5 Blockbuster NFL Trades That Almost Went Through

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions

The NFL is full of almosts and what-ifs. Hundreds of trades go through successfully every year, but there are just as many - if not more - 'almost' trades. These trades are often shut down at the last minute for one reason or another or are heavily speculated across various media channels.

They say everything has a price, which is true in the NFL, with virtually all teams willing to listen to trade offers for every one of their players, for either draft picks or players in return. We rarely see megastars in the NFL being traded, but there are plenty of these stars in the almost traded category!

Some of these potential blockbuster trades could have changed the course of history for the players involved and the two teams involved in the deal. Some will be thankful these deals were called off, while others, not so much!

5 Blockbuster NFL Trades that Almost went Through

#5 - Adrian Peterson to the Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings

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Veteran running back Adrian Peterson might bounce around the league these days as he nears retirement, but the same cannot be said when he was subject to rumors of a trade to the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2014 Peterson was placed on the NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list due to off-field issues and would only play one game all year. Since the Vikings didn't appeal his suspension, Peterson requested a trade. The Cowboys were interested in trading for him, with Jerry Jones rumored to be willing to give up a first-round draft pick, but the move never materialized, and Peterson would stay with Minnesota.

Peterson would return to his usual dominant self the following season, leading the league in rushing with 1,485 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns.

#4 - Jim Harbaugh to Cleveland Browns

2021 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan
2021 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan

Usually, when we see trades in the NFL, it involves players and/or draft picks. However, a rarity occurred in 2014, when it was rumored that the Cleveland Browns were willing to trade draft picks to acquire head coach Jim Harbaugh from the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh had led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 just two years prior, and the Browns held two first-round draft picks that year, which were reported to have been part of a potential trade. Mike Florio said a deal "was in place between the teams," but Harbaugh used his no-trade clause to scrap the deal.

Top 3 Blockbuster NFL Trades That Almost Went Through

#3 - Ben Roethlisberger to Oakland Raiders

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs

Ben Roethlisberger will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest players in Pittsburgh Steelers history. This doesn't mean that he wasn't at the heart of a potential trade in 2010. The Steelers were looking to move him following numerous off-the-field issues, with the Rams and Raiders interested.

The Rams deal was shut off quickly, with St. Louis riding with Sam Bradford, but the Raiders offer had more legitimacy to it. Following a six-game ban for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy, the two-time Super Bowl champion was rumored to be moving to Oakland, with the Raiders willing to part with their number eight overall pick in that year's draft. However, the move never materialized, and Big Ben stayed in Pittsburgh for the remainder of his career, retiring in 2021.

#2 - Larry Fitzgerald to Philadelphia Eagles

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers

Larry Fitzgerald is known throughout the NFL as a legend of the game and one of the best players to ever play for the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald spent his 16-year career with the Cardinals, raking up 18,434 receiving yards if you count the regular season and playoffs.

However, he was rumored to be on the verge of a blockbuster trade to the Philadelphia Eagles. Following a monster season in 2007, where Fitzgerald had 100 receptions for 1409 yards and ten touchdowns, the Cardinals were close to the salary cap limit. The Eagles reportedly offered their first and third-round draft picks in exchange for Fitzgerald. Of course, the move didn't materialize, and Fitzgerald would retire as a Cardinal in 2020.

#1 - Aaron Rodgers to Oakland Raiders for Randy Moss

Oakland Raiders v Green Bay Packers
Oakland Raiders v Green Bay Packers

A trade involving current MVP Aaron Rodgers and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss nearly went through in 2007. This would have had huge implications for both parties and the NFL had this deal gone through.

Moss had just endured two average years with the Oakland Raiders, putting up just 553 yards in 2006, so he was put on the trade block. The Packers still had legend Brett Favre as their starting quarterback, with Rodgers' opportunities continuing to be limited.

According to ESPN, a deal was in place for Green Bay to trade Aaron Rodgers and a 2008 seventh-round pick to the Raiders for Randy Moss, tight end Courtney Anderson, and a 2009 conditional pick. This would have been shocking news across the NFL had the trade gone through but collapsed as Green Bay was looking for an additional first-round draft pick.

Rodgers became arguably the best Packers quarterback ever, passing for 61,254 regular and postseason yards so far in his illustrious career. Moss also went on to have success, leaving Oakland for the New England Patriots, where he and Tom Brady led the Pats to a 16-0 season in 2007, putting up 1,493 yards and an NFL record of 23 receiving touchdowns.

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Poll : Who would have done better on their new team had the blockbuster trade gone through?

Aaron Rodgers

Randy Moss

68 votes

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Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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