On Tuesday, a massive blockbuster trade shook the NFL world. The Seattle Seahawks sent future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a number of high-value draft picks and three players. That got us thinking, what are some of the other blockbuster trades that changed the landscape of football.
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Let's rank the seven biggest trades in NFL history.
The 7 Biggest Trades in NFL History, Ranked
7. RANDY MOSS TRADED TO THE PATRIOTS (2007)
Prior to the 2007 NFL season, the New England Patriots were coming off a brutal AFC Championship loss to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. They clearly needed some weapons on the outside and decided to take a huge risk. The Patriots traded with the Oakland Raiders for Randy Moss.
Moss' tenure with the Raiders was considered strenuous at best. He appeared to quit on his team, and had long been known as a malcontent. So the Raiders shipped him to New England for a fourth round pick in the NFL Draft.
Moss then proceeded to break the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season with 23. That record still stands. Moss and the Patriots would then become the first and only team in NFL history to achieve a record of 18-0 at any point of a season. Ultimately, they lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. That's the only reason this is not ranked higher.
6. RUSSELL WILSON TRADED TO THE BRONCOS (2022)
Russell Wilson has already won one Super Bowl and now he hopes he can win another with the Broncos. It obviously is unknown how this trade is going to play out, but namesake and the amount of value traded alone makes it worthy of this list.
Summary of blockbuster Broncos-Seahawks trade 🤯
• QB Russell Wilson
• 4th round pick
• Two 1st round pick
• Two 2nd round picks
• 5th round pick
• QB Drew Lock
• DL Shelby Harris
• TE Noah Fant pic.twitter.com/3zaPu4jrjQ
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 8, 2022
The Seahawks landed five draft picks, two first-rounders and two seconders. They also got a very good tight end in Noah Fant, a very good defensive lineman in Shelby Harris and a quarterback in Drew Lock. That is a massive haul for any trade.
5. MARSHALL FAULK TRADED TO THE RAMS (1999)
This NFL trade is a perfect example of both sides winning. The St. Louis Rams sent second round and fifth round picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Marshall Faulk. Faulk was one of the better all-around running backs in the league at that time. But with St. Louis, Faulk took his game to another level entirely.
He helped create what was known as “The Greatest Show on Turf” as the Rams would go on to win the Super Bowl over the Tennessee Titans. Faulk and the Rams almost won a second title, but Tom Brady and the Patriots spoiled that.
On the flip side, the Colts drafted Edgerrin James with one of the picks from the trade. James became one of the best tailbacks in franchise history and helped carried to the Colts to the postseason numerous times.
4. STEVE LARGENT TRADED TO THE SEAHAWKS (1976)
This trade is the opposite of the Marshall Faulk trade, in that it was completely one-sided. The Houston Oilers drafted Steve Largent in the 1976 NFL Draft. Prior to the season though, they traded him to the Seattle Seahawks for an eighth round pick in the next year's NFL Draft.
All Largent did was go on to become one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Largent earned seven Pro Bowl nods. When he retired, he owned the records for most catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in NFL history. He also became the first player in Seahawks history to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
3. BRETT FAVRE TRADED TO THE PACKERS (1992)
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Brett Favre with a second round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft. After a tough rookie season, the Falcons were looking to move on from Favre. So, they shipped him to the Green Bay Packers for a first round pick in 1992 NFL Draft for Favre, straight up.
Favre did not take long to prove that was a mistake. With in a few years, he had helped return the Packers franchise to NFL glory. They won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots and almost won another, losing to our number #2 on this list.
2. JOHN ELWAY TRADED TO THE BRONCOS
Prior to the 1983 NFL Draft, John Elway's camp had made it known he did not want to play for the Baltimore Colts. They drafted him anyway with the overall number one pick. Elway refused to play for the Colts. That prompted a trade that sent him to the Broncos for offensive lineman Chris Hinton, quarterback Mark Herrmann and first round pick in the 1984 draft.
Elway proceeded to prove he was every bit worth the overall number one pick. He went on to appear in five Super Bowls, winning the last two in 1997 and 1998. Elway is considered easily a top-five quarterback in NFL history. He has remained an integral part of the franchise in the front office.
John Elway right now after dumping Drew Lock on the Seahawks and getting a 33 year old future hall of fame QB. pic.twitter.com/IvAAybtjbk
— Jordan Reffett (@JordanReffett) March 8, 2022
Meanwhile, the Colts were burned by the decision badly. Following Elway's rookie season, the Colts ended up leaving Baltimore for Indianapolis, forever re-shaping the league.
1. HERSHEL WALKER TRADED TO THE VIKINGS
Unquestionably, the biggest and most lob-sided trade in NFL history happened in 1989. Hershel Walker had been setting the league on fire with the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings believed that was the one piece they were missing to win the Super Bowl.
So, the Vikings offered the largest haul in history for the tailback. The Cowboys got back two first round picks, three second round picks and a third round pick for Walker.
Dallas would use all of that draft capital to help build one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. The Cowboys would go on to win Super Bowl XXV, Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII. They, along with the Patriots, are the only franchises to ever win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.
Meanwhile, Walker only spent two seasons with the Vikings and did not even rush for 1,000 yards either season.