Top Ten Lombardi Trades

10)       (Tie) Receiving number one draft picks for reserve clause free agents Ron Kramer and Jim Taylor. Kramer signed with Detroit in 1965, and the Packers received the ninth overall selection in 1966: Jim Grabowski. Taylor signed with the expansion Saints in 1967, and the Packers received the fifth overall selection in 1968: Fred Carr.

9)         Obtaining backup quarterback Zeke Bratkowski midseason in 1963 on waivers from the Rams. In unacknowledged return, the Packers sent center Ken Iman to the Rams on February 4, 1964. Bratkowski would prove to be a valuable backup for Bart Star, while Iman became a 10-year starter in Los Angeles, but was no better than Ken Bowman and Bill Curry, whom Lombardi drafted that year.

8)         Receiving the ninth overall pick in the 1967 draft from Pittsburgh for defensive lineman Lloyd Voss and tight end Tony Jeter. Voss would start for several years in Pittsburgh and Denver, but was an ordinary player that Lombardi had wasted a number one pick on in 1964. To get a high number one for him and Tony Jeter was a slick move. The trade would rank higher had Vince then drafted Alan Page or Gene Upshaw instead of Bob Hyland.

7)         Picking up reliable kicker/punter Don Chandler from the Giants for a third round pick in 1965. The Giants used the pick on Bob Timberlake who converted just one of 15 field goal attempts in his sole NFL season, while Chandler was a key figure in the Packers threepeat.

6)         Trading discontented end Bill Howton to Cleveland for defensive end Bill Quinlan and jack-of-all-trades Lew Carpenter in 1959. Howton spent just one year with the Browns before finishing his career with four years on the Cowboys. Once a great deep receiver, Howton was more of a possession receiver by 1959 and did not fit into Lombardi’s offense. Quinlan filled a major hole at defensive end for four years, while Carpenter was a solid role player for Lombardi’s first two title teams.

5)         In 1964, trading aging center Jim Ringo and disappointing fullback Earl Gros to Philadelphia for Lee Roy Caffey and the seventh overall pick in the 1965 draft. Ringo was still good, but on the decline, while Gros was no more than a decent runner. Caffey blossomed into a Pro Bowl linebacker and the draft pick was used for Donny Anderson who developed into a solid all-around contributor at running back and punter.

4)         Trading fifth linebacker Marv Matuszak to the Colts in 1959 for guard Fuzzy Thurston who became the final piece in the league’s best offensive line during the first half of the 1960s, not to mention an upbeat team leader.

3)         Obtaining underutilized receiver Carroll Dale from the Rams in 1965 for worn out linebacker Dan Currie. Dale immediately stepped in as the team’s best deep threat, replacing veteran Max McGee in the starting lineup.

2)         In 1959, acquiring Browns’ mismatched defensive tackle Henry Jordan for a fifth round draft pick. Although Cleveland used the pick to select solid tight end/linebacker John Brewer, Green Bay got a Hall of Famer once Jordan was set loose in Phil Bengtson’s defense.

1)         The second Hall of Famer that Vince Lombardi swindled from Paul Brown came at even a lower price than for Jordan. The Packers got defensive end Willie Davis for failed tight end A.D. Williams. Williams caught one pass for Green Bay, one for Cleveland and then 13 for Minnesota in his three-year career. Davis is still the all-time team leader in sacks with over 100 according to the research of Nick Webster and John Turney.

1963lrcaffey Custom card of Caffey as an Eagle.

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