Top 12 NFL Quarterback Trades of the Past 40 Years – Part 1 (9-12)


Mar 22, 2022

The past two weeks have seen several big-name quarterbacks on the move, with Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Matt Ryan finding new homes via trade. Hence, those moves got us thinking about other deals involving QBs, including ones that may not have appeared significant at the time but indeed turned out to be. While time will tell how successful these recent transactions will be, here is the first four of our list of the top 12 quarterback trades in NFL history. Feel free to throw the challenge flag and keep an eye out for the next eight players on our list over the coming days.9) Drew Bledsoe Resurrects Career in Buffalo – 2002

Buffalo Bills Receive: QB Drew Bledsoe

New England Patriots Receive: 2003 first-round pick

Following a vicious collision with New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis and the subsequent rise of quarterback Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe’s nine-year run with the New England Patriots was over after the 2001 season. However, the former first-overall pick revived his career thanks to an offseason trade to the Buffalo Bills. Bledsoe’s first year in Buffalo saw him earn his fourth Pro Bowl berth, proving the veteran still had plenty left in the tank.

10) Patriots Ship Off Jimmy G – 2017

San Francisco 49ers Receive: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots Receive: 2018 second-round pick

Another one of Brady’s backups to find success outside of New England, Jimmy Garoppolo, was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick. There were reports of head coach Bill Belichick wanting to keep Garoppolo before ultimately being overruled by owner Robert Kraft.

It was the move Garoppolo needed to jumpstart his career, as he led the 49ers to a berth in Super Bowl LIV. New England would win one more Super Bowl following the trade but has struggled to find Brady’s heir apparent (the jury is still out on Mac Jones.)

11) Chris Chandler Finds a Home in Atlanta – 1997

Atlanta Falcons Receive: QB Chris Chandler

Houston Oilers Receive: 1997 fourth and sixth-round draft picks

Benched during the 1996 season in favor of Steve McNair, Chris Chandler experienced his greatest success when traded to the Atlanta Falcons in 1997. Chandler led the Falcons to a spot in Super Bowl XXXIII, a run that included one of the biggest upsets in NFL history – a 30-27 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the 1998 NFC Championship Game. He would spend five seasons in Atlanta, making two Pro Bowls.

12) Warren Moon Lands in Minny – 1994

A ten-year starter in Houston, Oilers management felt Warren Moon’s best days were behind him and that a change was necessary at the quarterback position. Enter the Minnesota Vikings, who acquired Moon (then 38-years-old) for a mere fourth-round pick in 1994 and a third-round pick in 1995. The nine-time Pro Bowler responded with back-to-back 4200 yard passing seasons, including tossing 33 touchdowns during the 1995 campaign. Not a bad return on investment.


Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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