Minnesota Vikings: 5 Best Trades in Franchise History

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IMay 12, 2011

Minnesota Vikings: 5 Best Trades in Franchise History

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    The Minnesota Vikings, like any team, randomly made some noise over the years with some high profile trades.

    But not all of the trades were always received well, even if they served a valuable purpose; so valuable they became memorable.

    What I want to do today is take a look at five of the best trades the Vikings have ever made.

    Why five?

    Well, these trades in particular made the biggest impact on the team historically. They left indelible marks on the franchise, their fan base, and the history books.

    Let's take a stroll down memory lane, and look at some of the best trades the Vikings ever made.

Bob Grim for Fran Tarkenton

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    The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings entered a trade in 1967 that traded AWAY Tarkenton for all-around player Bob Grim.

    Now, Grim may not be well known, but what makes this trade special is this:

    Grim , helped the Vikings to the 1969 NFL championship and a Super Bowl IV appearance,despite his somewhat curious role as a "utility"' player. 

    Interestingly enough,Grim ended his career, playing with Fran Tarkenton and the Vikings in what would be his final two seasons, helping the team to the 1976 NFC championship and a Super Bowl XI appearance...

Fran Tarkenton

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    ...Consequently, after trading away Tarkenton to the New York Giants in 1967, the Vikings wisely traded back for him, and well, the rest is history.

    In exchange, the Vikings traded Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements and a 1st-round choice in 1972 and 1973 to the New York Giants.

    The Vikings also added wide receiver John Gilliam to try and improve the passing attack despite finishing with a disappointing 7–7 record.

    The following year the Vikings drafting running back Chuck Foreman with their first pick in the 1973 draft to help improve a dismal ground assault from the year prior.

Randy Moss for Napoleon Harris

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    Sorry, it's the only pic i could find.

    At first, this trade seemed like a huge mistake considering this was Randy Moss in his prime we're talking about.

    2002—the year of the scraped "Randy Ratio"—and 2003 were his best years as a Viking until 2004 where his fortunes took a turn downward.

    2004 sidelined Moss for nearly half a season with a hamstring injury that didn't seem to go away. Between the time missed and sub-par play when he did play—not to mention a growing concern for his attitude and on/off field antics—the Vikings traded Moss to the Oakland Raiders for LB Napoleon Harris.

    Harris was slowed by a knee injury in his first year with the Vikings but bounced back nicely finishing second on the team with 96 tackles, three interceptions, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 14 games. 

    Even if the trade did not show even results from player to player—albeit hard to matchup offense and defense here—it did serve its purpose whether the fan base agreed with it or not.

    It would also wind up opening the door for WR Troy Williamson.

Warren Moon

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    He didn't spend much time in Minnesota but he still made an impact and the beauty of it was the Vikings didn't have to give up more than a couple of draft picks for his services.

    Moon's career as a Viking was cut short in 1996 which eventually paved the way for Brad Johnson, but in that time, Moon bedazzled Vikings' fans, throwing for an amazing 10,102 yards and 58 touchdowns.

    Moon passed for over 4,000 yards with only Cris Carter and Jake Reed as his primary weapons through the air, in route to a Wild Card loss sustained at the hands of the Chicago Bears.

    Moon again passed for over 4,000 yards in 1995 with the same offensive set, but had significant trouble with the divisional foes, and subsequently wound up 8-8, missing the playoffs.

    In 1996, Moon missed half of the season with a broken collarbone and was released after refusing to take a $3.8 million pay cut to serve as Brad Johnson's backup.

    The fanbase seemed to be torn over whether the release was justified or not, but either way, it ended up being a huge stain on an otherwise memorable run as a Viking.

Jamaal Charles for Jared Allen

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    Hands down, the best trade this team ever made. At the time, this was one of those trades that most people simply dismissed; shrugging it off as an ancillary move.

    Well here we are!

    The Vikings gained one of the best pass rushers in the league; a player who is now the face of the franchise.

    And the Chiefs wound up with a running back that is sure to become one of the best as he continues to come into his own.

    In the end, however, I believe the Vikings wound up with the better deal.

    The Chiefs Received:

    First Round (15) Branden Albert, OG
    - Never quite lived up to expectations.

    Third Round (73) Jamaal Charles, RB - Quickly becoming an elite back in the league, if not already.

    Third Round (82) DaJuan Morgan, S - 41 tackles/0 PD's/0 INT's in 28 games.

    Sixth Round (182) Kevin Robinson, WR - Never made it in the pros.

    The Vikings Received:

    Jared Allen, DE
    - No explanation needed here.

    Sixth Round (187) John Sullivan, C - Serviceable center who was a far better pick than Albert.

    And there ya have it kids, a quick walk down memory lane. Hope you guys enjoyed!