Chris Hairston and Tank Carder.
That’s who the Buffalo Bills ended up getting in return for Marshawn Lynch. Hairston, an offensive tackle who was selected with the first of two future picks acquired from the Seahawks in October 2010, spent the entire 2013 season on injured reserve with a leg injury. Carder, a fifth-round pick at linebacker in 2012, never made the team out of training camp, catching on with the Cleveland Browns the next day.
In his past three years with the Seahawks, Lynch has made three Pro Bowls and rushed for over 1200 yards each year. Advantage Seattle.
It’s understandable why the Bills had given up on by his fourth season with the team. As an excellent feature by USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero points out, Lynch had been suspended by the NFL due to a misdemeanor weapons plea in 2009 and was uncomfortable in Buffalo from day one.
But could the deal end up ranking among one of the most lopsided running back trades in history? It certainly has to enter the discussion, especially if Lynch can power Seattle to two more wins with the same type of force he showed last Saturday versus New Orleans.
As far as I can recall, the Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk deals are the only ones involving ball-carriers that have worked out this well for the acquiring team. The 1989 Herschel Walker trade between the Cowboys and Vikings certainly had the opposite effect for Minnesota.
After three years with the Rams, Jerome Bettis was traded to the Steelers along with a third-round pick for Pittsburgh’s second round pick. The Rams grabbed tight end Ernie Conwell, who had a good career, but nothing like Bettis, who rushed for over 10,000 yards and won a Super Bowl in ten seasons with the Steelers.
Faulk, who was holding out for a new contract, was dealt from the Colts to the Rams for a second and fifth round pick in 1999 (they’d become LB Mike Peterson and DE Brad Scioli). He went on to make four straight Pro Bowls and be a key component of St. Louis’ “greatest show on turf,” winning the Super Bowl in his first year with the team and the NFL MVP in his second.
Lynch’s achievements in Seattle may not be on the level of the above two legends yet, but he’s certainly narrowing the gap. But considering what the Seahawks gave up to get him, he was still an incredible steal.
More of today’s big winners:
Clayton Kershaw: The two-time NL Cy Young winner signs a seven-year, $215 million extension with the Dodgers, making him the highest-paid pitcher of all-time.
Genie Bouchard: The 19-year-old Canadian is getting lots of attention at the Australian Open.
Taylor and Arielle Gold: The siblings are both in the mix to make the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team.
Mike Zimmer: The 57-year-old is the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, finally getting a top job after 35 years as an assistant at the college and pro levels. If this curse-filled rant from last summer’s Hard Knocks is any indication, he’ll likely be a pretty fiery leader.