The 10 Most Championship-Causing Trades in NFL History
Every season, a NFL team's ultimate goal is to win "The Big One." Or, in other words, come away with a win in the Super Bowl.
Trades are one method of accomplishing that lofty goal.
Just think if the San Francisco 49ers didn't make that midseason deal for Defensive End Fred Dean in 1981.
They might not have won two of their four Super Bowls in the 1980s.
And if that Eli Manning-Philip Rivers deal never went down in 2004, the New York Giants might not have defeated the highly-favored New England Patriots in 2007.
Here's a list of the NFL's top 10 trades that helped teams hoist the most sought after prize: the Lombardi Trophy.
10. Corey Dillon Proves to be a Big Help for the Patriots
(Cincinnati Bengals trade RB Corey Dillon to the New England Patriots for a second-round pick.)
The Patriots finished the 2003 season ranked 27th in rushing, so they decided to do something about it.
They went out and got disgruntled Corey Dillon from the Bengals in hopes that he could help turn their lousy running game around.
Dillon, who had rushed for only 541 yards the previous season, went off for 1,635 yards during his first season in New England and helped his new team win its second consecutive Super Bowl.
9. Dolphins Receive an All-Pro Receiver
(Cleveland Browns trade WR Paul Warfield to the Miami Dolphins for a first-round pick.)
The Browns dealt Warfield, arguably the best wide receiver in the league at the time, to Miami so they could draft Purdue quarterback Mike Phipps.
Warfield continued to play great after the trade and was one of the main reasons the Dolphins won two Super Bowls in the early 1970s.
8. Kansas City Passes on Polamalu
(Pittsburgh Steelers trade the 27th overall pick along with third and sixth-round picks to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 16th overall pick.)
Before the 2003 draft, the Steelers traded up to select USC safety Troy Polamalu.
Polamalu emerged as one of the game's most intimidating defenders and helped the Steelers win two Super Bowl titles in the 2000s.
7. Elway's Wish is Granted, Gets Traded from Colts
(Baltimore Colts trade John Elway to the Denver Broncos for OT Chris Hinton, QB Mark Herrmann, and a first-round draft pick.)
Elway was drafted by the Colts with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1983 draft. He refused to play for the team and threatened to pursue a full-time baseball career if he wasn't traded.
The Colts then dealt Elway to Denver.
After coming up short three times in the 1980s, Elway led the Broncos to two Super Bowl victories in the late 1990s.
He was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXIII.
6. Indy Sends Faulk to "The Lou"
(Indianapolis Colts trade RB Marshall Faulk to the St. Louis Rams for second and fifth-round draft picks.)
The Colts were worried that Faulk would hold out, so they decided to deal him to the Rams for a couple of picks.
Faulk enjoyed a spectacular first year in St. Louis as he reached 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving.
More importantly, he helped the Rams transform from one of the league's worst teams into a Super Bowl winner.
5. Favre Goes From ATL to Green Bay
(Atlanta Falcons trade QB Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers for a first-round pick.)
It's pretty hard to imagine Favre as a backup. The former Southern Miss star played behind starting quarterback Chris Miller during his rookie season in Atlanta.
Favre lasted only one season with the Falcons before being traded to the Packers.
He quickly became a starter in Green Bay and led "The Pack" to a win in Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots.
4. 'Niners Land a Future Quarterback Legend
(Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade QB Steve Young to the San Francisco 49ers for second and fourth-round picks.)
With their star quarterback Joe Montana getting banged up, the 49ers went out and picked up Young for insurance.
Montana was eventually traded and Young took over leading the Niners to a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.
There's no way the Niners would have won that title without a megastar like Young under center.
3. Jets Deal their Coach to New England
(New York Jets trade head coach Bill Belichick to the New England Patriots for a first-round draft pick.)
Belichick was introduced as the Jets' head coach and then immediately resigned.
He later took over for the Patriots as the Jets received a draft pick for compensation.
Belichick went on to become one of the NFL's greatest coaches as he guided the Pats to three Super Bowl titles in the 2000s.
2. 49ers Swoop in to Snatch Jerry Rice
(San Francisco 49ers trade the 28th overall pick, a second-round pick, and a third-round pick to the New England Patriots for the 16th overall pick and a third-round pick.)
The Dallas Cowboys were prepared to select wide receiver Jerry Rice with the 17th overall pick in the 1985 draft.
But out of nowhere, Bill Walsh and the 49ers traded up and took Rice before the Cowboys got the chance to get their hands on the future Hall-of-Famer.
Rice developed into perhaps the greatest wide receiver in NFL history and helped the Niners win three Super Bowls.
In addition, he was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXIII.
1. "The Trade" Helps Dallas Build a Dynasty
(Dallas Cowboys trade RB Herschel Walker, third, fifth, and 10th-round picks in 1990, and a third-round pick in 1991 to the Minnesota Vikings for LB Jesse Solomon, LB David Howard, CB Isaac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, and DE Alex Stewart.
The Vikings also received first, second, and sixth-round picks in 1990, first and second-round picks in 1991, second and third-round picks in 1992, and a first-round pick in 1993.)
One of the biggest trades in NFL history, the Herschel Walker trade netted the Cowboys several picks that turned into solid contributors.
Included in those picks were running back Emmitt Smith and safety Darren Woodson, two players who played major roles in helping the Cowboys win three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s.