Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon (1997)
Warren Moon was going to be a Hall of Fame quarterback even if he had retired prior to arriving in Seattle late in his career. Moon helped reshape how NFL execs think about African-American quarterbacks. In fact, the NFL was so backward in its thinking when Moon left playing at the University of Washington in 1977 he thought it would be better for him to try playing and proving himself in the Canadian Football League than be a late-round pick in the NFL draft.
If Moon were coming out of college today, with his arm strength, accuracy, and ability to move around in the pocket, he would be a top-five pick. In many ways the NFL is a better game in 2023 than it was in 1977. But without a doubt there is a lot more talent at quarterback now than when the NFL had a narrow view of who could play the position.
Warren had already played 13 years in the NFL before starting for the Seahawks in 1997. But that season he led the NFL in yards passing per game at 245.2. He also threw for 3,678 yards, fifth in the league. His 25 touchdown passes were also fifth in the NFL. Moon was second in pass attempts with 528. He made the Pro Bowl and won the MVP award for the game.
In 1998, though, Moon was only healthy enough to play 10 games and he was not anywhere as efficient as he was in the previous season. Moon left Seattle after the season and played the final two years of his career for the Kansas City Chiefs where he was a backup.