5 best midseason moves in the NFL that worked wonders

Eric Dickerson at a Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
Eric Dickerson at a Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
Rit Nanda

Midseason moves do not always work out in the NFL. They are littered with failures when a desperate general manager pushes for that missing piece of jigsaw that they believe will turn their team into contenders. Whether it's John Hadl moving from the Rams to the Packers or Roy Williams from the Lions to the Cowboys, many a time midseason moves don't end well. But there are those midseason moves that work wonders and we look at some of the very best which were the very best.

NFL midseason moves that turned out great

#5 - Eric Dickerson, RB, Los Angeles Rams to Indianapolis Colts, 1987

Erick Dickerson had 6,959 yards in his four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and asked for a bigger contract. The new offer the Rams tabled was only for 975,000 USD and Eric Dickerson did not fancy playing for them. The Rams ended up trading him to the Indianapolis Colts.

📰 This weekend in 1987, disgruntled Pro Bowl & future Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson traded in his horns for a pair of hooves when he became the newest member of the Indianapolis Colts & the highest paid ball carrier in the NFL...#RamsHouse #ForTheShoe

The midseason move represented a coup for the Colts as they struggled before his arrival. Dickerson's arrival on Halloween day instead became a scary prospect for their division rivals. Dickerson gained 1,011 yards for the Colts as they won the AFC East with a record of 9-6.

#4 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders to Dallas Cowboys, 2018

Once Jon Gruden came in for his second stint with the Raiders, he made some big calls and got rid of some big names. Whether they worked out well for the Raiders is a matter of opinion, but we don't think so. Trading Khalil Mack at his peak before the regular season began in 2018 was bad enough.

But he followed it through with the midseason move of Amari Cooper on October 22, 2018 to the Dallas Cowboys. After his arrival, the Dallas Cowboys were rampant. They won seven out of their last nine games and finished top of the NFC East.

Since his trade to Dallas, Amari Cooper has been a true WR1.12 games with Cowboys:69 catches963 yards 10 TDsLast 12 games with Raiders:36 catches556 yards5 TDs

In the Wild Card Round, he had 7 catches for 106 yards as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks. In the Divisional Round, even though he scored a touchdown, they were defeated by the Los Angeles Rams. In total, during the 2018 season, Amari Cooper had 75 receptions, 1,005 yards, and seven touchdowns. Amari Cooper has been an integral part of the Cowboys' recent successes and was named to the Pro-Bowl in both 2018 and 2019.

Also Read: Who is Marshawn Lynch's wife?

Marshawn Lynch for Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles
Marshawn Lynch for Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles

Top midseason moves continued

#3 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo Bills to Seattle Seahawks, 2010

Continuing with midseason moves, Marshawn Lynch was a phenomenon for the Buffalo Bills in his first couple of seasons. He ran for 2151 yards combined over those two seasons. But his performance dropped and he was poor in the 2009 season with just 450 yards. His next season did not start auspiciously and he only had 164 yards in his first four games.

On This Date: October 5, 2010Seattle Seahawks acquired Marshawn Lynch from the Buffalo Bills in trade.

Hence, a midseason move made perfect sense for the Bills. The Seattle Seahawks were also looking for a midseason move for a player that could power their offense. Their destinies met and the trade happened. The midseason move could not have worked out better for the Seahawks as Lynch turned on Beast Mode and had 5,357 yards from 2011 to 2014.

Also Read: What is Marshawn Lynch's Net Worth in 2021?

#2 - Michael Haynes, CB, New England Patriots to Los Angeles Raiders, 1983

Michael Haynes was unsettled with the Patriots and he wanted a move. His agent held him out after the season started a forced a move through. The Raiders got a future hall-of-fame cornerback in this midseason move and paired him with Lester Hayes to create one of the best cornerback duos in history. He was instrumental in their success that year as the Raiders won the Super Bowl. In the final, he came up with a vital interception.

#1 - Herschel Walker, RB, Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings, 1989

This move is the mother of all midseason moves and it has to be there. Even though the other midseason moves worked wonders for the team who got the player, this went the other way. The trade worked out wonders for the selling team, in this case, the Dallas Cowboys. But at the time many felt otherwise.

October 12, 1989 - How the Dallas media reported on the Herschel Walker trade. Even with the king's ransom the Cowboys got in return, the sports reporter at this time acts like Minnesota got the better end of the deal. #vikings

The Minnesota Vikings thought that adding Herschel Walker to their team would get them a Super Bowl. In exchange for Walker and two third-rounders, one fifth-rounder and one tenth-rounder, the Dallas Cowboys received five veteran players, three first-rounders, three second-rounders, a third-rounder and a sixth-rounder. It was a bold move to say the least and it paid off handsomely going forward.

The Dallas Cowboys built a dynasty with that trade as they used these draft picks to build the core of a team that would go on to win three Super Bowls in four years. One of those draft picks was Emmitt Smith, who would go on to become one of the greatest running backs of all time, far surpassing Walker himself in the NFL.

Edited by Shivayan Roy
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