Every NFL Team's Most Regretful Trade

Teams in the NFL make trades that can either go really well, or bad. Either way it could change the team for a long time. All the teams at the end of the day, make a trade that will eventually win them a Super Bowl. The St. Louis Rams traded superstar running back Jerome Bettis, and delt their third round pick in the 1996 NFL Draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers, for a second round pick in the 1996 draft, and a fourth round pick in the 1997 NFL Draft. Bettis would help the Steelers win Super Bowl XL. Another example is Marshall Faulk, who was traded from the Colts to the Rams for a second, and fifth round draft pick in 1999. Faulk helped the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV, and he was league MVP that season. Lastly the Baltimore Colts traded John Elway to the Denver Broncos, in 1983. John Elway would lead the Broncos to five Super Bowls winning two, and being a face of the franchise forever.

The other side of this is a trade going poorly, that could possibly hurt the team for a long time. Fans of these franchises will remember forever. In this article we'll see each teams most regrettable trade, that has shaken the franchise forever.

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The worst trade in recent Arizona Cardinals history, is the trade they made for Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals made a big trade in hopes that it would help the franchise, but instead it went south pretty quickly. The Arizona Cardinals acquired Kevin Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, and traded away cornerback Dominique  Rodgers- Cromartie. They also traded away their second round draft pick. The massive contract the Arizona Cardinals got was for six years, and $63 million dollars.

In two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals Kevin Kolb was a complete bust. He only player in 15 games his full two years, he threw for 11 touchdowns, and  9 interceptions. In the 2012 season the Cardinals placed Kolb on season ending injured reserve. With all that money the Cardinals  invested into acquiring Kolb the following year he goes on Injured reserve. Arizona at that time had a bad offensive line also which meant the protection for Kolb wasn't great either.


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25 years ago on February 11, 1992 the Atlanta Falcons made the dumbest trade of their franchise, that would hurt the franchise forever. Brett Favre was drafted by the Falcons in the 1991 NFL Draft, with the 33rd overall pick. The Falcons' coach at the time Jerry Glanville was trying to trade Farve to the Jets but it didn't work out. Favre then got traded to the Green Bay Packers for the 19th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft.

That trade litterly changed the Falcons franchise imagine if they kept Brett Favre would they ever have gotten Michael Vick? With the draft pick they got from Green Bay the Falcons selected a running back named Tony Smith. He ran for 329 yards and just two touchdowns in his career. Brett Favre meanwhile was doing big things for the Packers and led them to a Super Bowl win in 1997.


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The Baltimore Ravens needed that side receiver in the 2011 season that could get them past New England and find themselves in the Super Bowl. So Baltimore decided to trade their 2012 fourth- round pick to Buffalo to acquire Lee Evans. In Buffalo Evans was their star wide receiver in 2010 he caught for 578 yards, and four touchdowns. But the Bills aren't that good of a team so Baltimore thought they'd give Evans a shot.

Lee Evans didn't work out for Baltimore at all in the nine games he played in 2011 for Baltimore, he had four receptions for 74 yards, on 26 targets. The bad stint in Baltimore started when he got injured in the preseason. He also only started two games in the 2011 season. His season in Baltimore will be the dropped touchdown pass in the AFC Championship game against New England, that would've won them a trip to the Super Bowl.


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The Buffalo Bills in the early 2000s were in desperate need for a quarterback. Some quarterback from Michigan named Tom Brady was drafted and had just led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win. That meant Drew Bledsoe's time in New England would be over and he was going to get traded. New England traded Bledose in the 2002 offseason to Buffalo for a third-round pick.

In his three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, he threw 55 touchdowns but 43 interceptions. Bledsoe always found a way to throw an interception. He was average at best, but clearly not what Buffalo hoped for. They probably thought that they would win the division, or go to the Super Bowl. For Buffalo Bill fans bringing Bledsoe in meant the team wasn't going young and decided to go with a washed up average quarterback at best.


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The year is 1999 the Carolina Panthers aren't really that good of a team, and aren't the best at making trades. More importantly they aren't very successful at trading away draft picks for veteran talent. This is what happened when they traded their 1999 and 2000 first -round picks to Washington, for defensive end Sean Gilbert. If I'm the GM of that team I would go through the draft and develop the young guys.

That's not what happened here, Gilbert, in the five years with the Panthers recorded 15 sacks, and 183 tackles. That's not what the Panthers were looking for after giving up all their draft picks like that. That also meant the fan base took a hit and left them angry the Panthers didn't go younger. They traded for a washed up defensive end instead of keeping their picks, and develop that way.


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This was probably one of the dumbest trades in Chicago Bears history. The owner of the Bears at the time George Halas was a very cheap owner in the NFL and wanted to get rid of Ditka. Ditka went to five consecutive Pro Bowls, and he was All - Pro from 1961-1965. He was one of the best tight ends in the game, and made a mark in the franchises history.

He and the owner George Halas argued over his contract constantly, so Halas traded Ditka to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Jack Concannon. I'm sure Bears fans were upset they traded Ditka, for a quarterback that wasn't going to help the team win. He only led the Bears to one winning season coming in 1967. Ditka would later return as a head coach of the Bears and win Super Bowl XX, in the 1985 season.


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Chad Ochocinco was pretty much the face of that franchise for a long time. The only problem was that the Bengals could never reach the next level because of the missing pieces they had. Ochocinco was traded to New England prior to the 2011 season, for a 2012 fifth-round pick, and a 2013 sixth -round pick. I feel like the Bengals could've gotten more with this trade.

Ochocinco was a huge asset to that Bengal offense. He caught for 10,783 yards, and had 66 touchdowns. He spent 10 seasons with the Bengals, instead of trading him why not go get another receiver  so you can have one on either side. Ochocinco goes to New England and sucks, I think if the Bengals got another receiver they could've at least won a playoff game.


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If you're a Cleveland Browns fan, I'm sorry to tell you the chances of you ever winning a playoff game are slim, never mind a Super Bowl. When Cleveland traded their draft pick at number 26, and a third-round pick at number 83. For Philadelphia's pick at number 22, and the right to draft Johnny Manziel, what a regretful mistake that was. Manziel was great in college but boy did the money go to his head after he got drafted.

In two seasons with the Browns, he passed 1,675 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He clearly was no Tom Brady that's for sure. Total opposite; he would rather party than play and prepare for football and get paid for it. For the fans it's a total disappointment, here you have this guy who is supposed to be your best great player and it completely falls apart.


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The year was 1999 and Troy Aikman only had a few years left in his career. Michael Irvin was also leaning towards retirement, so Jerry Jones made it a point to go get another wide receiver to help. The Cowboys singed Galloway making him the second highest paid receiver in the league at that time. Unfortunately it didn't go as planned.

In his first season in Dallas he only player in one game after tearing his ACL, in the season opener against Philadelphia. In his four  seasons with Dallas, he had 12 touchdowns, and 2,341 receiving yards. The Seahawks used their  2000 pick they got from Dallas to get running back Shaun Alexander. Galloway would retire from the NFL in 2010.


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It's the 2012 NFL Draft and the Denver Broncos have made some questionable moves in this draft. It wasn't that they traded for Ronnie Hillman a running back, it was they traded  up 20 spots in order to acquire him. Doing that cost the Broncos the fourth - rounder they acquired by trading out of the first round. He's an average running back in his first year with Denver, he ran for 330 yards and one touchdown.

His second year he ran for only 218 yards and one touchdown. His third year in 2013, he ran for 434 yards and three touchdowns. In his last year in Denver he ran for 863 yards, and seven touchdowns. Was he worth moving up 20 spots in 2012 to acquire him? The answer is no.


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Like the curse of trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees that the Red Sox did, the Lions trading Bobby Layne to the Steelers might be a curse of their own. When Layne got traded he said the Lions wouldn't win in 50 years. Turns out he was correct. In fact, it turns out he may have been being generous to the Lions, as there are no signs of them being a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the near future. That whole organization is a complete mess.

Since he got traded to Pittsburgh the Steelers have won six Super Bowl Championships, while the Lions since the trade have won zero championships. He was traded on October 7, 1958. He was the face of the Lions franchise... Until the Lions win the Super Bowl, the curse of Bobby Layne lives on.


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Jim McManhon was drafted by the Bears in the fifth overall pick in the 1982 NFL Draft. He was a winner of Super Bowl XX, and Super Bowl XXXI, but Packers fans know he is the worst Packe  of all time. Green Bay brought him in to back up Brett Favre, so they could have a decent backup but he was a disappointment. In his two years with Green Bay he passed for 45 yards and zero touchdowns.

He is without a doubt the worst back up quarterback of All time as a Green Bay Packer. Especially when Brett Favre was playing. In his career he through for 10,000 yards, but his days as a Packer are the ones he'll want to forget the most. I'm sure that's a regretful acquisition for the franchise.

20 HOUSTON TEXANS: Ryan Fitzpatrick

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The Texans haven't been around all that long, so it's a little harder to find their most regretful trade in their relatively short franchise history. However when you look at the time Ryan Fitzpatrick spent under center in Houston, the call gets a little easier. Ryan Fitzpatrick has never been the most consistent quarterback in the NFL, but he was having a career year back in 2014 with Houston before going down in Week 12 for s season ending injury. The Texans would trade him to the Jets the following year and Fitzpatrick would have an amazing year in New York in 2015. While Fitzpatrick would fall off after that, keeping Fitzpatrick in top form for another year may have propelled the Texans further than their usual early playoff exit.


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In the 1993 NFL Draft the Steelers, and the Colts made a trade. The Colts traded their 44th overall pick to the Steelers so they could select linebacker Chad Brown. The Colts received a 49th selection, as well as a fourth round pick. The Colts took Roosevelt Potts with the 49th, and linebacker Devin McDonald in the fourth round.

This would haunt the Colts as Chad Brown would turn out to be a great player for the Steelers. Brown was a three-time Pro Bowler, and had 30 sacks in his first four NFL seasons. Imagine if the Colts hadn't traded that pick it could've been Brown putting up those numbers for the Colts instead. He finished his career with 1,088 tackles, 79 sacks, and 17 forced  fumbles.


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Let's face it; since the Jaguars came into the league they haven't exactly been a model franchise. They had a great start, reaching the AFC Championship game twice in their first five years, but they have derailed since then. But that was supposed to change when they acquired Bryon Leftwich. He was supposed to be the face of the franchise but that went downhill. It seems like Jacksonville can never get anybody good.

The fans of the team must really think they'll never win a playoff game never mind a Super Bowl. Bryon Leftwich would spend four seasons with Jacksonville. He passed for 9,042 yards, he had 51 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions. His only Super Bowl Ring he has is with the Steelers.

17 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Give Up On Tony Gonzalez

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Antonio Gates recently passed him on the all-time touchdown list for tight ends, but Tony Gonzalez was a revolutionary player at the tight end position, as he began a trend of tight ends really being difference makers in the passing game. Gonzalez set many records for the Chiefs, but they reached a point where they felt Gonzalez's best days were behind him. They would deal their franchise icon to the Atlanta Falcons in 2009 for a second round pick in 2010. As Gonzalez would prove in Atlanta the next few seasons, he definitely still had plenty of great years left; he just needed a quarterback. You wonder if the Chiefs would have been a lot better off had they just kept Gonzalez his entire career.

16 LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Trade Up In The Draft To Take... Ryan Leaf

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It's the 1998 NFL Draft and the Chargers want a quarterback. They sent the Arizona Cardinals two first rounders, a second rounder, Eric Metcalfe and Patrick Sapp to move up to the no.2 spot to grab the Cardinals' pick, with the intention of selecting either Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf, whoever was available at no.2.

Unfortunately for the Chargers, it ended up being Ryan Leaf who was available and while it seemed Leaf could be a franchise savior in San Diego, it quickly became clear that Leaf was going to be a total NFL bust. And that's exactly what he was. In just two years with the Chargers, Leaf completed just 48% of his passes and threw just 13 touchdowns to 33 interceptions. The Chargers gave up on him and Leaf's NFL career ended after three years.


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While this trade hasn't proven to be regretful yet, we're going to change gears a little and point out why it could be regretful. The Rams sent Robinson to Detroit for a sixth round draft pick this past off season. Robinson led the league in penalties last season, and didn't work out with the Rams. The Rams drafted him in the  2014 NFL Draft. He was also benched for two games last season.

Recent moves by general manager Lea Snead have been questionable. This trade could be regretful if it doesn't work out they way it should. Getting draft picks in return is good but it all depends what you do with the picks. The fans want to see them winning at a chance at the Super Bowl.


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Nothing more surprising than to walk in into the GM' s office and being told you've been traded. That's what happened to Vontae Davis when he walked into Jeff Ireland's office. He was shocked, as was detailed in Hard Knocks that year and so was the rest of the league. I'm sure the fans weren't happy as he was an asset  at the cornerback position.

The Dolphins got just a second round pick in return. They used that pick to draft Jamar Taylor but so far he's been a bust. Davis is a cornerback for the Colts now and is still a contributing player. If I'm a Dolphins fan I wouldn't be happy with that dysfunctional mess. No wonder Jeff Ireland didn't last much longer as Dolphins' GM.


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This pick was a no-brainer. This trade was the biggest player trade in the NFL. It involves 18 players and draft picks. Minnesota received Herschel Walker, Dallas' s third round pick, fifth round pick, 10th round pick, and third round pick in the 1991 NFL Draft.

The Vikings thought they had the better end of the deal but nope they were wrong. Jimmy Johnson used the draft picks they got from the trade to draft Emmitt Smith, and Darren Woodson.

It probably left Minnesota stunned. Walker rushed for 551 yards in his the seasons with Minnesota. The Cowboys essentially used this trade to build a dynasty, while the Vikings didn't even get much better in the short-term, as they thought they would. I'm sure the Vikings regret that trade even to this day.


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Head coach Bill Belichick will want to forget this trade ever existed. They traded their second and third round pick to acquire Chad Jackson at the 36th overall pick. For Belichick to give up picks like that he must've seen something. Jackson was a bust though.

Jackson had the ability to make it in the NFL, he was fast and you think he could get open. He was a big disappointment though and couldn't get the Patriots offense. Jackson had 13 catches for 152 yards, then they let him go. This was by far one of  regretful  trades in the Bill Belichick era. Belichick is usually exceptional on draft day and makes shrewd moves, but the one position he's seemed to bust on come draft day is receiver. Oh well, he has five rings to console him.


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Saints fans were shocked to learn Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints drafted him in 2010. He led the Saints in 2010, with 85 receptions, and 10 touchdowns. The Saints still had Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks but were going to miss Graham, as he had amazing chemistry with Brees and was always his safety blanket.

They dealt Graham to Seattle along with a fourth round pick. The team would acquire center Max Unger and a first round pick in return. The team has failed to return to relevance in the last few years and the Saints must regret trading their tight end after giving him a massive contract. Graham had 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns as a Saint. While he hasn't lit it up in Seattle as expected, it's hard to imagine he would have dipped so significantly with Brees throwing him the ball.


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The date is October 10, 1964, the day the Giants traded Sam Huff, and George Seals to the Redskins for two no name players and a fifth round pick. The Giants really regret the trade because these players were elite at that time. The Giants pretty much got nothing in return. It was a shock to the league at that time.

For Washington it was the second major deal in 10 days for the team. The Giants had some locker room issues and cited that as the reason for the trade. I'm sure at the time the Giants would've liked to take the trade back. The Giants would be okay though, as they've won four Super Bowls which really makes you forget all about silly trades like this.


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It seems Brett Favre is always involved in bad trades... Following the 2007 season, Favre was indecisive as to whether he wanted to retire. In March he decided to hang them up, only to change his mind a few months later. However, the Packers were committed to turning to Aaron Rodgers and thus, had to get rid of Favre's contract. The Jets took him on and while he had a great run to start the season, going 8-3, the Jets would lose their four of their next five games as Favre's age started to show and he experienced some injury troubles. Favre would go to Minnesota the next season and revived his career, but it's clear in the whole, 'will he or won't he' ordeal that the Jets got the short end of the stick.

The trade's even worse when you consider the Jets cut Chad Pennington to make room for Favre, only to see Pennington lead the Dolphins to the AFC East crown that season.


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The Oakland Raiders probably made the dumbest trade on this list, trading Randy Moss to New England. Randy Moss was doing okay in Oakland but wasn't happy. Instead of improving their team they traded him to a Patriots powerhouse team. They got nothing in return but a  fourth round pick. If you're trading a talent like Moss, wouldn't you expect to get a little more than a fourth rounder in return?

Randy Moss would have a record a year in New England, connecting with Tom Brady bfor a record 23 touchdowns that season and going on a 16-0 run in the regular season. The Raiders could've gotten something better for him. I'm sure the can weren't happy and the Raiders regret the trade.


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One of the worst moves in the Chip Kelly Era, trading a top player in LeSean Mc.Coy and not getting much in return. He traded him for Kiko Alonso, one of his former Oregon Ducks who was just coming back from knee surgery. He'd prove to be a disappointment in Philly.

Eagles fans weren't to happy Kelly made that trade. McCoy wasn't the type of runner Chip Kelly wanted in his system, even though he had proven to be effective the year before. Instead Kelly traded McCoy and decided to sign DeMarco Murray from the Dallas Cowboys. Ironically, it was proven that Murray was a horrendous fit for Chip Kelly's system and had the worst year of his career as an Eagle. So Kelly essentially screwed the Eagles over in more ways than one.


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The Steelers really haven't made all that many bad trades in their history, so we'll have to resort to placing a kicker here. Josh Scobee had been an elite kicker in Jacksonville for so many years, so when the Steelers ran into some kicking issues back in the 2015 season, it made sense to turn to a veteran like Scobee. They acquired him from Jacksonville in exchange for a 6th round pick in 2016. However the playing surface at Heinz Field proved to be too much for Scobee to handle and he missed several chip shot field goals that had been very uncharacteristic for his career. Even rapper/Steelers fan Snoop Dogg called him out. That's when you know it's bad! But hey, at least it was only a kicker.

5 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Giving Up On Alex Smith

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Given that the team has now moved on from Colin Kapernick and don't have a franchise QB, can we say that long-term, the 49ers trading Alex Smith to the Chiefs didn't work out? After all, Smith was never the flashiest QB in San Fran and Kaepernick did in fact look like the future at the position, but after all these years, Smith has remained steady in San Francisco while Kaepernick's game went downhill after Jim Harbaugh's departure. Kaep lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert back in the 2015 season before winning it back again last year. Smith has been steady in KC and the 49ers are starting the likes of Brian Hoyer at quarterback today. If they could go back in time, would they still choose Kaep over Smith?


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When the Seahawks made deal for Percy Harvin they thought they won the trade. He was good when he first got into the league. He returned 114 kickoffs for a 27.9 average. He also had five touchdowns in his first four years in the league.

But boy were they wrong in pick in him up. In the 2013 season Harvin caught one pass for 17 yards, as he battled injury issues all year. He did return a kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII but the Hawks easily would have won the Super Bowl without him. On top of all that, Harvin was a headache in the locker room, even coming to blows with teammate Golden Tate. He was shortly cut by the team following that incident.


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Tampa Bay really made a stupid deal trying to acquire an elite cornerback on a bad team. They gave up a fourth and fifth round draft choice for Revis. He was only with Tampa for one season. They also gave up $16 million in cap space.

Tampa wasn't a good team. Revis was their only elite player and he was a terrible fit for the Bucs' defensive scheme. If they had other elite players around Revis that would've been better. They were trying to get people in the seats by trading do Revis. The Bucs would cut Revis after just one year, only to see Revis revive his career in New England, where he won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in the 2014 season.

2 TENNESSEE TITANS: Giving Up On Steve Largent

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Yes, we're going back to the days of the Houston Oilers for this one, as the Titans have only been in Nashville for roughly 20 years. The Oilers had one of the productive receivers in NFL history on their hands; they just didn't know it. Steve Largent would be drafted by the Oilers in 1976, but after just four preseason games, the team gave up on him and sent him to the expansion Seattle Seahawks for an eighth round pick. Largent would go on to play 14 seasons for the Seahawks and would finish his career with over 100 touchdown receptions. He would also add 819 catches for 13,089 yards. Largent did all this on a team that was still in its infancy stages. Imagine if he could have stayed on a decent team like the Oilers.


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In the 2012 NFL Draft the Washington Redskins traded up to get Robert Griffin III. They made the trade with the Rams, who believed they already had their franchise QB in Sam Bradford. The Rams got a first and second rounder, for the 2012 season, a 2013 first rounder and a 2014 first rounder.

This would be a complete bust for Washington. In three years with the Redskins he passed for 8,097 yards, and 40 touchdowns. He also had 23 interceptions. The biggest disappointment with RG3 was that he couldn't stay healthy and when he did, he lost his starting job to Kirk Cousins, a fourth round pick from that same year.

He wasn't the player Washington hoped he would be, so trading up to acquire him was a mistake, and regretful.

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