Johnny Unitas made $7,000 as per terms of his free agent agreement with the Baltimore Colts before the 1956 NFL season. That original contract should sell for slightly more than Unitas’ yearly wages later this month.
You don’t think of him as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Johnny U was a raw rookie out of Louisville when he signed with the club in 1955. Things didn’t work out so well there, but a second chance with the Baltimore Colts turned him into a Hall of Famer.
The contract Unitas signed before latching on with the Colts in the winter of 1956 is in Hunt Auctions’ February live sale. It belonged to the team’s late general manager who saved it after Unitas became a star. His family is now putting it on the block.
Hunt also acquired some late additions to it’s auction from the Unitas family including his personal presentation award for the 1959 NFL Championship. A portion of the proceeds will be donated in memory of Johnny and Dorothy Unitas to the American Heart Association and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc.
Unitas died in 2002 at age 69.