Hey Blitzers it’s me, MZE. It’s been a while but with the Hall of Fame game just a few weeks away I thought it was time to get back at it. In the past two years we’ve seen big NFL trades like Khalil Mack to the Bears, garnering the Jon Gruden statue talk to begin in Chicago, and as of late OBJ going to the Browns. It got ol’ MZE’s brain churning. I wondered what other trades in NFL history blindsided fans. I got myself an Arnold Palmer and did some research, and in my humble opinion, these are three of the biggest NFL blindside trades ever made.
Sam Huff (NY Giants to the Washington Redskins)
Sam Huff was a staple for the Giants defense from 1956 to 1963. As a linebacker for the G-Men he recorded 18 interceptions, was elected to the Pro Bowl four times and was named an All-Pro twice. Prior to the 1964 season, the Giants inexplicably sent Huff to the division rival, Washington Redskins, along with Offensive/Defensive lineman, George Seals.
In exchange the Giants got defensive end, Andy Stynchula, halfback, Dick James, and a 5th round draft pick who became punter, Frank Lambert. Huff would play five seasons with the Redskins, intercepting 12 more passes and making another Pro Bowl. Meanwhile none of the players the Giants received made much impact at all. There is no truth to the rumor that Dave Gettleman initiated the trade during his junior high study hall.
Eric Dickerson (L.A. Rams to the Indianapolis Colts)
Eric Dickerson exploded on the scene out of SMU as the 2nd overall pick in 1983. In 4+ seasons he ran for he ran for 7,245 yards including 2,105 yards in 1984. Rams fans felt they had their star tailback for several years but late in the 1987 he was involved in a three-way trade between the Rams, Colts, and Bills. As some know, a three-way can sound great but may ultimately disappoint in the end.
The Rams accumulated six first- and second-round picks in the deal. Dickerson wound up with the Colts and while he averaged just over 85 yards a game in his 4+ seasons with the Colts, his production was nowhere near what it was as a Ram with his production dropping off of a cliff after his second season.
Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers to the KC Chiefs)
The San Francisco 49ers were a struggling franchise until they drafted a quarterback out of Notre Dame named Joe Montana. “Joe Cool” took them from nasty to dynasty. In his 13 years with the Niners, the Hall of Famer won four Super Bowl rings, was a two-time MVP, was named to eight Pro Bowls, and was a three-time All-Pro.
Sadly, Joe left the land of Rice-A-Roni for some BBQ when he was traded to the Chiefs prior to the 1993 season. In his final two NFL seasons, Montana went 17-8 in Kansas City. He would lead the Chiefs to the 1993 AFC title game and the 1994 Wild Card game but would never win another Super Bowl. Meanwhile the 49ers found some kid named Steve Young. Ever heard of him?
Those are my three most unexpected trades in NFL history. Tell us who you’ve got in the comments and please follow all of my colleagues on Twitter. They are so worth it.
Until next time, Blitzers, double-check your no-trade clauses, be sure to make friends with bartenders in every city you visit because you never know where home may be, and if you’re traded for a draft make sure at least the mug is frosted.
Yours in football,
Mike Zimmers Ears is a Minnesota Vikings fan and regular contributor on Blitzed. He also hosts his own Vikings podcast Sound the Gjallahorn.