Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Aug 2005

Most Insignificant Trade Ever?

It seems like when I was a kid, trades in sports were usually just one player for one other player. That's not the case anymore. So I link to this with a sense of nostalgia. And even more, I link to it because of the way Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell described the trade of cornerback Kris Richard to the Dolphins for defensive end Ronald Flemons:

"Obviously, it's not a world-beater trade."

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 04 Aug 2005

21 comments, Last at 09 Aug 2005, 11:50am by Duane


by Theo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 5:47pm

In soccer, players are traded for money. Sometimes player-for-player trades happen, but not much.
A few years ago it shot through the roof when an Italian striker, Vieri, was sold for 120M dollars.
You can see it as what happens when there is no salary cap and no draft in the NFL.

by Theo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 5:50pm

"They're looking more for a 3-4 type of defensive lineman."

????????????That's why they get a cornerback...

by somebody (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 5:58pm

I thought this was going to be a review of the clinton portis-champ bailey trade when i clicked on the link considering neither player made his team better record wise.
Broncos 10-6 2003 10-6 2004
Redskins 5-11 2003 6-10 2004 (Note: skins won last game of the year when ladell betts ran for 118 yds and a touchdown).

by Jack (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 6:04pm

"I thought this was going to be a review of the clinton portis-champ bailey trade when i clicked on the link considering neither player made his team better record wise."
If you think one year is enough time to judge a trade then please stop offering opinions on pro football.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 6:11pm

I'd say it might be that Sauerbrun for whomever trade the Broncos and Panthers whipped together, especially because the Broncos new training squad punter (I forget his name) has been punting longer balls than Sauerbrun has (not that that's the only thing that makes a good punter, but in Denver, these things are accentuated.)

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 6:15pm

"If you think one year is enough time to judge a trade then please stop offering opinions on pro football."

Okay, please with the stopping of the overreacting when someone offers an opinion that you don't agree with. It's getting to the point where some people are so sensitive to trolling that they themselves become trolls. So let's all calm down and do the discussing things with fun phrases like, "I think" and "I don't agree, so here's my opinion" and other particulars that are a little bit more respectful and less with the starting of the pointless arguments and annoying of the people who don't like with the annoying. Thanks.

by andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 6:28pm

well I know it meant most insignificant football trade ever...

but baseball easily can trump this for insignificance. I remember a trade for a utility player for a player to be named later who ended up being that same player.

by Johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 6:39pm

Seems like a positive to me. Dolphins pick up a CB, a OL and S in one week. Now they need to turn a RB into a draft pick.

by Theo (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 7:05pm

Uhm. In my opinion, where 2 high profile players are swapped, Portis - Bailey, to teams that (think they) are play off contenders, then I would defenately look at what the trade did in the first year.

1: Portis didn't play up to expectations.
2: Bailey didn't play up to expectations.

Thats a bad trade - that could end up being ok.

by someone (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 8:37pm

$120m dollars for Vieri? Rubbish. Reported number was £32m

by Dervin (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 9:24pm

$120m dollars for Vieri? Rubbish. Reported number was £32m

Which is almost 120Million US

(yes, yes, I know it's closer to 60Million US, but I live in HK and if I don't laugh about our weak-a$$ currency, I'm going to cry about it).

by Vern (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 10:48pm

Last year, the Patriots signed, released, re-signed, released, signed to the practice squad, and then re-signed to the team their special teamer Je'Rod Cherry all in about a three week span. I think by the end of the season he was released again.

I'd love to have a "54th man" competition for players like that.

by Matt (not verified) :: Thu, 08/04/2005 - 11:42pm

Re #7 - That was Rob Ducey, a Phillies outfielder traded to the Blue Jays for a PTBNL. Two weeks later he was sent back to the Phils as that PTNBL. Greatest trade ever.

by Jim A (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 1:12am

My favorite insignficant trade, or perhaps the most obviously stupid trade, came on draft day in 1997. The Packers traded their 6th round pick (193 overall) to the Raiders for a 7th rounder in the same draft (213 overall). Straight up, no past or future considerations. GM Ron Wolf first claimed that he wanted more time to package his 7th rounders for a higher pick in 1998, but that never happened. Then Wolf, who uncharacteristically had made no draft day trades up to that point said, "I just wanted to make a trade."

Not even the Loser's Curse chart could explain that one.

by Israel (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 3:51am

As long as #14 wants to bring up "obviously stupid" trades, I'll mention that my father - dead nearly twenty-five years - is still(!) mad about "Buddy Dial for Nobody."

by dryheat (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 12:05pm

RE #7 and #13

I think 1B/OF Randy Kutcher was another one.

by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 08/05/2005 - 3:18pm

As teams seem to be getting smarter about cap space value, unless the NFL comes up with rules to prevent it, I wouldn't be surprised if the situation from a couple years ago when the Vikings lost a position in the draft because they took too long doesn't happen more often.

A team thinks they can get their guy lower in the draft, but nobody wants to trade with them. Instead of getting their guy at #7 overall (and paying him like a #7 overall), they may drop a spot or two and only have to pay the guy like a #8 or a #9.

by Heath (not verified) :: Sat, 08/06/2005 - 12:17pm

Then there's Joel Youngblood who was traded in the middle of a day game, and then packed and headed off to play with his new team in the night game.

He got a hit in both games.

by Duane (not verified) :: Mon, 08/08/2005 - 10:33pm

Re: 14. Ah, Ron Wolf, the Trademeister. Regarding judging the relative significance of any trade immediately after, the very same Ron Wolf traded an oft-injured cornerback, Fred Vinson, for an oft-fumbling RB, Ahman Green straight up, as I remember.

by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 10:59am

OK, Duane. I think this is an insignificant trade, you think it's as significant as the Packers acquiring Ahman Green. Let's remember this for a couple of years and come back to see who was right.

by Duane (not verified) :: Tue, 08/09/2005 - 11:50am

MDS, I think this is as insignificant a trade as you do, but you just never know...