San Francisco coach and president Bill Walsh, whose team lost starting quarterback Joe Montana for seven games last season because of back surgery, said he acquired Young because of the former Brigham Young standout's mobility.
"We think that Steve's style of play will fit into our system and he will be able to display his vast talents," Walsh said. "This move is not a reflection on Joe Montana. We fully expect Joe to continue as the leader and mainstay of our team. Steve will compete with Montana, Jeff Kemp and Bob Gagliano for a position on our team."
'AN EQUITABLE TRADE'
Last season, the 49ers lost Montana after the team's season opener with a ruptured disk in his back. His replacement, Jeff Kemp, was then knocked out for two games with a bad hip, forcing Walsh to start third-stringer Mike Moroski, who was later released. Montana made a remarkable recovery and came back to play the team's last eight games.
Young, a 6-foot-2 200-pounder, signed professional football's largest contract ever - estimated at over $40 million - with the U.S. Football League's Los Angeles Express in 1984 after an outstanding career at BYU.
He played two seasons with the much-troubled Express, actually spending time at running back in one game, before he was released from his contract.
Young was in Provost, Utah, and could not be reached for comment.
Leigh Steinberg, Young's agent in Los Angeles, said that while Young never asked to be traded, he's delighted to be going to San Francisco. Steinberg said Young called San Francisco "the best possible place to go."
Buccaneers coach Ray Perkins said from Tampa, Fla.: "I feel this is an equitable trade for both franchises. I think it will be good for Steve Young."
Perkins also said, "I think we have an opportunity now to make a big step forward (in the draft). "We're trying to push very hard this year, because we have some catching up to do."
THE FASTEST QUARTERBACK?
Tampa Bay made Young the top pick of the supplemental draft in 1984 and signed him after he was released from the USFL. In two seasons with Tampa Bay, he completed 267 of 501 passes for 3,217 yards, with 21 interceptions and 11 touchdowns.
Young started the last five games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 14 of 16 games last season.
"We have great regard for Young's athletic ability, his quick release and fine instincts," Walsh said. "He is probably the fastest runner of any quarterback in the league, and his play is similar to Joe Montana's."
In his two years with Tampa Bay Young averaged 5.8 yards per carry, scambling for 658 yards on 114 carries.
Young, who had four years left on his contract with Tampa Bay, never requested a trade, but said that he expected a deal after the Bucs decided to