Trick or Trade

Blockbuster Trade on Halloween 1987


One of the largest trades ever made in National Football League history occurred on Halloween Day in 1987.  The marquis name in the three-way deal between the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts was Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson

In all, the deal involved 10 players and draft choices. Only four other deals in NFL annals ever had more players involved. 

Here's a breakdown of the trade made on October 31, 1987:





Eric Dickerson, RB


Greg Bell, RB

Owen Gill, RB

Buffalo No. 1 – 1988 (Gaston Green, RB, 14th overall)

Indianapolis No. 1 – 1988 (Aaron Cox, WR, 20th overall)

Indianapolis No. 2 – 1988 (Fred Strickland, LB, 47th overall)

Buffalo No. 1 – 1989 (Cleveland Gary, RB, 26th overall)

Indianapolis No. 2 – 1989 (Frank Stams, LB, 45th overall)

Buffalo No. 2 – 1989 (Darryl Henley, DB, 53rd overall)




Owen Gill, RB

Rights to Cornelius Bennett, LB

No. 1 - 1988 

No. 2 - 1988 

No. 2 - 1989 


Eric Dickerson, RB




Greg Bell, RB

No. 1 – 1988

No. 1 – 1989

No. 2 – 1989


Rights to Cornelius Bennett, LB

Largest Trades in NFL History

(Based on number of players or draft choices involved)


18 - Oct. 13, 1989 - RB Herschel Walker from the Dallas Cowboys to the Minnesota Vikings. Dallas also traded its third-round choice in 1990, its tenth-round choice in 1990, and its third-round choice in 1991 to Minnesota. Minnesota traded LB Jesse Solomon, LB David Howard, CB Isaac Holt, and DE Alex Stewart along with its first-, second-, and sixth-round choices in 1990, its first-and second-round choices in 1991, its first-, second-, and third-round choices in 1992 to Dallas. Minnesota traded RB Darrin Nelson to Dallas, which traded Nelson to the San Diego Chargers for the Chargers' fifth-round choice in 1990, which Dallas then sent to Minnesota. 

Shula_Don_Player_188_10_3015 -   Mar. 26, 1953 - T Mike McCormack, DT Don Colo, LB Tom Catlin, DB John Petitbon, and G Herschell Forester from the Baltimore Colts to the Cleveland Browns for DB Don Shula, DB Bert Rechichar, DB Carl Taseff, LB Ed Sharkey, E Gern Nagler, QB Harry Agganis, T Dick Batten, T Stu Sheets, G Art Spinney, and G Elmer Willhoite.

15 - Jan. 28, 1971 - LB Marlin McKeever, first- and third-round choices in 1971, and third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth, and seventh-round choices in 1972 from the Washington Redskins to the Los Angeles Rams for LB Maxie Baughan, LB Jack Pardee, LB Myron Pottios, RB Jeff Jordan, G John Wilbur, DT Diron Talbert, and a fifth-round choice in 1971.

Matson_Ollie_Action_188_10-12 - June 12, 1952 - Selection rights to Les Richter from the Dallas Texans to the Los Angeles Rams for RB Dick Hoerner, DB Tom Keane, DB George Sims, C Joe Reid, HB Billy Bagget, T Jack Halliday, FB Dick McKissack, LB Vic Vasicek, E Richard Wilkins, C Aubrey Phillips, and RB Dave Anderson.

10 -  Mar. 1, 1959 - HB Ollie Matson from the Chicago Cardinals to the Los Angeles Rams for T Frank Fuller, DE Glenn Holtzman, T Ken Panfil, DT Art Hauser, E John Tracey, FB Larry Hickman, HB Don Brown, the Rams' second-round choice in 1960 (Mike McGee, G, Duke, 14th overall) and a player to be delivered during the 1959 training camp (turned into 1960 fourth-round draft choice: Silas Woods, E, Marquette, 38th overall).

10 - Oct. 31, 1987 - RB Eric Dickerson from the Los Angeles Rams to the Indianapolis Colts. The rights to LB Cornelius Bennett from Indianapolis to the Buffalo Bills. Indianapolis RB Owen Gill and the Colts' first- and second-round choices in 1988 and second-round choice in 1989, plus Bills RB Greg Bell and Buffalo's first-round choice in 1988 and first- and second-round choices in 1989 to the Rams.