Joe Namath.