KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BVM) – Trent Green’s NFL legacy is perhaps unfairly lumped in with that of Kurt Warner’s. Green could be seen as the Drew Bledsoe to Warner’s Tom Brady as his injury during the 1999 preseason helped launch the career of the future Pro Football Hall of Famer whose story recently got the Hollywood treatment with “American Underdog.” For Green, his career did not end in that moment, even though that may be what he is most remembered for. This shouldn’t be the case as Green not only had a successful football life following his time in St. Louis, but he has also extended his impact beyond his work on or around the gridiron.
Early football career
Though Green was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he was raised in St. Louis near the city where he still calls home. Green would attend St. John Vianney High School in Kirkland, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb, where he would play quarterback for the high school team. The prep star would play well enough to earn an offer to Indiana University.
At Indiana, Green would become one of the best signal-callers in program history. From 1990-1992, the QB led the Hoosiers to three bowl victories as the team’s starter and set new program records with 2,627 passing yards and 2,829 yards of total offense during his junior year of 1991. Green finished his Indiana career with 5,916 total yards, 5,400 passing yards and 23 passing touchdowns and his career total and passing yardage still ranks eighth in Hoosiers history.
Following his time in Bloomington, Green would be selected in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Green would never play for the Chargers, spending most of his time on the practice squad before being cut and spending the 1994 season in the Canadian Football League with the BC Lions. Fortunately, Green’s NFL career was not even close to finished as he was signed by Washington in 1995.
After three seasons on the bench, Green finally earned his opportunity to start for Washington in 1998 and he ran with it. Green threw for 3,441 yards and 23 touchdowns in 14 starts that season, setting him up for a big payday as a free agent that offseason. The quarterback would decide to return home, signing with the St. Louis Rams prior to the 1999 season.
This is where fate steps in. After finally earning his chance to be the clear leader of the team, his hometown team no less, Green would suffer a season-ending knee injury during the preseason which would open the door for relatively unknown journeyman Kurt Warner. The rest is NFL history as Warner would lead the “Greatest Show on Turf” to a Super Bowl title and supplant Green as the Rams’ starting quarterback.
Green would spend the 2000 season as Warner’s backup, winning the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award in the process, before being traded to the other Missouri team, the Kansas City Chiefs. It is during his tenure in Kansas City that Green had his best play, even though he was over the age of 30 when he began his time with the team.
Over six seasons with the Chiefs, Green started 88 games, throwing 21,459 yards, 118 touchdowns, went to two Pro Bowls and made two playoff appearances. With Kansas City, Green also became only the fourth quarterback, at the time, to throw for more than 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons joining Dan Fouts, Dan Marino and Peyton Manning.
Unfortunately, injury would again spell doom for Green. A severe concussion suffered in the team’s 2006 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals caused the signal caller to miss eight games and he was eventually traded to the Miami Dolphins during the 2007 offseason.
Green would only last one season in Miami and would play one more season in a return to St. Louis before retiring in 2009 after 15 seasons. The quarterback finished his career passing for 28,475 yards and 162 touchdowns, while compiling a quarterback rating of 86.0. He was inducted into Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Family and post-NFL life
Though his NFL career ended in 2009, Green stayed close to the game. Green entered the broadcast booth quickly after his playing career, becoming an NFL analyst on regional games on Fox for one season, as well as a studio analyst for the NFL Network’s show, NFL Total Access. He also worked on Thursday Night Football NFL radio broadcasts on Westwood One Radio Sports, as well as Kansas City Chiefs preseason broadcasts before he joined CBS Sports as a game analyst for the NFL on CBS in April 2014.
That is where Green has remained ever since, but his work is not limited to the broadcast booth. Green has become one of the biggest humanitarians in the Kansas City areas and he and his wife, Julie, have focused on helping children through a number of organizations including Children’s Mercy Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Phoenix Family and the HIKE reading program as well as the YMCA. Trent even earned the Faith Always Wins Foundation’s Ripple of Kindness Award in 2021, showing his continued commitment to charity. Green also recently completed Trent Green Golf Classic in June which helps raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City through its celebrity fundraising efforts.
The NFLPA Kansas City Chapter guys had a great time supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Trent Green golf tournament.🏌️ #NFLPAFraternity @rmhckc @Chase_Coffman pic.twitter.com/CPUtZfyQWO
— NFLPA Former Players (@NFLPAFmrPlayers) June 29, 2022
The Green family isn’t done in sports either, far from it. Trent’s eldest son, T.J., finished his collegiate football career at Northwestern following the 2020 season where he helped the team go to five bowl games and win two Big Ten West titles over six seasons. The family’s middle child, Derek, recently graduated from SMU where he played three seasons before transferring to Long Island University this offseason. The couple’s youngest child, Janelle, is considered one of the top prep volleyball players in the country for the Class of 2024 while helping her Blue Valley North High School team win the Kansas Class 6A state championship in October.
With football season rapidly approaching, expect the Green family to be busy once again with Trent taking his mantle in the press box while his children continue their own athletic careers. Though Green’s NFL legacy may be best remembered for the injury he suffered rather than his play on the field, the former quarterback has made sure that people recognize him more for his kindness and generosity following his time in the league.