On This Date in Sports History: LSU Football Star Drafted First in 1960
On this date back in 1960 LSU Football star Billy Cannon, who had won the Heisman Trophy in 1959, was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Rams.
Billy Cannon was a very talented halfback, tailback, and tight end. At 6'1 and 207 pounds he wasn't a prototypical tight end but he could do it. In addition, he played a little bit of defense and also returned punts, Example A:
The thing about Billy Cannon is that while he was drafted by the Rams, he actually ended up playing for the Houston Oilers of the American Football League.
At first, he signed a contract with the Rams and General Manager Pete Rozelle offered him three years, $30,000 and a $10,000 signing bonus.
Two months later, after a loss in the Sugar Bowl, Cannon was offered a new contract by the Houston Oilers Owner Bud Adams, this one higher in salary. Adams offered Cannon $33,000 per year for three years with the same $10,000 signing bonus.
The Rams were none to pleased when they found out their number one draft pick had signed another contract and filed a suit that exclaimed that Cannon was bond by the initial contract and had to honor it.
The suit would be heard by Judge William Lindberg and he would end up ruling against the Rams in this matter. He ruled that both contracts would be void and that Rams General Manager Pete Rozelle took advantage of Billy Cannon's naivete.
After the ruling Cannon would finalize his deal with the Houston Oilers that would make him the very first $100,000 football player and was a big win for the AFL against the already established NFL.
Billy Cannon would go on to win three AFL Championships with Houston (1960, 1961, 1967) and a two time First Team All-AFL player (1961 and 1967).