Everyone messes up at some point, even at the professional level. The NFL has been a perfect example of this — particularly through the individual trades between teams over time. Some trades have been incredibly good for both teams, so much that Michael Scott would call it a “Win-Win-Win” scenario (With both teams and the fans being the winners). However, some teams have not been so lucky — which has resulted in incredibly lopsided trades. Here are some of the most ridiculous NFL trades of all time…
Khalil Mack — Oakland Raiders to Chicago Bears
Right after John Gruden became the head football coach for Oakland, the Raiders traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. This was terrible for multiple reasons:
1. Mack was the face of the frachise in my opinion, and getting rid of him would be like if the Broncos traded Von Miller.
2. Letting him go left a major gap in the pass rush of the defense in Oakland.
3. Chicago’s defense has gotten night and day better since this trade, showing the undisputed effect that Mack has on a team, not only defensively, but as a whole as well.
John Elway — Baltimore Colts to Denver Broncos
John Elway was a one-of-a-kind player. He could run, he could throw bullets, while also being an incredibly intelligent quarterback. To read more about why I believe John Elway is one of the greatest, click here. I do realize that this is not completely the Colts’ fault for trading him because of Elway’s demands, but they sure did lose out on a great quarterback.
Randy Moss — Oakland Raiders to New England Patriots
The Oakland Raiders traded Randy Moss in hopes of improving their own squad, when in reality they created one of the most dominant offensive seasons of all time for the Patriots. Even though they did not win a Super Bowl, Randy Moss and the New England Patriots came into Super Bowl XLII as 12 point favorites after being only the second team in NFL history to finish the regular season with a 16-0 record (The only other team ever to do that was the 1972 Miami Dolphins under Don Shula. Many people right now are talking about how dangerous the Edelman-Brady combination is, but I would argue that if Moss was 10 years younger when he joined the Pats he could be considered the greatest receiver to ever play the game.
Brett Favre — Atlanta Falcons to Green Bay Packers
It is true. At the beginning of his career, Brett Favre was sent packing from his old home in Atlanta to a new land: Green Bay. There he make two Super Bowl appearances; winning Super Bowl XXXI and losing Super Bowl XXXII. He was a type of quarterback that was completely unorthodox. He didn’t always follow the structure of the game that other quarterbacks had used before, and he used that to his advantage.
Jimmy Garoppolo — New England Patriots to San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo is an amazing and talented young quarterback that the Patriots were making under the exclusive training of Tom Brady. As Tom Brady was suspended the first four games of the 2015-2016 NFL season, following the Deflategate Scandal, Garappolo came in and won the first four games for the Patriots anyway! He is the real deal and I don’t understand what was going on in the New England’s mind on letting him go. Tom Brady is 42 which means that he is growing older and it would have been nice for the Patriots to have a back-up plan for when Brady retires. Since this trade, the Pats have won two Super Bowls and have played quite well. They just might not be prepared for when their veteran quarterback hangs up his jersey.
Steve Young — Tampa Bay Buccaneers to San Francisco 49ers
The Buccaneers might have not seen it earlier, but Steve Young was a really talented quarterback with incredible potential. While he was with Tampa Bay, Young had two consecutive losing seasons with a combined total of 11 touchdowns and 21 interceptions (Football Reference). Thinking that he was a bust, they traded him to the 49ers. Under Joe Montana, Steve Young must have learned some things because he ended winning Super Bowl XXIX as the starting quarterback for the 49ers and was voted the Super Bowl MVP.
Marshall Faulk — Indianapolis Colts to Saint Louis Rams
There must have been some ulterior motive to get rid of Faulk because his numbers were insane. In his last year with the Colts (1998), the running back had a combined total of 2,227 yards under rookie quarterback Peyton Manning (Football Reference). The following year for the Rams he had an even more significant season — collecting a grand total of 2,429. Then in 2001, Marshall Faulk averaged 98.7 rushing yards per game. He was a full-out offensive machine and one could only wonder what the Colts might have been able to do with the Manning-Faulk combination if he stayed on their team for a few more years.
Vontaze Burfict: Bengals-Raiders
I don’t know Vontaze personally, but I have seen him play on the field. The man is talented, but sadly has created his own career demise through his dirty play. The Raiders picked him up this year in hopes to try and bring their defense back to the level that it was at before they traded Khalil Mack. Since his hit on Jack Doyle last Sunday, the NFL has came out and given him a suspension for the rest of the season. Burfict is a lot like Antonio Brown, where he is a great player but can become a virus that makes the team self-implode.
Herschel Walker Trade: Five players and eight draft picks from Redskins for Herschel Walker and three late draft picks to the Cowboys
In my opinion, this is the craziest trade of all time. Sure, Herschel Walker was a great player, but I don’t know if he was worth the opportunity cost that the Cowboys cashed in on. Before this trade, the Cowboys were 1-15 and were looking for a game-changer. The Redskins thought that Walker would be the X factor for their Super Bowl hopes and traded a dynasty for him. They traded five players and eight draft picks, showing their incredible confidence in Walker — who was an amazing player. But because of this trade, the Dallas Cowboys were able to build their 90’s legendary squad that included Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson. The Cowboys must have made the Redskins an offer that they couldn’t refuse because this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense!
Fox Sports – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws2yib42UHg, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80629317