Best trade every NFL team has ever made

NFL Nation reporters pick the greatest trade in franchise history for all 32 teams:Editor's note: This story was published in November 2016, ahead of the NFL trade deadline. With the NBA trade deadline looming (3 p.m. ET Thursday), we're reposting the story....

Best trade every NFL team has ever made

NFL Nation reporters pick the greatest trade in franchise history for all 32 teams:

Editor's note: This story was published in November 2016, ahead of the NFL trade deadline. With the NBA trade deadline looming (3 p.m. ET Thursday), we're reposting the story.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West

Bills trade for first-round pick, select quarterback Jim Kelly.

You probably haven't heard of linebacker Tom Cousineau, the first overall pick in 1979 who spurned Buffalo to play in the CFL. But in 1982, the Bills traded Cousineau to the Browns for three draft picks, including the No. 14 overall selection in 1983, which was used to draft Kelly. You might have heard of him; he's in the Hall of Fame after leading the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s. -- Mike Rodak

Dolphins trade for wide receiver Paul Warfield.

In 1970, Miami made a rare acquisition of a Hall of Famer in his prime by trading its third overall pick to the Browns for Warfield. It seemed like a fair trade at the time, but the Browns wasted the pick on quarterback bust Mike Phipps. Warfield, meanwhile, played five effective seasons for the Dolphins, recording 33 touchdowns and winning two Super Bowls. -- James Walker

Patriots trade for wide receiver Randy Moss.

When the Patriots acquired Moss from the Raiders for a fourth-round draft choice in 2007, some wondered if Moss would be a fit in the Patriots' hard-driving culture. For that particular year, it was a perfect fit, and he totaled an NFL single-season record 23 touchdown catches in the Patriots' undefeated season. At the time of the trade, Moss' value had been lessened with declining production in a losing environment in Oakland, but he came to life in New England. -- Mike Reiss

Jets trade up in draft to pick quarterback Joe Namath.

The Jets traded up in the 1965 AFL draft and used the No. 1 overall pick on Namath, still the best player in franchise history. They dealt the rights to quarterback Jerry Rhome as part of a trade package with the Oilers. The Jets outbid the rival NFL for Namath, and the rest is history. He went on to a Hall of Fame career, leading the Jets to their only Super Bowl title. -- Rich Cimini

Ravens trade for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Baltimore found a clutch receiver who helped it win a Super Bowl title when it traded for Anquan Boldin in March 2010, sending third- and fourth-round picks to Arizona for Boldin and a fifth-rounder. In the 2012 playoffs, Boldin totaled 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 17.3 yards per reception and setting team postseason records for catches and receiving yards. The Ravens then made a huge mistake by trading Boldin to the 49ers a month after he helped them win the franchise's second Lombardi Trophy. So, Boldin was involved in the best trade and the worst trade in Ravens history. -- Jamison Hensley

Bengals trade for running back James Brooks.

The Bengals and Chargers swapped disgruntled running backs in 1984, with San Diego receiving 30-year-old Pete Johnson and Cincinnati receiving 26-year-old Brooks. The Bengals got the better end of the deal. Brooks spent eight seasons in Cincinnati, eventually finishing second on the franchise's list of rushing yards leaders and making four Pro Bowl appearances while with the team. Johnson lasted only three games in San Diego. -- Katherine Terrell

Browns trade for first pick in supplemental draft to pick quarterback Bernie Kosar.

When Kosar left the University of Miami in 1985, he wanted to be a Brown. But the Browns could not get a pick high enough in the draft to get him. In a shrewd move, Ernie Accorsi traded three draft picks to Buffalo for the first pick in the supplemental draft, and Kosar delayed his application to the league so he was eligible only for the supplemental draft. Kosar became a Brown and led the team to an era of great success. He remains one of the most beloved players in team history. -- Pat McManamon

Steelers trade for running back Jerome Bettis.

Talk about added roster value. The Steelers pulled off a banner draft-day trade in 1996 by acquiring a barreling running back named Jerome Bettis. They sent second- and fourth-round picks to the Rams in exchange for a third-rounder and Bettis, who rewarded Pittsburgh's faith with six straight 1,000-yard seasons on his way to the Hall of Fame. In his last two seasons in Pittsburgh, Bettis rushed for 22 touchdowns and won a Super Bowl. The Steelers don't swing trades very often, but this move was brilliant. -- Jeremy Fowler

Texans trade for quarterback Matt Schaub.

By trading for Schaub in 2007, Houston basically conceded that David Carr, a former No. 1 pick who was then a five-year veteran, was no longer their franchise quarterback. Schaub became the most successful quarterback in franchise history, leading Houston to consecutive playoff berths in 2011-12, including the first in team history. -- Sarah Barshop

Colts trade for running back Eric Dickerson.

The Colts sent two players and six draft picks to acquire Dickerson from the Rams in 1987. Dickerson rushed for 3,981 yards and 26 touchdowns in his first 40 games with Indianapolis. The Colts sent rookie linebacker Cornelius Bennett to Buffalo to acquire a player and three draft picks that ended up being part of the package to land Dickerson. -- Mike Wells

Jaguars trade for first-round pick, select running back Fred Taylor.

In 1998, the Jaguars traded backup quarterback Rob Johnson to Buffalo for the Bills' first-round pick (ninth overall) and a fourth-round pick. With the No. 9 pick, the Jaguars took Taylor, who went on to become the franchise's all-time leading rusher. He had seven 1,000-yard seasons in Jacksonville, including what was then a franchise-record 1,572 yards in 2003. Johnson was 9-17 in 26 starts with the Bills over four seasons. -- Mike DiRocco

Oilers trade for No. 1 pick, select running back Earl Campbell.

For the Titans, it has to be dealing the No. 1 overall pick this year to the Rams along with the Nos. 113 and 177 picks for the Nos. 15, 43 and 76 picks as well as Los Angeles' 2017 first-round and third-round picks. (The third rounder will be the Rams' compensatory pick if they get one as expected). For the franchise, it's the Houston Oilers' deal for the No. 1 pick in 1978 that was used on Campbell, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career. The Oilers dealt their first-rounder to Tampa Bay (17th overall, used on Doug Williams) as well as a second-round pick (44th), third- and fifth-rounders in 1979 and tight end Jimmie Giles. -- Paul Kuharsky

Broncos trade for No. 1 pick, select quarterback John Elway.

It's not often a franchise gets Hall of Fame-worthy players in trades, but the Broncos have done it twice. There is 2004, when Mike Shanahan shipped running back Clinton Portis to the Redskins for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick. Bailey played a decade for the Broncos in what is a Canton-worthy résumé. But the franchise's best trade will always be when it sent quarterback Mark Herrmann, tackle Chris Hinton and a first-round pick in the 1984 draft to the Colts for the draft rights to Elway. Folks know the rest of the story: Elway became a Hall of Fame player and sports icon who then returned to run the team and help lead it to another Super Bowl win. -- Jeff Legwold

Chiefs trade for offensive tackle Willie Roaf.

The 2002 trade with the Saints, for a third-round pick, was the move that allowed the Chiefs to build a premier offensive line and the high-scoring offense they had when they were coached by Dick Vermeil. Roaf played for the Chiefs for the final four seasons of his Hall of Fame career, and he was consistently great. It's no coincidence the Chiefs declined sharply on offense the year after his retirement. -- Adam Teicher

Raiders trade for linebacker Ted Hendricks.

Oakland got Hendricks from the Packers following the 1974 season for two first-round picks, and a year after the deal they finally broke through to win a Super Bowl. His arrival had a far-reaching impact on the franchise, however. In fact, "Kick 'em in the head Ted" freelancing along the line as an unblockable presence set the stage for Oakland winning three Lombardi Trophies in his nine seasons with the Raiders. "Ted was one of the greatest players of all time," Raiders owner Mark Davis told me. "He dominated." All the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to the tune of four Pro Bowls, two All-Pro selections and being one of just six Raiders to play on all three title teams. -- Paul Gutierrez

Chargers trade for wide receiver Charlie Joiner.

San Diego sent defensive end Coy Bacon to Cincinnati in exchange for Joiner in 1976, and Joiner spent his final 11 seasons in the NFL as a signature piece of coach Don Coryell's air attack. Joiner finished his career in 1986 as the franchise receptions leader with 586, a mark he held until Antonio Gates broke the record in 2011. Joiner earned three Pro Bowl invitations during his 18-year NFL career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 and is a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame. -- Eric D. Williams

Cowboys get eight draft picks in exchange for running back Herschel Walker.

Many thought the Cowboys were crazy for trading their best player in 1989, but this move laid the foundation for their run of Super Bowls in the 1990s. How important was it? It's immortalized on a wall inside the team's new facility. It remains the most talked-about trade of its day and is unlikely to ever be equaled again. Coach Jimmy Johnson did not care so much about the players he received from Minnesota as he did the picks they turned into. -- Todd Archer

Giants trade draft picks for quarterback Eli Manning.

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In a blockbuster deal with the Chargers in 2004, the Giants received Manning, drafted No. 1 overall, and the Chargers landed a package that turned out to be quarterback Philip Rivers, defensive end Shawne Merriman, kicker Nate Kaeding and offensive lineman Roman Oben. The Giants paid a hefty price, but it was worth it when they were rewarded with two Super Bowls. It was a win all the way around. -- Jordan Raanan

Eagles trade for quarterback Ron Jaworski.

In 1977, the Eagles acquired Jaworski from the Rams for standout tight end Charle Young. Jaworski threw the bulk of his 28,190 career passing yards in an Eagles uniform and helped coach Dick Vermeil reach the Super Bowl in 1980. -- Tim McManus

Redskins trade for quarterback Sonny Jurgensen.

The Redskins transformed their franchise in 1964 when they sent quarterback Norm Snead, coming off a 13-touchdown, 27-interception season, and defensive back Claud Crabbe to the Eagles in exchange for the 29-year-old Jurgensen. With Washington, Jurgensen guided an explosive offense and earned a spot in the Hall of Fame. The Redskins weren't winners in the 1960s, but the offensive success led to heightened expectations, which led to a successful run in the 1970s through the early '90s. Jurgensen earned four Pro Bowl berths one All-Pro selection and led the NFL in passing three years while with Washington. He also became a beloved broadcaster. -- John Keim

Bears trade for draft pick, select linebacker Dick Butkus.

The Bears did some wheeling and dealing on draft day in 1964, trading their 1964 second- and fourth-round choices to the Steelers for Pittsburgh's top choice in 1965, which turned out to be the No. 3 overall pick. With that third choice in '65, the Bears took Butkus, who went on to become a Hall of Famer and is one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever play the game. Butkus was voted to the Pro Bowl in each of his first eight NFL seasons, and he had his jersey retired by the Bears in 1994. -- Jeff Dickerson

Lions trade for wide receiver Brett Perriman.

While there were other interesting deals that had a positive impact for Detroit, this one was a steal for the Lions, who sent a fifth-round pick to the Saints for Perriman in 1991. They received a player who ended up in Detroit for six seasons, including 1,000-yard campaigns in 1995 and 1996. He became a good complementary piece to No. 1 receiver Herman Moore, and he ended up with 428 receptions, 5,244 yards and 25 touchdowns during his time with the team. -- Michael Rothstein

Packers trade for quarterback Brett Favre.

Green Bay sent a first-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for Favre in 1992. A few months earlier, the Packers hired Ron Wolf as general manager. At his first game on the job in 1991, Wolf told then-team president Bob Harlan, "I'm going to go look at Atlanta's backup quarterback in warmups. If his arm is still as strong as it was coming out of college, we're going to make a trade for him," Harlan recalled. From Favre to Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback position in Green Bay has never been in question for the last two-and-a-half decades. -- Rob Demovsky

Vikings trade for defensive end Jared Allen.

The Sam Bradford trade wasn't the first time Rick Spielman made a bold move with a first-round pick. In the case of Allen, for whom the Vikings gave up four picks to the Chiefs in 2008, the move worked out fabulously. Allen posted 85.5 sacks in his six seasons with the Vikings, exiting as one of the most popular players in team history and providing the missing piece to one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. And while the price was steep -- one of the picks became running back Jamaal Charles -- the Vikings also used the sixth-round pick included with the deal on center John Sullivan, who became a fixture on the line until his 2015 knee injuries and 2016 release. -- Ben Goessling

Falcons trade up in draft, select wide receiver Julio Jones.

The Falcons surrendered five draft picks to the Browns, including two first-round picks, to move up from the No. 27 pick of the 2011 draft to No. 6, where they took Jones. Jones has become one of the most feared targets in the league, possessing the type of speed and athleticism that gives defensive coordinators and defensive backs nightmares. Some argued that the Falcons lost out on a chance to improve their depth by surrendering so many picks. Well, when you can get a player as dynamic as Jones, it's well worth the sacrifice. -- Vaughn McClure

Panthers trade for tight end Greg Olsen.

Carolina traded a third-round pick to Chicago for Olsen in 2011, and he has since made two Pro Bowls and rewritten most of the receiving records for a Carolina tight end. Olsen has gone over 1,000 yards receiving the past two seasons and is off to his best start ever with 40 catches for 621 yards after seven games. He's also a consummate pro, a team captain and someone management uses as an example for the type of player it wants. -- David Newton

Saints trade for draft picks, select offensive tackle Willie Roaf and fullback Lorenzo Neal.

The price wasn't cheap, because they gave up linebacker Pat Swilling, who had 76.5 sacks in seven seasons with New Orleans. But the Saints wanted to get tougher in the trenches, so they traded him to the Lions for the No. 8 and No. 89 picks in the draft. With that No. 8 pick in the 1993 draft, they landed Roaf, one of only two primary Saints players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Roaf was selected to 11 Pro Bowls with the Saints and Chiefs and was on the all-decade teams in both the 1990s and 2000s. Neal was a nice bonus, too. He became a four-time Pro Bowler while playing for seven teams in 16 years. -- Mike Triplett

Bucs trade for coach Jon Gruden.

In 2002, Tampa Bay sent first-round picks in 2002 and 2003, second-round picks in 2002 and 2004 and $8 million in cash to the Raiders for Gruden. The Bucs had been without a coach for two months after firing Tony Dungy, and they'd been jilted by Bill Parcells not once but twice. "Chucky" brought some West Coast flair to a conservative offense and took the Bucs to the Super Bowl, where they faced Gruden's old Raiders team and beat them 48-21. In 13 seasons since, the Bucs have reached the playoffs only twice. They essentially traded away their future to get Gruden, but most Bucs fans would gladly do it again after so many losing seasons. -- Jenna Laine

Cardinals trade for quarterback Carson Palmer.

The Cardinals got a franchise-caliber quarterback from the Raiders for pennies on the dollar -- a sixth- and seventh-round pick -- in April 2013, just a few months after coach Bruce Arians was hired. Since trading for Palmer, the Cardinals have experienced their winningest stretch in franchise history, winning 34 games in three seasons. Palmer led the Cardinals to the NFC Championship Game last season with a franchise-best 13-3 record and earned an MVP vote. He was the perfect fit for Arians' system, and together they accomplished something that, in some regards, might be bigger than a Super Bowl in Arizona: They turned around a franchise that had spent the large majority of its existence toiling in mediocrity. The Cardinals are now considered a winning team, and it's a surprise when they start a season 3-4-1, as they have this season. That's a credit to Arians and Palmer. -- Josh Weinfuss

Rams trade for running back Marshall Faulk.

Three years after sending Jerome Bettis to the Steelers, depriving themselves of the prime years of one of the game's best power runners, the Rams acquired the dynamic Faulk in a move that helped spawn one of the greatest offenses in NFL history. They sent second- and fifth-round picks to the Colts for Faulk, who joined quarterback Kurt Warner and receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt to form "The Greatest Show on Turf," which won two NFC championships from 1999 to 2001 and claimed Super Bowl XXXIV over Jeff Fisher's Titans. Faulk led the NFL with 2,429 yards from scrimmage in 1999 and won back-to-back MVPs in 2000 and '01, a span that saw him score 47 touchdowns. -- Alden Gonzalez

49ers trade up in draft to select wide receiver Jerry Rice.

It's hard not to choose the deal that landed Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, but when you have another deal that landed arguably the greatest player in league history, that has to be the choice. San Francisco coach Bill Walsh saw Rice as the type of impact receiver who could keep the Niners' dynasty rolling. As Walsh wrote in his book "Building a Champion," he saw Rice on highlights late at night before a game against Houston and was instantly smitten. The 49ers dealt the Nos. 28, 56 and 84 picks in the 1985 draft to the Patriots for the Nos. 16 (Rice) and 75 picks. Rice, of course, went on to set every meaningful receiving record in league history and serve as one of the focal points of three Super Bowl teams. -- Nick Wagoner

Seahawks trade for wide receiver Steve Largent.

The Oilers drafted Largent in the fourth round of the 1976 draft but were ready to release him before the season. That's when the Seahawks decided to pounce, sending the Oilers an eighth-round pick for Largent, who went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Seattle. He played 14 seasons for the Seahawks and is the franchise's all-time leading receiver with 819 catches for 13,089 yards and 100 touchdowns. The Marshawn Lynch deal was also a home run, but acquiring a Hall of Famer for an eighth-round pick is tough to beat. -- Sheil Kapadia

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