7 Most Lopsided NFL Trades Of All Time

ONE of the most active trade deadlines in recent memory saw a quite a few guys switch sides. We won’t know for years to come whether the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Jay Ajayi or Kelvin Benjamin will thrive or flatline in their new homes. Will Jimmy Garoppolo become the next Robert Griffin III or Brett Farve? Can Kelvin Benjamin become a Randy Moss type of hero for Buffalo? Or maybe Jay Ajayi will falter in Philly much like Ricky Williams did in NOLA.  The likes of Ricky Williams, Brett Farve and of course Herschel Waker are synonymous with one-sided trades from years past along with the other four players below.

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1987 – Forever Young

49ers get: Steve Young
Buccaneers get: 1987 2nd round pick (#50 – Winston Moss) & 4th round pick (#106 – Bruce Hill)
TRADING for a player who owns a 3-16 record with 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his first two pro seasons sounds like a 21st century Cleveland Browns move. Back in the 80’s though it was San Fransisco who swung a deal for Steve Young, who was to serve as Joe Montana’s back-up. Once he became the 49ers full-time starter he went on to win two MVP’s and lead the franchise to a 1994 SuperBowl win. Moss, who Tampa Bay selected with the 2nd round pick was gone after 1990 and Hill only lasted two seasons longer.

1989 – ‘That’ Herschel Walker Trade

Cowboys get: A Dynasty
Vikings get: A Disappointing Herschel Walker
THERE aren’t many trades that have their own Wikipedia page dedicated to them. I won’t list the five players and eight draft picks that Dallas received for dealing four picks of their own along with Herschel Walker. Two players that landed in Dallas as a result of this trade include Darren Woodsen, a 5x Pro-Bowler and the Cowboys franchise leader in tackles and Emmit Smith, widely regarded as the greatest running back of all-time who holds more rushing than anyone in NFL history (18,355). Walker’s time in Minnesota resulted in the Vikings going 21-21 with just over 2,200 rushing yards and 20 TD’s. It’s fair to say the Cowboys won this trade and then some.

8 Most Lopsided NFL Trades Of All Time 1Image from minnesota.cbslocal.com

1992 – Falcons Favre F*ck Up


Falcons get: 1992 1st round pick (#19 – Tony Smith)
Packers get: Brett Favre
THE Green Bay Packers have been spoilt at quarterback for a long, long, long time. Part of the reason they have been so successful under center is thanks to draft-day trade in 1992 with the Atlanta Falcons for their disgruntled play caller. As we have learnt now, Favre dealt with substance abuse throughout his career, which was part of the reason he was shipped out of Atlanta. Of course, hindsight is a powerful tool and I’m sure Ken Herock would love to have his time back again and kept the 3x MVP who threw for over 70,000 yards in his career rather than get 33 games and 329 rushing yards out of Tony Smith.

1999 – Mike Ditka Really Wanted Ricky Williams

Redskins get: 1999 1st round pick (#12 – Cade McNown), 3rd round pick (#71 –D’Wayne Bates), 4th round pick (107 – Nate Stimson), 5th round pick (144 – Khari Samuel), 6th round pick (179  – Desmond Clark), 7th round pick (218 – Billy Miller), 2000 1st round pick (#2 – LaVar Arrington) and 3rd round pick (#64th – Lloyd Harrison)
Saints get: 1999 1st round pick (#5 – Ricky Williams)
EVER thought that you would give up all your picks just to have one guy in the draft? Well that’s exactly what New Orleans Saints head coach Mike Ditka was thinking when he mortgaged the Saints future and went all in on Texas running back Ricky Williams. Williams has one of the most interesting stories in all football, but most of the headlines didn’t come from his time in New Orleans. He spent just three seasons with the Saints and joined Miami where he went on to become the second leading rushing in franchise history (6,436 yards). He had over 3,000 rushing yards in New Orleans, but that’s not exactly the type of production you give up eight draft picks for.

2007 – Belichick Steals Randy Moss…

Raiders get: 2007 4th round pick (#110 – John Bowie)
Patriots get: Randy Moss
ENTERING the 2007 NFL season Randy Moss already had nine seasons of pro football under his belt and was seemingly over the hill. Fresh off a career-low 553 receiving yards at the time the Patriots smelt blood and Bill Belichick acted quickly to bring Moss to New England. What transpired was another 3,904 receiving yards in just over three seasons with the Pats with the team winning 40 of a possible 51 games. Oh and John Bowie, the pick the Raiders obtained for Moss? Yeah his career stats of five games with two tackles speak for themselves.

2007 – …And Then Wes Welker

Patriots get: Wes Welker
Dolphins get: 2007 2nd round pick (#60  – Samson Satele)
MOSS wasn’t the only receiver that landed in New England after the 2007 offseason. Wes Welker had spent three seasons on Miami’s list with his 2006 season his best of his career. Up for a new contract, the Dolphins decided that they didn’t require Welker anymore flipping him for a second rounder from the Patriots, which they used on Samson Satele. The 60th overall pick spent just two years with Miami, while Welker went on to become one of Tom Brady’s favourite weapons earning five Pro Bowl nods and hauling in over 1,000 yards in five of his six Patriot seasons.

8 Most Lopsided NFL Trades Of All Time 2Image from espn.com.au

2012 – Washington Flips Three Pick For Three Years Of RGIII

Rams get: 2012 1st round pick (#6 – Morris Claiborne), 2nd round pick (#39 – Janoris Jenkins), 2013 1st round pick (#22 – Desmond Trufant) & 2014 1st round pick (#2 – Greg Robinson)
Redskins get: Robert Griffin III
AFTER all these stories of teams successfully trading for quarterbacks, there is bound to be one that didn’t go according to plan. One of the infamous ones on that list is the Redskins failed attempt at turning RG III into their future franchise quarterback. Washington gave up three of their future first-round picks for Griffin, who early on looked like a star. After just three seasons though he was shipped to Cleveland and currently remains without an NFL home.


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