Joe Montana Wanted To Go To Steelers Over Chiefs

Joe Montana could have been a Steeler.

As the Kansas City Chiefs continue their march toward the #1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, fans can point to the Montana era as the last time the team had a franchise-caliber QB on the roster, all due respect to Trent Green.

In a recent interview given on The Dan Patrick Show, Montana, who grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, was asked if he was disappointed that he wasn’t drafted by the Steelers.

“Oh yeah,” said Montana. “I tried to go there before…when I was looking at Kansas City and they, they said no. I think (Neil) O’Donnell was still there…”

“Wait,” Patrick interrupted. “Steelers said no because they had Neil O’Donnell?”

“Yeah. Neil O’Donnell,” replied Montana.

Patrick then asked if the fact that the Steelers passed on him for O’Donnell still “hurt a little.”

“Yes and no,” said Montana. “It would have been fun to play for them, finish off your career back at home. That would have been fun. And they had a pretty good team, too. That was the other part of it.”

But what were the Chiefs? Chopped liver?

“I was happy in Kansas City,” continued Montana. “It ended up being, you know, I went to another good team. Another good organization. Made the transition a little bit easier.”

Montana was traded to the Chiefs in 1993, though the 49ers were clearly trying to help the QB who brought them four championships end up on a team that he wanted to play for. Clearly Montana would have preferred to go to Pittsburgh but ended up in Kansas City instead.

As a result, the 1993 Chiefs went 11-5, won the AFC West and won two playoff games before losing in the AFC Championship game to the Buffalo Bills.

And the 1993 Steelers?

They lost in the Wild Card round to Joe Montana and the Chiefs.27-24 in overtime.

The 1994 Chiefs went 9-7 and lost in the Wild Card round to the Dolphins while the Steelers went 12-4 and lost in the AFC Championship to the San Diego Chargers, 17-13.

Montana obviously worked out well for the Chiefs, who haven’t won a playoff game since he retired.

Still, it is interesting to think about what might have happened had he ended up in Pittsburgh. Those Steelers teams were pretty good. Might Montana have made the difference in getting the Steelers another Super Bowl?

Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep12:00Tennessee TitansBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Jason Howell

    I would have to say Trent Green was a franchise caliber Qb. What more do you want from a guy? Sure he is no Tom Brady but Trent did put up big numbers.

    • Patrick Allen

      Agreed, which is why I gave Trent some props. He was a good QB but I couldn’t put him in the same category as Montana.

      I think the Chiefs could have won it all with Priest and Trent. If not for Manning, they might have made it that year.

      • jcoyle…IF the Chiefs would have had a legitimate defense, they would have made it that year. The Chiefs had a top 5 offense paired with a bottom 5 defense. NOT a good combination. Had the defense been middle-of-the-pack, the Chiefs could have pushed for a Super Bowl with Green and Holmes.

        • Patrick Allen

          I agree the defense was the major culprit but still, the offense was so strong that had they gotten by Indy, they might have been able to pull it off.

  • Matt Dickson

    I think Trent Green more than qualified as a “franchise QB”. He was one of the highest rated QBs in the game for a period of about 4-5 years. I don’t think you need to be a Joe Montana or Tom Brady to qualify as a “franchise player”.

    The definition of a “franchise QB” is one who’s a superior enough player that you’re not actively looking to upgrade the position through the draft or FA. There’s probably only about 10-12 guys in the league who meet that definition.

    As one of the best QBs in the game during his tenure here, I think the Chiefs franchise didn’t see his position as one that would benefit from any further investment, whether it be the draft or FA.

    His collective QB rating between 2001-2005 was second only to Peyton Mannings. I think that qualifies…

    The only knock on Green was that his age prevented him from really cementing his legacy here.

    • Patrick Allen

      Age and injuries. I think if Dick had stated a couple of more seasons we might have had a shot.

  • chiefridgy

    just one more name on the list

  • Kansas_City

    I was talking to a well connected NFL guy the other day. We were talking about how hard Peyton Manning works and how it was a key to his success. The guy surprised me by saying Joe Montana was like Manning in how hard he worked. I had never thought of Montana as a real hard worker.

    I think Trent Green is a very nice guy and had some good days at QB, and I really don’t know what franchise quarterback means, but I don’t think a QB who never won a playoff game qualifies.

  • Big3Kansas

    Well one of those years the Chiefs had the number offense in the NFL, with Green, and Holmes, was that the year that Dante Hall returned a kick off for a TD in like four straight games?

    Yup, yup, that was the year. From Wikipedia: The season is best remembered for the Chiefs’ record-breaking offense. On December 28, running back Priest Holmes broke Marshall Faulk’s single-season rushing touchdown record by scoring his 27th rushing touchdown against the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Trent Green threw for 4,000 yards and kick returner Dante Hall
    returned four kicks for touchdowns. However, as successful as the
    Chiefs’ offense was, the Chiefs’ defense failed to stop the Colts in the
    If only our defense had been just a little better. I think Trent Green was a franchise QB, it’s just his injuries kept him from getting any glory. With the Rams he was injured and Kurt Warner became the Hero that year. With the Chiefs, it was the defense that held him and the offense back. Then his career was cut short from injuries. Same with Holmes. He was a reliable QB, who could make big plays when needed, and he helped his teams win plenty of games. Which very few QB’s reach the notoriety of the Montana’s, Marino’s and Elway’s.

  • Nick Weisbeck

    I became a Chiefs fan because at ten years old I was a Joe Montana fan. I almost became a steelers fan and would have enjoyed what 2 super bowls?