Lopsided Trades: NFL

Ok, so the MLB bad trades are in the books. The NFL has had their share of eye-opening moves as well. Like MLB, some of these were among players that had yet to prove themselves. Others were either involved disgruntled players or salary dumps. But there will always remain a couple trades that will have us scratching our heads for all eternity.

In 1983, the Baltimore Colts drafted John Elway. Elway had stated that he refused to play for the Colts. Therefore, a trade was inevitable. Out of desperation, the Colts traded him to the Denver Broncos for QB Mark Herrmann, OL Chris Hinton, and a 1st round draft pick which turned out to be OL Ron Solt. My guess is that the Broncos won this trade.

In 1991, the Atlanta Falcons had a little used QB on their team. Jerry Glanville simply didn’t like what he saw in the guy. Green Bay was interested, they offered a 1st round pick. The trade almost didn’t go through due to a hip condition, not unlike the one that ended Bo Jackson’s career. Green Bay insisted. So the Falcons traded Brett Favre to the Packers for a draft pick. Atlanta drafted RB Tony Smith. Advantage: Packers.

I don’t mean to pick on the Colts here, but most of us remember the contract dispute they had with Marshall Faulk. The Colts deemed these talks as futile and decided to trade him to the Rams for a 3rd round and 5th round pick. The Colts drafted LB Mike Peterson and DE Brad Scioli. Faulk went on to win a Super Bowl with The Greatest Show on Turf. This also allowed the Rams to move Jerome Bettis to the Steelers. He did ok there, one might say.

Can we talk about the two seasons that Randy Moss spent with the Raiders? Of all players I’ve seen over the years, I would think that Moss would fit the Raiders’ attitude and disposition more than any other player. But alas, all was not well in Raiderville. The Raiders traded him to the Patriots for a 4th round pick. Moss went on to set records with Tom Brady as his QB.

And now we come to the Herschel Walker trade. This was an historic deal. Because of the outcome, I doubt we’ll ever see anything like it again. The Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker and 4 draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings for 5 players and 8 draft picks. Do the math, 18 players in one deal. Walker’s career all but fizzled in Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys built a dynasty with those draft picks, which included Emmitt Smith. That team went on to win 3 Super Bowls.

Again, there are many more not mentioned here. But it’s always fun to look back and see how a trade, sometimes trivial in the moment, can reshape a team’s future. Sometimes for good, sometimes…….not so much.

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