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10 Years After Favre Trade, Deals Still Have Impact


Ten years ago, Ron Wolf pulled off one of the best trades in NFL history -- acquiring Brett Favre for the Green Bay Packers for a first-round draft choice.

Meanwhile, everybody says "there are no more big trades in the NFL anymore."

Well, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins certainly would not agree with that theory.

Trades that these clubs engineered this year are paying handsome dividends.

The Bills acquired quarterback Drew Bledsoe from New England, and he has infused a new spirit into the team as well as captured the top spot in the AFC in attempts, completions and yards. He has thrown 12 touchdown passes -- tied for second-most in the conference -- and is the AFC's fourth-ranked passer (NOTE: stats prior to Oct. 13).

Bledsoe also set an NFL record on September 29 by throwing for his fourth career overtime TD pass.

In Miami, the Dolphins couldn't be more pleased with their acquisition of running back Ricky Williams from the New Orleans Saints.

Williams has given the AFC East-leading Dolphins a consistent, powerful running game.

In his five outings, Williams has rushed for 100 yards four times (and 66 yards in his other game), one short of the Dolphins' season record in the category. In his first three games, he posted the most yards (394) of any back joining a new team since 1970.

And Favre? Just look at last Monday night for proof that the now-retired Ron Wolf knew what he was doing back in 1992.

It was vintage Favre on Monday as he lifted the Packers to a 4-1 record with a 34-21 victory over division-rival Chicago.

At his exuberant best, Favre surpassed 40,000 passing yards in his career - only the eighth player in NFL history to do so -- by completing 22 of 33 attempts for 359 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 133.3 passer rating for the game. Included in his barrage was the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this year - an 85-yard touchdown strike to Donald Driver.

For his efforts, Favre, who turns 33 today, was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, his seventh such honor. He leads the NFC in passer rating (100.8).

"In all the success I've had, I never imagined any of it," says Favre. "I always just wanted the opportunity to play and I got that."

He got that thanks to Wolf, the Packers' general manager from 1992-2001.

On February 10, 1992, Wolf exchanged a first-round draft choice with the Atlanta Falcons for the unknown 22-year-old Favre. At the time, Favre had appeared in two games for Atlanta and thrown five passes - two of which were intercepted.

The trade made no national headlines, simply a line in the daily "transactions" column. But Favre was the guy Wolf, in his first full year with the Packers, wanted.

"We believed all along that he was the best player in the '91 draft," says Wolf, now living in Annapolis, Maryland, and doing analysis on Navy games. "Our belief was borne out. He won three MVP awards, which was never done." And he led the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one.

Ask Wolf, as the NFL trading deadline approaches Tuesday, at 4:00 PM ET, to rate the top five trades in NFL history, and his Favre masterpiece ranks third.

Ron ("Every Trade Is A Gamble") Wolf's top five NFL trades:


1950 - Lions trade for QB Bobby Layne from New York Bulldogs for E Bob Mann. Layne goes on to throw for 26,000 yards, and help Detroit to three NFL titles. Wolf: "He was a Hall of Fame player who turned the Lions' franchise around."


1953 - Tied for second-largest trade in NFL history - 15 players. Colts trade T Mike McCormack, DT Don Colo, LB Tom Catlin, DB John Petitbon and G Herschell Forester to Browns for DBs Don Shula, Bert Rechichar and Carl Taseff, LB Ed Sharkey, E Gern Nagler, QB Harry Agganis, Ts Dick Batten and Shu Sheets, and Gs Art Spinney and Elmer Willhoite. Browns' acquisitions help them to four title-game appearances in next five years and two championships. Wolf: "It gave the Browns a Hall of Famer (McCormack) and kept their dynasty intact."


1992 - Packers trade for QB Brett Favre from Atlanta for first-round draft choice. Favre is a three-time league MVP and led Green Bay to the Super Bowl XXXI title. Wolf: "When we made the deal, we knew we were going to sink or swim with him."


1959 - Packers trade for T Henry Jordan from Cleveland for a fourth-round choice. Jordan becomes a fixture in Packers' dynasty. Played in four Pro Bowls, seven NFL title games and Super Bowls I and II. Wolf: "A Hall of Famer."


1987 - 49ers trade for QB Steve Young from Tampa Bay for second- and fourth-round choices. Young proceeds to lead San Francisco to four NFC Championship Game appearances and capture Super Bowl XXIX title as MVP. Wolf: "He kept the legacy going."


1967 - Raiders acquire CB Willie Brown and QB Mickey Slaughter from the Broncos for DT Rex Mirich and a third-round draft pick, which was dealt to Buffalo. Brown, who would help Oakland to two Super Bowl titles, spent 11 seasons with the Raiders and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. He's one of two players to intercept at least one pass in 16 consecutive seasons. Wolf: "One of the best at his position."

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