Many people when you mention the name Trent Green think of the NFL quarterback, whose injuries stunted what could’ve been an amazing football career.
Despite injuries hurting many chances for Green, he still managed to have a great impact on the NFL and football as a whole.
While many players move team to team throughout their NFL careers, Trent Green has many of them beat.
The veteran quarterback had 15 seasons of professional football under his belt when his career was all said and done.
From high school ball to the highest level of competition, Trent Green put in the work necessary to make his dreams a reality.
We take a look at Trent Green’s life, from a small boy in St. Louis, all the way to the NFL.
Trent Jason Green was born on July 9th, 1970, to his parents, Jim and Judy Green.
Green was born in Cedar Rapids, Lowa, but at a young age moved with his family to St. Louis Missouri.
Green was encouraged to start sports at a young age by his supportive parents, who every step of the way believed in him.
He attended and played football for St. John High School in Kirkwood Missouri.
Not much is known about Trent Green and his life before college but understanding who Trent Green became as a football player, can tell you that he was a hardworking, dedicated person from the very beginning.
After high school, he decided to leave home behind and move to Indiana, to play football at Indiana University, where his abilities in football would begin to shine and show the world how good he really was.
Trent Green started his career at Indiana University as a backup for senior quarterback, Dave Schnell, during the 1989 season.
He used his freshmen season to learn from the older and more experienced Schnell while fine-tuning his game and awaiting his chance to show the world what he was capable of.
During the 1989 season, Green only attempted 10 passes, showing that he barely got any playing time and was mostly on the sidelines for his first season on the team.
Despite the past two years of winning records for the Hoosiers, and the past three years making it to bowl games, the Hoosiers ended with a losing record and missing out on the opportunity to play in a bowl game at the end of the 1989 season.
In the 1990 season, Trent Green won the starting quarterback position over fellow Indiana Hoosier quarterback Chris Dyer.
Despite winning the role of starter, throughout the 1990 season, both Green and Dyer would take place under center for the Hoosiers.
Green would end the season with just nine more completions than Dyer, showing the two had very similar playing time during the 1990 season, with Green playing slightly more snaps.
It wouldn’t be until the 1991 season that Green would start to show players, coaches, scouts, and fans, that he had the potential to make it to the next level.
Trent Green would go on to win the starting position spot over Chris Dyer once again for the 1991 season, but this time more outright.
This would be the first time Green could consider himself truly leading the team, as the 1991 Indiana Hoosiers rallied to a 7-4-1 record under Green’s leadership.
Green was a very different kind of athlete than your typical quarterback in 1991.
The idea of a quarterback was modeled around the superstars of that time, such as Joe Montana, Dan Marino, or Jim Kelly.
However, despite the standard quarterback being a pocket passer, Green had the athleticism to be both a throwing threat and short-yardage running threat.
This showed clear as day in the stat books for the 1991 season, as Green ended the season with more rushing touchdowns than throwing.
Green threw 12 touchdowns on over 2,600 yards, while despite only rushing for 202 yards, Green managed to reach the endzone 13 times on his feet.
This is even crazier when matched with the fact that the starting running back for Indiana at the time, Vaughn Dunbar, only rushed for 12 touchdowns that season.
Green would rush for the 12th most touchdowns in the league and 2nd in rushing touchdowns among quarterbacks.
Trent Green was part of the initial movement of quarterbacks to become more double threat options, as seen commonly in nowadays NFL football.
Trent Green would cap off an amazing junior year with a win over Baylor in the Copper Bowl, 24-0.
This bowl win is still the last bowl win that Indiana has had as of 2022, and only their third bowl win in program history, dating back to 1900 when they first joined the Big Ten.
The 1991 season was what put Trent Green on the map and paved the way to his future career in the NFL.
Green’s senior year playing for the Hoosiers turned out less successful than his previous year, putting up significantly lower numbers in every category.
The 1992 season would not turn out well for Trent Green or the Hoosiers, which may have affected his image when it came to the NFL draft.
However, Trent Green showed his potential in the 1991 season, and that potential would show up once again when tested at the next level.
For his impact on the Indiana Hoosier program, Trent Green was inducted in 2011 into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame.
The journey for Green was wild through college, but his time playing professional football would prove to be much crazier than he could have ever imagined.
Early Years At The NFL Level
Trent Green had a roller coaster of a time during his early years in the professional football scene.
Many NFL prospects dream of seeing their name being picked in the first or second round.
However, for Green, he wouldn’t be selected until the 26th pick in the 8th round by the San Diego Chargers, being selected 222nd overall.
He was the last chosen quarterback in the 1993 NFL Draft, with Drew Bledsoe being selected first for the quarterback position and first overall.
Ironically, both these quarterbacks would retire with only one super bowl that their second-string quarterback would go on to win for them.
Green was drafted to fill one role and one role only, to be a backup quarterback.
After an entire year of seeing no playing time, he left the San Diego Chargers and chose to leave the NFL altogether, for now.
Green decided to move his football talents to a new country, Canada.
Green joined the British Columbia Lions (BC Lions) of the Canadian Football League.
However, he was quickly cut from the team in 1994, spending less than a year with both of his first two teams in professional football.
Many players at this point might quit, thinking they weren’t good enough to make it in the big leagues.
Trent Green was committed however and wasn’t ready to quit just yet.
In the grand scheme of things, Green was only 2 seasons into a monumental 15 season career.
The next move for Green was to play for the Washington Redskins (known now as the Washington Commanders).
He ended up throwing his first pass in the 1997 season, but unfortunately was the only throw he made all year, and it was an incompletion.
From the 1993 Draft to the 1997 season, Green was 0-1 on pass attempts in the NFL.
However, for the 1998 season, Green would get his shot at showing the world he was ready to play at the NFL level.
Trent Green would make his first career start during the 1998 season and would go on to start 14 of the remaining games for Washington.
Despite Washington only going 6-10 that season, the 1998 season showed the league that Trent Green could really play football and that this season would be a precursor to greatness in the future.
Green’s big season came just in time, as his contract was up, and he had become a free agent after that very season.
The Redskins, finally seeing the potential he had at quarterback, offered him a decent 4-year, 12 million dollar deal to stay in Washington.
Unfortunately for them, Green denied the offer and officially moved his talents and newfound respect away from Washington.
Soon after, the St. Louis Rams offered Green a 4-year 17.5 million dollar contract to play with them, which Green happily accepted.
For the 1999 season, Green was named the starter for the Rams, and Green was finally given the opportunity to show what he was truly made of.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened, as Green was hit hard and suffered a season-ending knee injury in a preseason game against the Chargers.
Not only were the Chargers the team that drafted him and sat him on the bench but were now the team that shattered his hopes of playing that season, and his knee.
Despite this season-ending injury, the 1999 season wasn’t all bad for Trent Green, as his replacement was none other than Kurt Warner.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) June 22, 2021
Kurt led the Rams to a 13-3 season and a chance to win Super Bowl XXXIV.
OTD 1999: In his first year with the #StLouis Rams, QB Trent Green suffers a season-ending knee injury on a hit from Chargers safety Rodney Harrison in a preseason game.
Head coach Dick Vermeil: "We will rally around Kurt Warner, and we will play good football."
— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) August 28, 2020
Many know this dramatic game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans.
The Rams would end up winning Super Bowl XXXIV 23-16 by only 1 yard, one of the most dramatic endings to an NFL game in history.
Green would end up throwing 0 passes during the 1999 season but would walk away with a Super Bowl ring, the first and only ring of his career.
In the 2001 season, Drew Bledsoe, the first overall pick in Trent Green’s 1993 draft, would also sustain a season-ending injury and be led to his first and only Super Bowl ring by Tom Brady.
The first part of Trent Green’s career was full of changes and sitting on the bench, but still succeeding in getting a Super Bowl ring.
The second half of Green’s career, however, despite never winning the Super Bowl again, was full of impressive seasons and playing professional football, fulfilling his dreams.
Redemption In The NFL
After the Super Bowl victory under his belt, Kurt Warner became the starting quarterback over Trent Green for the 2000 season.
During the middle of the season, however, Warner suffered an injury to his hand, and Green had the chance to start while Warner was out with his injury.
Green started a total of five games while Warner was out, and helped the Rams clinch the highest team passing yards total in NFL History at that point.
Warner came back from his injury which led to Green being benched once again.
After the 2000 season, Green was traded by the Rams to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 12th overall pick in the upcoming 2001 draft.
Green was going to an already stacked offensive lineup, with Tony Gonzalez at tight end and Priest Holmes in the backfield.
The start of Trent Green’s career in Kansas City was rocky at best.
Despite starting all 16 games of his first season with the Chiefs, Green struggled to get comfortable in the new Chiefs offense.
He would end the 2001 season throwing 24 interceptions, with only 17 touchdowns, and an overall QB rating of only 71.1.
The Chief’s first year with Green under center would result in a 6-10 record and missing the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Despite this rough start to his career at Kansas City, the Chiefs went ahead and made Green the starting quarterback for the 2002 season.
In the 2002 season, Green exploded into full form.
Rather than a 17 to 24 touchdown to interception ratio, Green had 26 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions during the 2002 season.
Not only did his stats become much more impressive versus the previous season, but Green’s first NFL record (tied) happened during the 2002 season.
On December 22, 2002, in the second to last game of the regular season, Green tied the record for the longest TD pass in history with a 99-yard throw to Marc Boerighter.
To this day, only 13 quarterbacks have thrown a 99-yard pass, putting Trent Green’s name among the greats in NFL history.
This impressive play was a small glimpse at Green’s potential in the coming years.
However, for the 2002 season, the Chiefs once again missed the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
Despite this streak of missing the playoffs, Trent Green’s 2003 season would be the breakout season needed to get the Chiefs jump started to the road of success.
The 2003 season started off strong for the Chiefs, really strong.
The Chiefs, led by Green and Holmes, went 9-0 in their first nine games of the 2003 season and kept going strong to end the season with a 13-3 record.
Green was having his best year in the league so far and established himself and his team as a threat to be reckoned with in the AFC.
Despite the incredible start to the 2003 season, and the first-round bye that the Chiefs earned themselves through their efforts, they eventually came to face the Indianapolis Colts, led by Peyton Manning.
The Divisional Round Playoff game was the first true shoot out in NFL Playoff history, with neither team punting the entire game.
In the end, the Colts came out victorious, winning the game 31-38 and ending the Chiefs 2003 season.
The 2003 season may have ended poorly for the Chiefs as a team but was the first time Trent Green was recognized as the elite quarterback that he was.
Green was elected to the 2003 Pro Bowl, his first honor in the NFL thus far.
Green’s Ending To His NFL Career
Trent Green continued to perform during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
In 2004, Green was 2nd in the highest passing yards category in the NFL, only behind Daunte Culpepper, with 4,591 passing yards, the most in his career.
The playoffs evaded Green and the Chiefs once again in 2004, mainly due to an injury to star running back Priest Holmes, who at the time of his injury, was leading the league in both rushing and scoring.
However, the 2005 season was another standout year for Green, in which he received his second invitation to the Pro Bowl.
This Pro Bowl invite was due to Green’s outstanding performance during the 2005 season, with 4,014 passing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Green came second in the NFL once again in passing yards, as he was less than 100 yards behind the legendary Tom Brady.
The 2005 season marked a franchise record for Green and his accomplishment of starting 80 consecutive games for the Chiefs.
Green had produced four incredible seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs.
He had maintained above a 90.0 QB rating for the past four seasons and in three of those seasons, passing for over 4,000 yards.
The 2002-2005 seasons marked the highlight of Green’s career in the NFL.
After the 2005 season, Green’s career began to plummet downhill.
After a nasty hit during the first game of the season against the Bengals, Green was out indefinitely with a very severe concussion.
After a long recovery, Green was cleared to play at the end of the 2006 season but suffered another loss to the hands of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, who would eventually be Super Bowl Champions that year.
After the 2006 season, the Chiefs decided to re-sign Green’s backup, Damon Huard, which caused a rift in the quarterback situation at Kansas City.
After many offers and trade propositions, Green found himself in Miami for the 2007 season.
Unfortunately, Green’s time with Miami was cut very short due to another horrendous concussion.
In a game early in the season against the Texans, on a botched play, Green would become a run blocker and get kneed to the helmet by defensive tackle Travis Johnson.
Despite Green being motionless after the contact, Johnson chose to run over and mock Green while being unconscious, a poor sign of sportsmanship.
Green would eventually be back later in the 2007 season ready to play, despite most fans wanting him to retire.
However, after more medical examinations, Green was placed on injury reserve for the remainder of the 2007 season.
After the 2007 season, Green was released from the dolphins.
He would resign with the Rams, but only play a couple of games and not have much of an impact overall before his release in 2009 by the Rams.
These last two seasons, while not showing much of Green’s athleticism or potential, showed the heart and determination Green had to play football.
His 15 years career in professional football was full of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, Trent Green left the NFL as a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl Champion.
Although Green’s time on the field had come to an end, his time impacting the NFL was not yet done.
Life After The NFL
Trent Green went on to retire from the NFL on June 12, 2009.
He announced his desire to enter broadcasting for the NFL and started his first broadcasting job as a color analyst for Fox Network in 2009.
In 2014 Green became an NFL analyst for CBS sports, working alongside Greg Gumbel and then Kevin Harlan.
To this day, Green sometimes appears as a guest analyst for the NFL and continues to have an impact on the NFL world.
Trent Green now lives his post-NFL life pouring into broadcasting and his family.
He currently has two sons playing quarterback in college.
His older son, Trent Jr., is playing for Northwestern University and his younger son, Derek, is playing for SMU.
Green continued to be recognized for his tremendous career long after his retirement.
In 2012, Green was named the forty-first greatest quarterback in the NFL era by Football Nation.
In addition, in 2016, Green was named the Big Ten’s Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian award winner.
Trent Green had a career, unusual to most professional players.
Moving from NFL to the Canadian Football league, back to the NFL, Green rode the roller coaster of professional football and managed to make some great years happen in between.
If not plagued by injuries, Green may have gone down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL.
College Stats – https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/trent-green-1.html
Other Resources – https://playersbio.com/trent-green/