There have been plenty of examples throughout sport history whereas a specific blockbuster trade has been a defining moment for a sport franchise.
A few that come to mind would be the following:
1. The Dallas Cowboys trade of Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in return for an abundance of draft picks. This trade all but assured the Cowboys of a decade of dominance—along with assuring the Vikings a decade of futility.
2. The New Orleans Saints surrendered their entire draft coffers for Ricky Williams. We all know how that blunder ended.
3. The Boston Red Sox trading Babe Ruth. Enough Said!
The aforementioned examples are proof that any organization is capable of having a monumental blunder at some point during their existence. However, no organization in recent years has come close to the continued blunders of the San Diego Chargers.
If we lived in a fairy tale world, then the Chargers would be Santa Claus, the fairy godmother, the genie in a bottle and a leprechaun all rolled in to one for other NFL teams. Is there any greater "consistent giver" in the National Football League than the San Diego Chargers during the past decade? I think not!
Take a moment to look at their track record in the past few years.
They have done for the New Orleans Saints what they could not do for themselves: produce a Super Bowl winning team that is exciting to watch. Let's see...they traded a very productive Drew Brees in favor of an erratic Phillip Rivers. As we know, Drew Brees has managed to become a Super Bowl winning quarterback for one of the most hapless franchises ever and is sure to be a future hall of fame inductee.
Just when you thought that was enough, they decide to trade Darren Sproles to the Saints in favor of an often-injured Ryan Matthews to further enhance the Saints high octane offense.
Really...did the Saints need another explosive offensive weapon?
If the Saints win another Super Bowl, then the Chargers General Manager (A.J. Smith) should accept the Lombardi trophy on their behalf, because he is actually more responsible than the Saints.
After all...he has been their Santa Claus, fairy godmother, genie in a bottle and leprechaun all rolled into one.
Oh, and let's not forget: In this past decade the Chargers have continued their rampant gift giving throughout the NFL by supplying the Falcons with a perennial 1,000-yard rusher and All-Star in Michael Turner.
The latest news with the Chargers was whether or not they would release both Norv Turner and A.J. Smith after the season ended. The owner has decided to keep them both and issued a statement proclaiming both individuals provided the best opportunity for the organization to win in the future.
I'm curious: To which organization was he referring...his team, or the New Orleans Saints?
Although I have no idea what player transactions the future will provide, I do know that as long as the San Diego Chargers franchise exists, the New Orleans Saints will be perennial contenders for the Super Bowl.
Do not be surprised if Vincent Jackson is traded to the Saints in 2012. The Chargers have to do something to keep their New Orleans connection fresh.