Herschel Walker trade

The Herschel Walker trade was the largest player trade in the history of the National Football League.[1] This deal on October 12, 1989, centered on sending running back Herschel Walker from the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings. Including Walker and a transaction involving the San Diego Chargers, the trade eventually involved 18 players and draft picks.[2] At the time of the deal, the Cowboys were one of the worst teams in the league (the team finished the 1989 season with its worst post-merger record, 1-15), trading away their best player, while the Vikings believed that Walker was the missing piece they needed to make to a Super Bowl run. Thus, Minnesota originally felt that they got the better end of the deal. Instead, the Cowboys used the draft picks acquired in this trade to get the players they needed to help them win three Super Bowls in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Vikings did not make a Super Bowl appearance with Walker.

Background

In his book, Greatest Team Ever: The Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s, author Norm Hitzges chronicled the Herschel Walker trade.[3] Four games into the 1989 season, Jimmy Johnson, then the new head coach of the Dallas Cowboys (having taken over for Tom Landry that season), came up with the idea to trade Walker while on a morning jog with his staff. Johnson felt the Cowboys were so terrible that only a blockbuster trade could help them. He briefly considered trading wide receiver Michael Irvin to the Los Angeles Raiders, but Raiders owner Al Davis essentially talked Johnson out of the trade by saying, "You sure you want to do that? Who is going to catch passes for you?" Johnson felt that Walker was the only remaining bargaining chip they had.

A number of teams contacted the Cowboys when they announced that they would trade Walker. The New York Giants expressed interest, but the trade would have been unfavorable for Dallas since both teams were in the NFC East division. The Atlanta Falcons entered into negotiations, but eventually pulled out over fear of Walker's future contract demands. The most serious offer came from the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson stated, "[The Browns] offered us a player, a couple of future number one draft picks and three number two draft picks." The Cowboys felt this was a favorable offer, but they also felt that if another team were to enter the discussion, then they could generate a bidding war and thereby get even more compensation. Jimmy Johnson and team owner Jerry Jones decided to contact other clubs to generate buzz and create leverage. Johnson contacted Minnesota Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn. Johnson told Lynn that he was going to trade Walker to Cleveland that afternoon, and that if Minnesota would like to trade for Walker, then it would cost them "players, draft picks, conditional picks, and provisions", giving Lynn a deadline of 6:30 p.m. Lynn, feeling Walker was the missing piece to a Super Bowl run, faxed Johnson that he was interested, and soon after negotiations ensued. In order to get Walker to agree to a trade, the Cowboys paid him a $1.25 million "exit bonus".[3]

Timeline

The initial proposal

In the basic terms of the initial proposal, Dallas agreed to give Herschel Walker and three draft picks to Minnesota. In return, the Cowboys would get from the Vikings five players, three draft picks, and conditional picks attached to each of those five players should he be cut by Dallas before February 1, 1990:[4]

To Dallas Cowboys To Minnesota Vikings
  • LB Jesse Solomon
  • LB David Howard
  • CB Issiac Holt
  • RB Darrin Nelson
  • DE Alex Stewart
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 6th round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1991 (conditional on cutting Solomon)
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1991 (conditional on cutting Howard)
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1992 (conditional on cutting Holt)
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1992 (conditional on cutting Nelson)
  • Minnesota's 3rd round pick in 1992 (conditional on cutting Stewart)
  • RB Herschel Walker
  • Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1990
  • Dallas's 10th round pick in 1990
  • Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1991

Darrin Nelson forces a three-way trade

One of the players that was originally sent to Dallas, Darrin Nelson, refused to report to the Cowboys. Dallas then agreed to trade Nelson to the San Diego Chargers for their fifth round pick in 1990, which the Cowboys promptly sent to the Vikings. In total, this revised trade involved 18 players and draft picks (the new transactions with San Diego in bold):[2]

To Dallas Cowboys To Minnesota Vikings To San Diego Chargers
  • LB Jesse Solomon
  • LB David Howard
  • CB Issiac Holt
  • DE Alex Stewart
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 6th round pick in 1990
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1991 (conditional on cutting Solomon)
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1991 (conditional on cutting Howard)
  • Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1992 (conditional on cutting Holt)
  • Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1992 (condition met by trading away Nelson)
  • Minnesota's 3rd round pick in 1992 (conditional on cutting Stewart)
  • RB Herschel Walker
  • Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1990
  • San Diego's 5th round pick in 1990
  • Dallas's 10th round pick in 1990
  • Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1991

However, Nelson would rejoin the Vikings in 1991 as a free agent signee.

Dallas makes another deal to keep the conditional picks

The Vikings had originally assumed that they got the better end of the deal, not knowing at the time that head coach Jimmy Johnson was interested only in the draft picks and not the players. At a press conference after the trade, Johnson bragged that he committed "The Great Train Robbery," but was criticized by various sports writers such as Randy Galloway of The Dallas Morning News.[4]

Johnson waived Stewart in November 1989, then told his coaches to not start Solomon, Howard or Holt, signaling to the rest of the league his intention to claim the draft picks. Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn eventually made another deal, letting the Cowboys keep the three players and all the conditional picks.[4]

Aftermath and legacy

Dallas used Minnesota's picks over the succeeding years to make trades with other teams around the NFL. The picks acquired in those were then used to draft players such as Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, and Russell Maryland. These players would help the Cowboys win multiple Super Bowls. In other words, the trade of Walker to the Vikings contributed largely to the Cowboys' success in the early 1990s. For this reason, ESPN.com lists it as the 8th most lopsided trade in sports history.[5]

Pick acquired by Dallas Dallas' subsequent transactions (partial list)[1]
Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1990
  • Used as part of a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to move up from #21 to #17 overall in the first round in 1990
Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1990
  • Used as part of a deal to get the San Francisco 49ers' 3rd round pick in 1990
    • San Francisco's 3rd round pick was then used as part of the above deal with Pittsburgh to move to #17 overall
Minnesota's 6th round pick in 1990
Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1991
Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1991
Minnesota's 1st round pick in 1992
  • Used as part of a deal to get New England's 1st and 2nd round picks (#19 and #37 overall) in the 1992 draft
    • #19 overall was then used as part of a deal to get the Atlanta Falcons' first round pick (#17 overall)
      • #17 overall from Atlanta was then used to select CB Kevin Smith
    • #37 overall from New England was then used to select Darren Woodson
Minnesota's 2nd round pick in 1992
Minnesota's 3rd round pick in 1992
  • Used as part of the above deal to get to New England's 1st and 2nd round picks

Meanwhile, the 1989 Vikings were eliminated in the Divisional Playoffs by the eventual Super Bowl XXIV champion San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings have not made a Super Bowl appearance since losing to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI. Walker would play only 2 more seasons with the Vikings who failed to make the playoffs in both years. Walker then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1992 season. Seventeen years later in 2007, the trade was still an easy target for satire: one ESPN columnist, assessing the impact of free agency on the NFL (instituted in 1993), noted that it had almost entirely replaced significant trades and by doing so "took away one of the greatest shortcuts to becoming a Super Bowl champion: fleecing the Vikings."[6]

Pick acquired by Minnesota Player selected[1]
Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1990 TE Mike Jones
San Diego's 5th round pick in 1990 WR Reggie Thornton
Dallas's 10th round pick in 1990 WR Pat Newman
Dallas's 3rd round pick in 1991 WR Jake Reed

The trade was detailed in an ESPN 30 for 30 film, "The Great Trade Robbery".

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Herschel Walker Trade". Viking Update. 1999. Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  2. ^ a b "The NFL's Largest Trade". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  3. ^ a b Hitzges, Norm; St. Angelo, Ron (2007). Greatest Team Ever: The Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s. Nashville, Tennessee: Rutledge Hill Press. pp. 25–26. ISBN 1-4016-0340-8.
  4. ^ a b c Wulf, Steve (October 8, 2014). "The run that birthed Dallas' dynasty". ESPN.
  5. ^ "The List: Most lopsided trades in sport history". ESPN Page 2. July 16, 2001. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Mosley, Matt (March 2, 2007). "Would Manning thrive with Brady's weapons?". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
1989 Green Bay Packers season

The 1989 Green Bay Packers season was their 71st overall and their 69th in the National Football League. The Packers posted a 10–6 record, their best since 1972, but failed to make the playoffs. The team was often referred to as the "Cardiac Pack" due to several close-game wins. The 1989 Packers hold the NFL record for most one-point victories in a season with four. The team was coached by Lindy Infante and led by quarterback Don Majkowski, who attained his nickname "The Majik Man."

1990 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1990 Minnesota Vikings season was the 30th year season for the Minnesota Vikings and the 71st regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of six wins and ten losses. After beginning the season 1–1, the Vikings dropped their next five games and found themselves at 1–6. However, they caught fire mid-season with a five-game winning streak to even their record at 6–6 (including a 41–13 thumping of the eventual NFC Central champion Chicago Bears in Week 12). While being in the thick of the wild card race, the Vikings suddenly fell apart with a four-game losing streak to finish at 6–10.

Notable additions to the team this season were wide receiver Cris Carter and undrafted defensive lineman John Randle, both of whom would go on to have Hall of Fame careers.

Injuries to the defense and a lackluster season from Herschel Walker were the story of the team's season.

1991 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1991 Minnesota Vikings season was the 31st year season play for the team and the 72nd regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eight wins and eight losses. Head coach Jerry Burns retired after the season.

Herschel Walker, going into his third year with Minnesota, went through another season of frustration and he was released following the season. In his two and a half seasons with the Vikings, he failed to reach 1,000 yards. The Walker trade to Minnesota never lived up to expectations and this allowed the Dallas Cowboys to use two draft picks (Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson) to become a dominant team that won three Super Bowls in the 1990s.

1992 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1992 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 32nd in the 73rd regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of 11 wins and five losses. With that record, they returned to the playoffs after a two-year absence. They met the Washington Redskins, their first playoff meeting in six years after the 1987 NFC Championship game, this time in the Wildcard round. The Vikings looked to avenge their loss, but it was too late as the Redskins would go on to stun the NFC Central champions, 24-7.

Minnesota's starting quarterbacks were Rich Gannon, who went 8-4 in twelve starts, and Sean Salisbury, who won three of his four starts. The team's leading rusher was Terry Allen, who ran for 1,201 yards. Receivers Cris Carter and Anthony Carter led the team with 681 and 580 receiving yards, respectively.

Alex Stewart (American football)

Alex Stewart (born August 24, 1964) is a former Jamaican-born American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Cal State Fullerton.

Brock for Broglio

The phrase "Brock for Broglio" is sometimes used in the sport of baseball to signify a trade that in hindsight, turns out to be an extremely lopsided transaction.The names in the phrase refer to Lou Brock and Ernie Broglio respectively, the centerpieces of a June 15, 1964, six-player deal: Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth were traded from the Chicago Cubs to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Broglio, Bobby Shantz, and Doug Clemens.It was thought initially the Cubs had done better in the deal, as Broglio was coming off some impressive seasons while pitching for the Cardinals, while Brock had been considered a disappointment for the Cubs.Almost immediately the effects of the trade were felt, as Brock batted .348 for the Cardinals and led them to winning the 1964 World Series. Brock also helped the Cardinals to another World Series title in 1967, a pennant in 1968, and played successfully for St. Louis through 1979, amassing 3,023 hits and 938 stolen bases (at the time becoming baseball's all-time leader in stolen bases) en route to his Hall of Fame election in 1985. Meanwhile, Broglio went only 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for the Cubs, and by 1966 was out of Major League Baseball. Broglio did not tell anyone at the time, but he was suffering from an injured elbow since the second half of the 1963 season, and in November 1964, had his ulnar nerve reset.This is sometimes referred to as the most lopsided trade in baseball history.The Emil Verban Society, an association of Cubs fans in the Washington, D.C. area, which includes national political leaders and journalists, occasionally recognizes bad decision-making with the "Brock-for-Broglio Judgment Award"—presented, for example, to Saddam Hussein for his invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Darren Woodson

Darren Ray Woodson (born April 25, 1969) is a former American football safety in the National Football League. He played his entire career for the Dallas Cowboys from 1992 to 2003. He was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round (37th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Arizona State University.

Darrin Nelson

Darrin Milo Nelson (born January 2, 1959) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers. He played college football at Stanford University.

David Howard (linebacker)

David Howard (born December 8, 1961) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. He also was a member of the Los Angeles Express in the United States Football League. He played college football at Long Beach State University.

Eric Lindros trade

The Eric Lindros trade was the culmination of a holdout by Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Nordiques selected Lindros in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft with the first overall selection, but Lindros refused to play for them. After holding out from Quebec for a year, the Nordiques agreed to two trades involving Lindros at the onset of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, one with the Philadelphia Flyers and one with the New York Rangers. An arbitrator ruled in favor of the Flyers on June 30, 1992.

Lindros played for the Flyers until 2001. He was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player in 1995, however, the Flyers never won the Stanley Cup with Lindros, only ever reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997. The Nordiques, who moved to Denver, Colorado, and became the Colorado Avalanche, won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001 with contributions from players acquired in the Lindros trade, including Peter Forsberg and Mike Ricci.

HWT

HWT may refer to:

Harvey World Travel

Health and welfare trust

Heavyweight

The Herald and Weekly Times

Herding Working Test

Herschel Walker trade

Hot water tank

Huawei Technologies

Human Welfare Trust

Hypersonic wind tunnel

Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker (born March 3, 1962) is a former professional American football player, bobsledder, sprinter, and mixed martial artist. He played college football for the University of Georgia, earned consensus All-American honors three times and won the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Walker began his professional football career with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL), before joining the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). In the NFL, he also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Issiac Holt

Issiac Holt III (born October 4, 1962) is a former professional American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Alcorn State University.

Jake Reed (American football)

Willie "Jake" Reed (born September 28, 1967) is a former professional American football player who played for 12 seasons in the National Football League as a wide receiver from 1991 to 2002 for the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints.

Reed played football collegiately at Grambling State University and was selected by the Vikings in the 3rd round of the 1991 NFL Draft, a pick that the Vikings acquired in the Herschel Walker Trade.

Jesse Solomon

Jesse William Solomon (born November 4, 1963) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at Florida State University.

List of Minnesota Vikings first-round draft picks

The Minnesota Vikings joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1961. The Vikings' first draft selection as an NFL team was Tommy Mason, a running back from Tulane University. The team's most recent first-round selection is Garrett Bradbury, a center from North Carolina State.

Every April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft known as the "NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting", more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in reverse order based on the previous season's record, with team with the worst record picking first, the team with the second-worst record picking second, and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks last and the Super Bowl loser always picks second-last. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.

The Vikings have selected number one overall twice. The Vikings received the first pick in 1961 as an expansion franchise and then again in 1968 when the franchise chose Ron Yary, an offensive tackle from the University of Southern California. The Vikings have used first-round selections on players from the University of Southern California five times, Michigan State University four times, and from the University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University, Florida State University and North Carolina State University three times. The Vikings have drafted 10 running backs, the most common position drafted by the franchise, followed by defensive end (9), defensive tackle (8), offensive tackle (7) and linebacker (7). Six eventual Hall of Famers have been selected by the Vikings in the first-round: Carl Eller, Alan Page, Chris Doleman, Randall McDaniel, Ron Yary and Randy Moss.

Ricky Williams trade

The Ricky Williams trade was a trade between the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL), which occurred prior to the 1999 NFL draft. Mike Ditka of the Saints wanted to move up in the draft order to ensure that he would be able to select Ricky Williams from the University of Texas at Austin. To do so, he traded every pick he had in the draft for the fifth overall selection, which he used to select Williams.

The Saints struggled in the 1999 season, and Ditka was fired. Williams played for the Saints for three seasons before he was traded to the Miami Dolphins.

White Flag Trade

The White Flag Trade was a trade made between two Major League Baseball teams in 1997. On July 31, 1997, the Chicago White Sox traded three major players to the San Francisco Giants for six minor leaguers. At the time, the trade was maligned by the vast majority of White Sox fans as Jerry Reinsdorf giving up on the team, as they were only ​3 1⁄2 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the American League Central Division lead. "Anyone who thinks we can catch Cleveland is crazy," stated Reinsdorf. In 2000, however, the White Sox won the Central Division title, receiving large contributions from two of the players received in this trade (Keith Foulke and Bob Howry).

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