LA Chargers: Best trade in team history with the Cleveland Browns
By Jason Reed
The LA Chargers landed a Hall of Famer from the Cleveland Browns.
The LA Chargers and Cleveland Browns have not been trade partners very often throughout the history of both teams. However, the Chargers have netted a Hall of Famer in return from the Browns.
In an ongoing series here at Bolt Beat, we are attempting to find the best trade in Chargers’ history with every other NFL team.
Today, it is the Browns, and this trade certainly does not disappoint. It might be the best trade of the entire series yet.
The LA Chargers’ best ever trade with the Cleveland Browns:
The LA Chargers decided to move up in the 1979 NFL Draft and traded their second-round pick in the draft, the 47th pick overall, to move up seven spots. It was undoubtedly worth it and the Cleveland Browns missed out on a Hall of Fame talent.
It was also the first time that the LA Chargers traded up in the first round.
The Chargers selected Kellen Winslow with the 13th overall pick and he became one of just three Hall of Famers to be taken in the draft class. Prior to Antonio Gates, Winslow was the greatest tight end in franchise history and was one of the greatest in league history before the recent wave of pass-catching tight ends.
Winslow only played nine seasons in the NFL, all with the Chargers, but his impact on the league was undoubtedly felt. He was named to five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams and had three seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards.
In fact, Winslow was only the fourth tight end in NFL history at the time to have a 1,000-yard season and his 1,290 receiving yards in 1980 would be the most in a single season by a tight end until 2011, when both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski surpassed it. It is still the fifth-most receiving yards by a tight end in one season.
To make it look even better for the Chargers, the players that the Browns drafted were not all that great. Willis Adams played in the league for seven seasons and finished with 61 career receptions and two career touchdowns.
Claphan never played for Cleveland because of injury and eventually signed with the Chargers and spent all seven years of his NFL career with the Bolts. It was a win-win!
All in all, it does not get better than drafting one of the best tight ends in league history when you trade up in the draft. The Chargers absolutely knocked this one out of the park.