The Green Bay Packers have made some great deals in their more than 100-year history and some that never worked out at all. The trade for Brett Favre in 1992 set the Pack up for a Super Bowl title four years later and started a period of three decades of winning football. Other trades set the team back for years. Here is a look at the worst trades in Green Bay Packers history.
Third Worst Trade in Packers History: Jim Del Gaizo
The Green Bay Packers won the NFC Central Division title in 1972 behind a strong defense, and the running tandem of John Brockington and MacArthur Lane but their passing offense was next-to-last in the NFL.
Head coach/GM Dan Devine wanted to improve the passing game which featured Scott Hunter in 1971 and 1972. So, he sent a pair of second-round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins for their third-string quarterback, lefty Jim Del Gaizo.
Del Gaizo never panned out in Green Bay. He made three starts and appeared in eight games. In one of those starts, he was relieved at halftime after completing one pass for minus-four yards. The Packers benched Del Gaizo and came back to win the game.
His final statistics with the Packers include a 43.5 percent completion percentage, two touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 30.9.
Del Gaizo’s third and final start came in Week 7 of 1973 when the Pack lost in Detroit 34-0 and Del Gaizo completed five passes for 33 yards.
The two picks the Packers gave up became tight end Andre Tillman, who lasted four seasons with Miami and caught 66 passes for 757 yards and six touchdowns, and wide receiver Freddie Solomon who played well in three seasons with Miami and then won two Super Bowls with the 49ers in 1981 and 1984.
The only good thing about the Del Gaizo trade is that after the 1973 season, the Packers were able to unload the quarterback to the New York Giants in exchange for a third-round pick. Del Gaizo spent one season with the Giants before retiring from football prior to the 1975 season.
Second Worst Trade: Mossy Cade
The Packers gave up a first-round pick in the 1986 NFL Draft for the rights to defensive back Mossy Cade. Cade had played in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats. When the league folded, the Packers went out of their way to acquire his rights.
Cade did sign with the Packers, but he never became a solid starter, let alone a star. He spent just two seasons in Green Bay.
In 1985, he started three games and the following year, he started all 16 contests. Cade recorded five picks during as a Packer but was far from a standout at corner. The Pack finished 1986 4-12 and Cade was not playing well.
While Cade struggled on the field, off the field he was a disaster. He was arrested and later convicted of sexual assault in 1987. He served a 15-month sentence and never played another NFL game.
The negative publicity of Cade’s arrest was one of the low points in Packers history. Sports Illustrated had a feature article on whether Green Bay could still maintain an NFL team and morale throughout the organization was at an all-time low.
The Chargers used the pick that the Packers sent them to select offensive James FitzPatrick who played six seasons in the NFL with the Chargers and Raiders. The Packers could have used that first round pick to help the team rebuild in the late 1980s.
The Worst Trade in Packers History: John Hadl
The Packers were struggling in 1974 so Devine pulled off what is not only the worst trade in Packers history but one of the worst deals in the history of the NFL.
The Packers passing offense didn’t accomplish much with either Jerry Tagge or Jack Concannon at the helm, so Devine shipped two first-round picks, two second-round selections and a third rounder for veteran quarterback John Hadl.
Hadl was the NFL’s MVP a year prior, but he had a sore arm and was ineffective with the Rams in 1974. In fact, the Rams had benched Hadl for James Harris in a game against the Packers earlier that season which the Packers won handily.
The Packers won Hadl’s first three starts but then lost their last three games to miss the playoffs. He lasted a season and a half in Green Bay throwing nine touchdowns and 29 interceptions.
Devine resigned at the end of 1974 before the Packers could fire him and accepted the coaching job at Notre Dame.
The Packers went 4-10 in 1975 before trading Hadl to the Houston Oilers in the deal that brought Lynn Dickey to Green Bay.
The Rams ended up with five players who helped them reach the Super Bowl in 1979 including defensive lineman Mike Fanning and cornerbacks Monte Jackson and Pat Thomas.
The lack of draft picks hampered Bart Starr’s ability to rebuild the Packers when he took over as coach and GM in 1975. The Packers would not make the playoffs in a non-strike season until 1993.
Nobody could blame John Hadl, who did his best for the Packers, but he was part of the worst trade in the more than 100-year history of the franchise.
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