Trading players is a fact of life in major professional sports. Sometimes, players just need the new scenery and environment to further their game. Other times, teams require fresh direction and would be better off coming in with new players. Or maybe, the salary expectations simply would not match between the team and the player.
In the NFL, trades are quite difficult to execute because of the complexities of the contracts. Besides, with a short season, trades can only be effectively done early on to ensure that the new player gets enough time to settle in with the new team. Still, it can happen and listed down here is the top 10 biggest trades in the NFL in 2013.
10. Felix Jones to the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers was a team in search of a running back. The team has an impressive rookie in Le’Veon Bell, but he went down with an injury during the preseason. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, needed help on the defensive side as the team ranked as one of the worst last season. So the Eagles sent Felix Jones, an underachiever, to the Steelers, even as they get linebacker Adrian Robinson in exchange. Whether they can make the cut with their new teams is another story.
9. Jonathan Baldwin to the San Francisco 49ers
In an exchange of first round wide receiver busts, the San Francisco 49ers sent A.J. Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Jonathan Baldwin. Both players were rated highly when they were drafted, but neither lived up to the potential. The Niners and the Chiefs hope that the new environment will spur the two to finally perform well.
8. Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders
The hapless Oakland Raiders got quarterback Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks for draft picks in 2014 and 2015. The Raiders had traded back Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and needed Flynn to take over the spot. The Seahawks had deemed Flynn surplus to its requirements after the breakthrough performance last season of its young quarterback Russell Wilson.
7. Colt McCoy to San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers got quarterback Colt McCoy, plus a sixth round pick, from the Cleveland Browns, in exchange for the teams fifth and seventh round picks. The Browns had wanted to release McCoy as they already have Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. McCoy will be a decent backup to Colin Kaepernick in the Niners system.
6. Chris Ivory to New York Jets
The New York Jets got running back Chris Ivory from the New Orleans Saints for a fourth round pick. Ivory had flashes of brilliance last season, and though the Jets may be a step down when compared to the Saints, he can use it to help his development as a player. Besides, his opportunities with the Saints are limited with Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles ahead of him in the depth chart. For the Jets, Ivory is an upgrade to Shonn Greene. He will also be used extensively with quarterbacks like Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez running the show.
5. Anquan Boldin to San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers got Anquan Boldin, a wide receiver from reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, for a sixth round draft pick. This is the same Boldin that caught 104 yards and a touchdown in the last Super Bowl. The Ravens needed him to take a pay cut in order to keep him in the team. He refused, which is why the Harbaugh brothers talked up a trade. It was also probably the Niners response to division rival Seahawks’ own acquisition of a big-name wide receiver. It is also good cover given the injuries to Michael Crabtree.
4. Carson Palmer to Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals got quarterback Carson Palmer and a draft pick from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for their own draft picks this year and in 2014. There was no more room left for Palmer in the Raiders lineup. He was the first overall choice in 2003, meaning he has the talent. When surrounded by the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, one only needs a decent quarterback to perform. Still, Palmer has been reported to say that the Cardinals offensive plays are the most complicated he has ever encountered.
3. Alex Smith to Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs got quarterback Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a couple of draft picks. This may turn out to be one of the better trades of the year. The Niners got rid of Smith’s huge contract and eliminated competition and possible controversy with Kaepernick. The Chiefs get a solid quarterback that they can partner with standout wideout receiver Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs also have coach Andy Reid, who is known to have managed successfully the likes of Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb.
2. Percy Harvin to Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks get wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings for a trio of draft picks. Harvin is a game-changing receiver, though he and his team suffered a huge setback when he suffered a hip injury. He hopes to return by the middle of the regular season however. He will then team up with an impressive young quarterback in Russell Wilson, and help complement the offense of one of the game’s premier back in Marshawn Lynch.
1. Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got cornerback Darrelle Revis for a pair of draft picks. Revis is widely regarded as the best corner in the league today, and the Bucs got him for almost nothing. Though he has a huge contract, there is no guaranteed money involved in the deal. Revis is a proven player who has been to the Pro Bowl, and though the Bucs gave up a first round pick for him, the chance to have a shutdown corner playing on your side was just too huge to give up.
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