Miami Dolphins: 8 Best Trades in Team History
Recently, that is probably true, but the Dolphins have made some brilliant moves in the past.
Not all trades can be blockbusters, but a solid value trade is just as good.
As a disclaimer, draft pick trades are tricky because the poor selection of the other team makes a trade look better or worse. So please know that some of these trades were made better by the fact that the Dolphins' trade partners made poor draft choices.
2001: Dolphins Swap Picks with the Dallas Cowboys
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In 2001, the Dolphins sent their No. 56 and No. 122 draft picks to Dallas for the No. 52 pick.
The trade-up was to land WR Chris Chambers from Wisconsin.
Chambers turned out to be a great pick and became one of the best WRs in Dolphins history. He ranks fourth all-time in team history in receiving yards.
He had a career year in 2005 with 82 catches for 1,118 yards and 11 TDs.
The draft picks the Dolphins gave up to get Chambers turned into SS Tony Dixon (56) and OLB Markus Steele (122).
Dixon played a minor role for a few years tallying 109 tackles and six sacks, while Steele played in 42 games over three seasons, and both were out of football by 2004.
2007: Dolphins Send Chambers to San Diego
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In the middle of the 2007 season, the Dolphins could see the season crumbling and decided to start rebuilding for the future.
The Dolphins sent star WR Chris Chambers to San Diego for the No. 57 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
The Dolphins then used the No. 57 pick on QB Chad Henne.
While everyone may have a different opinion on Henne, the trade was a smart move, and if Henne can turn his career around, the move could be a brilliant one.
Chambers was clearly on the decline of his career, and to be able to land a second round pick for him was a good move.
Chambers went on to be a decent player for San Diego and now, Kansas City. However, most San Diego fans will tell you he was a disappointment.
1998: Dolphins Swap Picks with Carolina
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In 1998, Miami made what seemed like an odd move at the time. The Dolphins sent their 2000 first round pick to Carolina in exchange for the Panthers 1998 second round pick.
The Dolphins wanted to trade-up and select CB Patrick Surtain.
Surtain had a fantastic career with Miami and is one of the best shut-down corners the team has ever had.
He teamed with CB Sam Madison to form a dynamic duo, and they were a part of one of the most underrated defenses during the early 2000s (a defense that also had Jason Taylor, Trace Armstrong and Zach Thomas).
The Panthers used the first round pick (No. 23 overall) on DB Rashard Anderson. Anderson had a couple of decent seasons but was suspended for two years in a row for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was reinstated after the 2003 season, but never played in the NFL again.
1991: Dolphins Ship Randal Hill Away After One Game
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In 1991, the Dolphins used their first round pick on WR Randal "Thrill" Hill. After playing in just one game in the 1991 season, the Dolphins sent Hill to Phoenix for the Cardinals 1992 first round pick (No. 7 overall).
The Dolphins used the 1992 pick on CB Troy Vincent.
While Vincent spent the majority of his career in Philadelphia, he had four solid years in Miami first.
Vincent racked up 14 INTs as a Dolphin and was a solid all-around player.
Hill lasted eight years in the NFL, but never lived up to his hype. He even had a second stint with Miami in 1995 and 1996.
While Miami was not able to hang onto Vincent for long, they were able to get four better years out of Vincent than they probably would have gotten out of Hill.
1969: Dolphins Land LB Nick Buoniconti
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In 1969, the Dolphins pulled off one of the biggest steals in history. The Dolphins sent LB John Bramlett, QB Kim Hammond and a fifth round pick to the Boston Patriots for LB Nick Buoniconti.
Buoniconti had seven good years in Boston before coming to Miami. However, Buoniconti's Hall of Fame career was made in Miami.
He was a vital part of the no-name defense and the Dolphins' two Super Bowl Championships.
Hammond never threw a TD in his career, and Bramlett only lasted a few more years after the trade and was out of football.
This trade was an absolute slam dunk for the Dolphins.
1969: Dolphins Steal G Larry Little Away from San Diego
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1969 was an amazing year for Miami Dolphins trades. They were able to steal Nick Buoniconti and also steal another Hall of Famer in G Larry Little.
The Dolphins sent CB Mack Lamb to San Diego for Little.
Lamb will always be remembered as the first Miami native to ever play for the Dolphins, but he never saw the field again after being traded in 1969.
Little went on to be an anchor for the Dolphins' OL for 12 years. He was on the Dolphins' two Super Bowl Championship teams.
Little was a five time Pro Bowler and elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993.
1970: Dolphins Get WR Paul Warfield
The Dolphins continued to land Hall of Famers in trades in 1970 when they landed WR Paul Warfield from Cleveland. The Dolphins did give up a first round pick in the 1970 draft for Warfield, so he was not quite a steal like Little and Buoniconti were.
However, Cleveland used that first round pick on QB Mike Phipps, who lasted 12 years in football but threw 55 TDs to 108 INTs. I do not think the Dolphins were missing out on anything with Phipps.
Warfield, meanwhile, continued his Pro Bowl caliber play in Miami. He was also on the two Super Bowl Championship teams.
What made this trade even better was that the Dolphins got compensation for Warfield when he signed back with Cleveland in 1976.
By 1976, Warfield was no longer a Pro Bowl player and was at the end of his career, and the Dolphins received fourth round and seventh round picks in the 1978 draft for him.
The Dolphins used the fourth round pick on CB Gerald Small. Small went on to have a solid six year career in Miami with 23 INTs.
1969: Dolphins Have to Give Up Draft Pick for Don Shula
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I know, technically this was not a trade, but the Dolphins did have to give up compensation to sign Coach Shula, so it is close enough.
After the 1969 season, the Dolphins signed Coach Shula. The signing was ruled illegal by the NFL, and tampering charges were placed on Miami (though many argue that it was not illegal).
Miami had to give the Baltimore Colts a 1970 first round pick as compensation.
In the end, it proved to be well worth the hassle for Miami.
Shula has gone on to be the all-time wins leader in football and brought Miami its only two championships.
The Colts used the first round pick on RB Don McCauley. McCauley lasted 11 years in the NFL, but never made any significant impact.