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Published: Sept. 18, 2013 at 07:16 p.m.
Updated: Sept. 19, 2013 at 02:39 a.m.

Best in-season trades ever

Blockbuster midseason trades in the NFL are about as common as a quiet crowd at CenturyLink Field on Sundays. So to say Colts general manager Ryan Grigson shocked the football world Wednesday by trading his 2014 first-round draft pick for Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson would be the understatement of the century, nay, the millennium. Richardson was only two games into his second pro season!

Once my mind settled from the wild fantasy implications of this move, I realized this was a prime opportunity for a Pick Six. So rather than blather on further, here are the six biggest midseason deals in league history.

8 Photos Total

  • Honorable mention: Randy Moss traded to Vikings in 2010 8

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    Honorable mention: Randy Moss traded to Vikings in 2010

    Everybody was caught off guard when the Patriots sent Moss and a seventh-round pick to his original team in exchange for a third-round choice. However, the biggest shock came when the Vikings realized this was not the same Moss who terrorized teams during his previous stint. They ended up releasing the enigmatic receiver after some unpleasantness in a buffet line.

  • 6. John Hadl traded to Packers in 1974 7

    National Football League

    6. John Hadl traded to Packers in 1974

    Hadl formed a potent passing combination with Lance Alworth during the 1960s in San Diego. The quarterback was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 1973 and led the team to the playoffs, along with being selected NFC Player of the Year. But Hadl was traded to the Packers during the 1974 campaign after losing the starting job to James Harris. And really, what should be noted is that QBs should be allowed to wear numbers in the 20s.

  • 5. Brett Favre traded to Jets in 2008 6

    Thomas E. Witte/Associated Press

    5. Brett Favre traded to Jets in 2008

    While this deal technically happened in the preseason, I am going to allow it. This trade had so many ramifications, from Aaron Rodgers finally getting to start, to the Jets tanking during the stretch drive after an injury to Favre, which eventually led to New York moving up to select Mark Sanchez in the 2009 draft.

  • 4. Bobby Layne traded to Steelers in 1958 5

    National Football League

    4. Bobby Layne traded to Steelers in 1958

    Layne won three championships with the Lions, the final one coming in 1957. But Layne was sent to Pittsburgh during the 1958 season to be reunited with coach Buddy Parker (with whom he won two titles previously). Legend has it that Layne cursed the Lions by saying that the team would not win for 50 years, which has been discounted by some. But then again, is there a better way to explain Matt Millen's time in Detroit?

  • 3. Michael Haynes traded to Raiders in 1983 4

    National Football League

    3. Michael Haynes traded to Raiders in 1983

    Haynes was one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL when he was traded by the New England Patriots to the Los Angeles Raiders. The deal was not approved by the NFL until November, but Haynes played the final five games of the season for the Raiders and was a key member of the team's Super Bowl drive. Haynes recorded an interception in the Raiders' 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.

  • 2. Eric Dickerson traded to Colts in 1987 3

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    2. Eric Dickerson traded to Colts in 1987

    Some might consider this the beginning of the end of the Rams' tenure in Los Angeles, as the team dealt Dickerson to the Colts as part of a three-way trade on Halloween night. The Rams had just started a run with Dickerson and young quarterback Jim Everett, but it was short-lived. The Rams remained competitive for a few years, including a run to the 1989 NFC Championship Game, but the team petered out after that.

  • 1. Herschel Walker traded to Vikings in 1989 2

    Kevin Reece/Associated Press

    1. Herschel Walker traded to Vikings in 1989

    Most football enthusiasts' jaws dropped when the Cowboys traded Walker to the Vikings for a combination of players (most journeymen) and picks. Many speculated that the Cowboys were crazy for trading their lone big-name player, but this worked out pretty well. How well?

  • Emmitt Smith (Cowboys fallout from Walker deal) 1

    David Longstreath/Associated Press

    Emmitt Smith (Cowboys fallout from Walker deal)

    Jimmy Johnson used those picks (along with some other dealing) to build the Cowboys' dynasty of the 1990s. Included in that haul was the future Hall of Fame running back, who won three Super Bowl titles with Dallas.

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