While the NFL is celebrating its 100th season in 2019, this is, of course, the final season of the decade. The decade may be remembered most for the explosion of offense around the sport, but it wasn't short on blockbuster trades either.
Here's a look at the seven biggest NFL trades during the 2010s:
Robert Griffin III
The 30 for 30 on Robert Griffin III’s NFL career arc should be fun. That’s not exactly how you want to think of someone that you take with the No. 2 overall pick, though.
And heck, never mind that the Washington Redskins selected RG3 with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they made a franchise-altering trade to even acquire the No. 2 overall pick. Bruce Allen, who remains the general manager in D.C., sent three first round picks and a second-round pick to the then-St. Louis Rams for the right to select Griffin III.
Griffin III’s rookie season was electric. The former Heisman Trophy winner threw for over 3,000 yards, tossed 20 touchdowns and ran for 815 yards. The Redskins went 10-6, won the NFC East and ultimately ran into another star rookie quarterback in the postseason, as they fell to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card round.
More importantly, Griffin III tore his ACL in that playoff game, and was never the same. It also became the worst kept secret in the NFL that head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan preferred Griffin III’s backup, Kirk Cousins. Griffin III ultimately lasted just three seasons in Washington, and is now in his second season as a backup quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.
In the first of two major pre-draft trades, the Los Angeles Rams, ahead of their first season back in Los Angeles, traded a bounty to the Tennessee Titans to move from pick No. 15 in that year’s NFL Draft, all the way to the top slot, which allowed them to select their franchise quarterback.
For the right to draft Goff, who played his college ball at the University of California, the Rams sent the No. 15 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, two second round picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, a third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, a first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and a third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Goff’s rookie season, when Jeff Fisher was still coaching the team was rather disastrous when you consider the expectations that come with making that kind of trade. As a rookie, Goff went 0-7 as a starter, and threw two more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (five).
However, since Sean McVay took over as the Rams head coach in 2017, Goff has a 27-10 record as a starter, has thrown for over 10,000 yards and led the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance last season. Earlier this fall, Goff signed a four-year/$134 million extension with $110 million guaranteed.
In the same draft where the Los Angeles Rams traded up to the No. 1 pick to select Jared Goff, the Philadelphia Eagles maneuvered their way into a position to select North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. Their path was a little less direct.
After initially trading with the Miami Dolphins to move up from the No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the No. 8 overall pick, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman acquired the No. 2 overall pick from the Cleveland Browns. In addition to trading the No. 8 overall pick, Roseman also traded a third round pick in 2016, a fourth round pick in 2016, a first round pick in 2017 and a second round pick in 2018. On top of being able to select Wentz, the Eagles landed a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft in the deal as well.
It’s hard to discuss Wentz’s young career without mentioning injuries, but when he’s been on the field, he’s largely been one of the game’s elite quarterbacks. Prior to his ACL tear in Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season, he was the favorite to win the NFL MVP. Though Nick Foles ultimately led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title that season, Wentz had an 11-2 record as a starter and put them in position to secure home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Prior to the 2019 NFL season, the Eagles and Wentz agreed on a four-year/$128 million extension with nearly $108 million in guarantees.
For as much credit as Bears general manager Ryan Pace gets for the Khalil Mack trade, this trade may go down as one of the bigger mistakes in NFL history.
The Bears, who possessed the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, seemingly bid against themselves and traded up to No. 2 to assure they would be able to take Trubisky, who played his college football at North Carolina. To do so, they sent the No. 3 overall pick, along with multiple third round picks and a fourth round pick to the San Francisco 49ers.
The reality, though, is the trade was the just the icing on the cake for a bad decision. While Trubisky has proven to be a largely underwhelming starting quarterback that’s benefitted from playing with an elite defense, two other quarterbacks were taken shortly after him in the 2017 NFL Draft; Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech and Deshaun Watson of Clemson. It’s not hyperbole to say the if the Bears had ended up with either Mahomes or Watson, they would be the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
The Bears will find themselves on this list twice. Of the two trades, this one certainly speaks better of general manager Ryan Pace.
On Sept. 1, 2018, the Bears traded for Mack, who was already a two-time All-Pro and former Defensive Player of the Year. By the end of his first year, not only did he have a six-year/$141 million deal with $90 million guaranteed, but he added another All-Pro honor. Mack, still only, 28, has 17 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his first 19 regular season games as a Bear. His career is very much on a Hall of Fame track.
Of course, to acquire such a dominant defensive piece wasn’t cheap. In addition to the extension that they inked him to, the Bears traded first round picks in 2019 and 2020, a sixth round pick in 2019 and a 2020 third round pick to the Oakland Raiders. The Bears did, however, acquire a 2020 second round pick and 2020 conditional fifth round pick in the trade.
Odell Beckham Jr.
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettlman famously said in January of 2019 that the Giants “didn’t sign Odell Bekcham Jr. to trade him.” Just over two months later - and less than ninth months after signing him to a five-year/$95 million extension that guaranteed him $65 million - Gettleman and the Giants traded Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
At the age of 26, the Giants traded their 2014 first round draft pick, who had been wildly successful early in his career, racking up 5,476 receiving yards and hauling in one of the most iconic catches in NFL history in five seasons with the Giants. In return, they landed safety Jabrill Peppers (a 2017 first round pick), and first and third round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
In his first six games with the Browns, Beckham Jr. has 29 catches for 436 yards and a touchdown.
In the most recent trade on this list, the Los Angeles Rams acquired All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars for first round picks 2020 and 2021, along with a fourth round pick in 2021.
A year after losing to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Rams have started 3-3, and find themselves in third place in a highly-competitive division that also features the 5-0 San Francisco 49ers and 5-1 Seattle Seahawks.
While both the 49ers and Seahawks figure to remain competitive for the foreseeable future, this trade signals that the Rams are pushing all in on attempting to win Super Bowl LIV. What the 24-year-old’s future is beyond the 2020 season, when his rookie contract expires, is unclear.