2011 NFL Trades: Grading the Risk Factor for Every Trade This Year

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2011 NFL Trades: Grading the Risk Factor for Every Trade This Year
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

National Football League teams don't make high-risk trades anymore.

In a climate where it's better for GM's and VP's to act conservatively and get consistently above-average results, rather than show less abandon and get potentially disastrous results, it's just not worth it for the people whose jobs are on the line.

We're probably never again going to see the days when Herschel Walker could be traded from Dallas to Minnesota for five players and six draft picks or when New Orleans could trade eight draft picks to Washington just for the chance to draft Ricky Williams.

Even the league's boldest trade in recent memory wasn't really that risky when you think about it.

Atlanta took some heat surrounding the 2011 NFL draft for trading Cleveland five draft picks for the chance to draft wide receiver Julio Jones, but with the Falcons knocking on the door of an NFC title right now, losing a handful of picks (and technically just one first-rounder) to get a game-changing playmaker helps them more in the short term than it hurts them in the long term.

Looking at every trade of the 2011 offseason, there are no deals that were decisive W's for either side, and no deals that should come back to cost any front-office employee their job—so long as they know how to talk their way out of a tough spot:

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