Top Ten Ron Wolf Trades

10. 9/29/1998. Overpaid Buffalo a fourth round pick to rent reserve runner Darick Holmes. After Dorsey Levens went down to injury in week two, backups Raymont Harris and Travis Jervey demonstrated that they were not serviceable running backs over an eight-week stretch. Holmes got his first start in week 10 and racked up the first of two 100-yard games in his four starts before Levens returned to finish the season. Holmes returned to finish his career in Buffalo in 1999, but he did give the Packer offense a shot in the arm in 1998.

9. August 30, 1998. Traded returner Glyn Milburn to the Bears for a seventh round pick. Wolf had acquired Milburn from the Lions four months earlier for a seventh round pick, but Roell Preston beat out Milburn, so Wolf essentially moved up in the draft by getting a higher final round pick in 1999. What made the deal special was Wolf’s selection of Donald Driver with that seventh round pick. Driver, an inexperienced project, eventually caught more balls than any other Packer.

8. April 26, 1993. Traded special teamer Dave McCloughan to Seattle for a sixth round pick that Wolf used to draft cornerback Doug Evans, the team’s best cornerback in the 1990s.

7. August 26, 2000. Traded a fifth round pick to Philadelphia for kick returner Allen Rossum. Rossum would score on both a punt and kick return in his two seasons in Green Bay.

6. April 22, 1995. Traded backup quarterback Mark Brunell, originally drafted with a compensation pick after the Bucs signed Vince Workman, to Jacksonville for a number three (William Henderson) and number five (Travis Jervey). Both Henderson and Jervey became Pro Bowl Packers.

5. March 29, 1995. Having lost Jackie Harris to free agency and Sterling Sharpe to a career-ending injury, Wolf rolled the dice and traded a second round pick to Miami for tight end Keith Jackson, despite Jackson’s protests that he would only play for Don Shula, Buddy Ryan or Barry Switzer. Jackson held out until October 21st before agreeing to terms with Green Bay. He only played for the Packers for a year and a half before retiring, but was a significant contributor in two consecutive postseasons. Green Bay also got back the fourth round pick it had earlier traded to Miami for Mark Ingram, while the Dolphins used the second round pick to take Andrew Greene, a guard who appeared in just six games with them.

4. June 27, 1996. Wolf dealt defensive end Matt LaBounty to Seattle for veteran free safety Eugene Robinson. Robinson’s heady play was key to the Packers’ two Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s, and he also groomed his successor, Darren Sharper.

3. April 15, 2000. Wolf traded injury-prone defensive back Fred Vinson and a sixth round pick (John Hilliard) to Mike Holmgren in Seattle for running back Ahman Green and fifth round pick (Joey Jamison). Vinson never played again in the NFL, while Hilliard appeared in 27 games for the Seahawks. Meanwhile, Green ran for over 1,000 yards six times in becoming the Packers’ all-time leading rusher.

2. January 10, 1992.  Wolf signs San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren as head coach and is forced to give back a second round pick that the 49ers had traded to Green Bay in the Tim Harris deal because of a clause in Holmgren’s contract. The 49ers got Amp Lee; the Packers got a playoff team.

1. February 11, 1992. Wolf trades a number one draft pick to Atlanta that is eventually used by Dallas to select Kevin Smith for Brett Favre, who had spent one dissipating year embarrassing himself as a Falcon. Wolf began his Packer tenure with an enormous gamble in the style of his new high-risk-high-reward quarterback, and it paid off many times over.

1951tmholmgren

Colorized custom 1951 Topps-style card of Holmgren when he was O.J. Simpson’s teammate at USC.

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