There's an old saying in the NFL that a season can be won and lost long before the actual team takes the turf.
They say this because of the importance of the NFL offseason when franchises need to get their houses in order: the right players need to be resigned; the wrong players have to be let go; the correct players need to be drafted in, and the trades made need to heavily favor your organization. Failure to do these things can lead to a prolonged absence from the playoffs.
We have all sat there and restructured our favored team in Madden, and it seems so easy, right? Just switch Drew Brees to back up for the year in case he decides not to retire; turn off the salary cap; switch Deshaun Watson to kicker; sign him up in return for a couple of duds, and off you go. Simple, right?
Wrong! Unfortunately, making a trade like this in the NFL is impossible. Several franchise teams have been known to massively overreach in the draft and trades and there have been several lopsided trades over the years as a result of this; trades that have cost teams success not just in the short term but in the long run.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the:
5 most lopsided trades in NFL history:
In descending order:
#5 NFL Trades: Mike Ditka bets the house on Ricky Williams
There isn't a lot of negative stuff you can say about Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka. However, his short stint as boss of the New Orleans Saints in the late-90s has gone down as one of those things you could say: things did not go well.
Ditka bet the house on Heisman-winning running back Ricky Williams in the 1999 NFL Draft, trading all eight of New Orleans' picks to the Washington Redskins to land his man.
Things did not work out one bit: the Saints went 3-13 that year, and coach Ditka was unceremoniously fired for his accidental espionage.
Ricky Williams did enjoy some success down in the Bayou and registered over 3,000-yards rushing before moving on to Miami, where he is most fondly remembered. But Ditka's decision to sacrifice eight picks on a running back has to go down as one of the most bizarre moves in NFL history and is commonly cited as the main reason for the Saints' woes in the early 00s.
Eight picks on a running back is about as lopsided as it gets!