Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Five Worst Trades of All-time

The two biggest trades during last year's NFL offseason saw the Texans' DeAndre Hopkins head to the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets' Jamal Adams move to the Seattle Seahawks.


In return for one of the best receivers in the NFL, the Texans received running back David Johnson and the number 40 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft from the Cardinals, which they used to select defensive tackle Ross Blacklock.

The jury is still out on Blacklock, who had a decent rookie campaign, and though David Johnson did a post over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, the duo came nowhere near the game-changing prowess of DeAndre Hopkins, and the Texans suffered as a result, even with Deshaun Watson under center.

The New York Jets have a chance to prove they were right to send one of NFL's best safeties Jamal Adams to Seattle last season when they try to strike it big in the NFL Draft this year.

The Jets have a first-round and a third-round pick to use up in the 2021 NFL Draft courtesy of the Seahawks. Getting the pick right is the difficult part, though, as the Texans found out last year. If the Jets draft a couple of duds to replace Jamal Adams, there will be a lot of head-scratching going on in New York and beyond.

All this, combined with the recent news about Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson possibly being granted trades, got us thinking, what are the top 5 worst NFL trades of all-time?

In descending order:


5. Oakland Raiders trade future NFL Hall of Famer Randy Moss to the Patriots (2007)

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks

Unquestionably, Randy Moss is one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL.

The explosive receiver represented the Minnesota Vikings for seven successful years from 1998-2005, racking up 9,142 yards and 90 TDs.


Moss was traded to Oakland in 2005 but seemed like a shell of his former self, prompting Raiders head coach Al Davis to offer "The Mossiah" to the New England Patriots in return for a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, a pick that Davis would use to select Cincinnati's, John Bowie.

It would turn out to be a really bad trade from the Hall-of-Fame coach.

Moss linked up with coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, and was a key cog in the Patriots team went unbeaten in 2007. Moss caught 23 TD passes (an NFL record) from Brady and came within 39 seconds of tasting Super Bowl glory, but Moss' dreams of a Super Bowl ring were stolen by Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress and the New York Giants.


Moss retired in 2012 and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2018.

4. Indianapolis Colts trade future NFL MVP Marshall Faulk to the St Louis Rams

NFC Championship - Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Saints

Ahead of the 1999 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts decided to send running back Marshall Faulk to the St. Louis Rams.

In exchange for the legendary back, the Colts received a second-round and a fifth-round draft pick from the Rams, which the Colts used to draft defensive end Brad Scioli and linebacker Mike Peterson. The Colts also spent their first-round pick on running back Edgerrin James.

Marshall Faulk was incredible in St. Louis, winning three-straight NFL Offensive Player of the Year awards and the NFL MVP award in 2000. He, alongside QB Kurt Warner, went on to become the key components of the Rams team dubbed 'The Greatest Show on Turf,' as the franchise tasted Super Bowl glory in 2000.


The Colts did eventually lift the Lombardi trophy, but not until 2007 when the likes of Edgerrin James had long since moved on.

Colts fans have had to learn this the hard way that it's never a good idea to trade a Hall of Fame running back, and that's why this one makes the list of the five worst trades in NFL history.

3. Steve Young Traded to the 49ers by the Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers

Legendary 49ers QB Steve Young's trade to the San Francisco 49ers makes the list at number three.

To be fair to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Young didn't exactly set the world ablaze down in Florida back in 1985-86. Though Young had shown glimpses of promise, his career record for the Buccaneers was a lowly 3-16 as a starter.

Not many expected Young to end up in the NFL Hall of Fame back then, so it came as little surprise when he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in return for a second- and fourth-round pick in 1987.


After waiting in the wings behind one of the greatest QBs to ever don the cleats, Joe Montana, Young seized his opportunity to play when his mentor (Montana) was out for 2 years with an elbow injury from 1990-1992.

San Francisco opted to stick with the younger man in the pocket, trading Montana to the Chiefs ahead of the 1993 NFL season.

Young handled the pressure of being the 49ers' main man with ease and led the team to victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX (1995). The left-hander threw for a record-setting six touchdowns in that game, earning himself the Super Bowl MVP award, too.

The Buccaneers did go on to taste Super Bowl glory a near-decade after allowing Young to move to California, but they didn't come close to having a QB of Young's ability until last season when Tom Brady joined.

2. NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre Traded To Green Bay

Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers

Brett Favre is remembered as one of the greatest NFL QBs of his generation, and most fondly for his time spent with the Green Bay Packers, with whom he won a Super Bowl ring in 1996.

Favre wasn't drafted by the Packers, though. That honor went to the Atlanta Falcons, who unearthed the gunslinger in the second round (33rd overall pick) in the 1991 NFL Draft.

Favre struggled for minutes during his rookie year. Two of his four pass attempts were interceptions, and this prompted the Falcons to strike a deal with Green Bay: Brett Favre for the Packers' first-round pick in the 1992 draft (19th overall pick).

With the pick, the Falcons opted for Tony Smith, a running back out of Southern Mississippi. Smith was a decent player but not a scratch on Favre.

After three years in Atlanta, Smith was traded to the Carolina Panthers while Favre went on to become one of the greatest QBs to ever play football.

This truly was a terrible trade from the Falcons.

1. The Herschel Walker Trade from Dallas to Minnesota

Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants

The Herschel Walker trade involving the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings has gone down in infamy as being the best, worst, most lopsided, and most blockbuster NFL trade of all time.

I already discussed why it's the most blockbuster trade of all time here, but let's take a look at why it was also the worst trade of all time.

First, despite a mammoth year in 1988-89, in which he amassed over 2,000 yards from scrimmage for the Cowboys, running back Walker never had another season like that one whilst operating in the Vikings' colors and was traded away after just two-and-a-half years in Minnesota.

Then there are the six Draft picks the Cowboys were able to attain for Walker; these were: running back Emmitt Smith, wide receiver Alexander Wright, defensive tackle Russell Maryland, wide receiver Alvin Harper, linebacker Dixon Edwards, linebacker Robert Jones, cornerback Kevin Smith, and safety Darren Woodson.


Effectively, the Cowboys used Walker to bring together one of the most dominant teams of any period in NFL history, the early 90s' Dallas Cowboys, a team that lifted three Super Bowls in four.

The Vikings, on the other hand, are still searching for that elusive first Super Bowl and that's why it has to go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history.

Edited by
Jay Lokegaonkar
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