NFL Trades That Dropped More Jaws Than Super Bowl XXXVIII

Football | 10/28/19

NFL franchises usually have a pretty good grasp on analyzing potential, but that doesn’t always guarantee success. We’re sure if the Atlanta Falcons knew Brett Favre only needed someone believing in him for him to become the player he became, they wouldn’t have traded him his first year on the team. Shocking, isn’t it? Well, the NFL has a lot of mind-blowing trades that have happened in the past that will make you drop your jaw. Take a read and find out what they were.

Brett Favre To The Jets

favre to jets-82219100
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Brett Farve had a stellar career for the Green Bay Packers. He won them a championship, he threw an insane amount of touchdowns, and he became a Green Bay hero. His downfall came after he repetitively kept playing with his retirement.

The front office didn’t like that too much, and they decided to ship Favre to the New York Jets. He still had on one shade of green, but he couldn’t match the same success he had as a Cheesehead.

Marshawn Lynch To Seattle

lynch to the seahawks
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills haven’t been a threatening team in the NFL for quite some time. Rebuilding is a term organizations use when it’s time to unload their current players, in hopes of starting new and younger.

Mid-way through the 2010 season, the Bills began the process, and none other than Marshawn Lynch was apart of the fiasco. They sent him to the Seattle Seahawks for a bag of chips and a bar of soap (a couple of draft picks). We then witnessed Lynch become Beastmode in the Northwest.

Marshall Faulk To The Rams

marshall faulk
Todd Warshaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Todd Warshaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In what could be the best trade in NFL history, the Indianapolis Colts got the short end of the stick with this one. In 1999, the Colts wanted to get rid of Marshall Faulk so they could draft Ricky Williams.

The Rams couldn’t resist and landed the future Hall of Famer for a second and fifth-round pick. The first year he played there, the Rams would go on to win the Super Bowl. Faulk retired with 12,279 career rushing yards.

Joe Montana To The Chiefs

chiefs
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

It’s always tough for franchises to move on from a player that’s a legend and provided so much value over their tenure. That was the case for the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana when he wasn’t ready to retire, but Steve Young was ready to take over.

Think of it like Peyton Manning with the Colts as Indianapolis wanted to draft Andrew Luck to replace the decaying (but still highly effective) icon. The Niners ended up sending Montana and David Whitmore to the Kansas City Chiefs for their first-round selection in 1993.

Jalen Ramsey To The Rams

the rams
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The defending NFC champs were on a three-game losing streak after winning their first three games of the 2019-20 NFL season. Due to this, they had to make an aggressive roster move to help restore order. Hello there, Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey is the only cornerback to hold quarterbacks below an 80.0 passer rating when they throw his direction since the 2016 season. Ever since acquiring the all-pro defender, the Rams have been unstoppable. They hope to make another run to the Super Bowl.

Randy Moss To The Vikings

vikings
Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images
Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

There aren’t many receivers in the history of the league as talented as Randy Moss. His legend is still prevalent; whenever someone makes a miraculous catch over a defender, the defenseman gets “Mossed.”

Due to his many moods, the New England Patriots sent him back to the Minnesota Vikings (where he started his career) in 2010. He wanted more money on his contract, but the Patriots couldn’t give the man what he desired. The Patriots received a third-round 2011 pick for the star.

Carson Palmer To The Raiders

oakland raiders
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

To say the relationship between the Bengals and Carson Palmer was in a bad place would be a vast understatement. Simply put, the quarterback held out, saying he’d rather retire than play for the Bengals, a few weeks into the season he received a text to head over to Oakland.

Palmer desperately wanted to get traded from Cincinnati, and the Oakland Raiders were able to grant his wish after the Bengals looked as if they weren’t going to allow him to leave.

Jimmy Garoppolo To The 49ers

jimmy garoppolo
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Tom Brady can only be the greatest of all time for so long. The quarterback will eventually become mortal, and the Patriots will have to figure something else out, and at one point it looked like they had a replacement ready in Jimmy Garoppolo.

The only thing is that Brady still had a decent amount of gas in the tank in 2017. As a result, the Pats shipped Jimmy G to the 49ers, and the rest was history.

Khalil Mack To The Bears

Khalil
Will Newton/Getty Images
Will Newton/Getty Images

When the Oakland Raiders first drafted Khalil Mack in the 2014 draft at the fifth spot, many scratched their heads. It wouldn’t take long for the Oakland faithful to appreciate the defensive juggernaut and want him protected at all costs.

Then, Jon Gruden arrived in Oakland, and one of his first moves was sending Mack to the Chicago Bears. On the surface, it looked like one of the most ludicrous trades ever, but after advanced analytics presided over the exchange, it turned out not to be so bad.

Jerome Bettis To The Steelers

the steelers
G. N. Lowrance/NFLPhotoLibrary
G. N. Lowrance/NFLPhotoLibrary

It was draft day 1996, and the Pittsburgh Steelers made a huge move. The St. Louis Rams landed Jerome Bettis, but the Steelers must have deeply wanted The Bus on their team even before he earned that nickname.

They sent the Rams second and fourth-round picks for Bettis and a third-rounder. Bettis would go on to post six straight 1,000-yard seasons as he ran his way into the Hall of Fame. The Steelers knew what they were doing.

Odell Beckham Jr. To The Browns

beckham
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Surrounding this trade was a vast number of “whys?” Why did the Giants get rid of the man who possibly made the greatest catch in NFL history? Why did New York trade the star for two draft picks and a safety?

Also, why did General Manager Dave Gettleman sign Beckham Jr. to a considerable extension and then send him packing within seven months? “I’ve been to seven [Super Bowls], and every single team had a great locker room,” he said. We guess that answers the questions. Beckham has had a history of being a distraction.

Antonio Brown To The Raiders

oakland raiders
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Yes, there was severe off the field issues going on between Antonio Brown and the Steelers, but his talent seemed to matter more. After many tweet-then-delete messages from Brown, his public statements concerning Big Ben, and saying he wanted to leave, Brown finally got his wish.

As messed up as things were in Pittsburgh, there could have been a way to keep the all-pro talent who led the league in pretty much every stat pivotal to the wide receiver position. All the Steelers received in return form Oakland was a third and fifth-round pick.

John Elway To The Broncos

broncos
DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images
DOUG COLLIER/AFP via Getty Images

Many times, players aren’t who they’ll be when they come out of college to the league. That wasn’t the case for John Elway, who was spectacular right from the jump. When the Colts chose him first overall in the 1983 draft, he refused to sign with the debacle of a team.

Elway demanded a trade while his agent said Elway “would be a garbage collector before he’d play for Baltimore.” Elway also looked to have a promising career in baseball, so he used that as leverage to secure the deal to the Broncos.

Trent Richardson To The Colts

trent richardson was shockingly traded to the colts
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns selected Trent Richardson as a top-three pick in the 2011 draft. The Alabama product quickly gave the Browns the impression he wasn’t going to turn out to be the generational talent they might’ve hoped him to become.

They sent him to the Indianapolis Colts in 2013 as a result. Once he landed with the Colts, his career began to fizzle out and it looked the Browns finally made a great business move for once.

Sam Bradford To The Vikings

the vikings
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Then Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a great season in 2016 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. The Vikings, who wanted to make the playoffs, hadn’t lost hope, so they contacted the Philadelphia Eagles.

The two teams eventually worked out a deal that sent the former first overall pick to Minnesota for a few picks. The Vikings received a filler for Bridgewater that didn’t pan out how they expected. It’s not fun getting the short end of the stick.

Eric Dickerson To The Colts

the colts
Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

It was a trade that shocked the entire football world. The Los Angeles Rams decided to get rid of all-pro running back Eric Dickerson in a massive ten player, three-team deal involving the Bills and Colts.

The Colts cut ties with two players and six draft picks to acquire the talent from the Rams in 1987. The Colts also had to let go of a rookie linebacker by sending him to Buffalo so that they could get a player and more draft picks for the Dickerson trade.

Brett Favre To The Packers

the packers
Jay Drowns/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images
Jay Drowns/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Brett Favre makes an appearance again, but this time earlier in his career. The Atlanta Falcons selected the quarterback 33rd overall in the 1991 draft, but it was all for nothing.

After starting his career terribly (his first regular-season pass was an interception that almost became a touchdown), the Falcons had enough. The Packers shipped a first-round pick for the future Hall of Famer. General Manager Ron Wolf won this deal as he believed in Favre.

Steve Largent To The Seahawks

portrait
Contributor/Getty Images
Contributor/Getty Images

Steve Largent had an interesting start to his remarkable career. After having a college career to brag about at the University of Tulsa, he surprisingly didn’t hear his name in the 1976 draft until the 4th round.

It took the Houston Oilers only four preseason games to determine that they didn’t need his services anymore. Largent was going to get cut, but instead, they sent him to the Seattle Seahawks for a 1977 eighth-round pick. Seattle had the last laugh as Largent went on to have a great career.

Steve Young To The 49ers

young on the 49ers
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 49ers trading for Steve Young ultimately contributed to them shipping out Joe Montana. They probably had a better sense than any fan if Montana was on the decline, so they did what was best for the business.

The 49ers gave the Buccaneers a second-round pick, $1 million, and a fourth-round selection in exchange for Young. Up until that point, Young was only 3-16 as a starter and had ten more interceptions than touchdowns. That didn’t matter because he went on to become a legend.

Terrell Owens To The Eagles

on the eagles
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

One of the most polarizing figures in sports history is, without a doubt, Terrell Owens. The wide receiver played for a handful of teams throughout his career and found a way to impact them all, even if it was negatively.

The 49ers ended up sending a pick they acquired from the Ravens, back to Baltimore, and traded Owens to the Eagles for defensive end Brandon Whiting. The Eagles would end up going to the Super Bowl with the combination of Owens and Donovan McNabb.