Halloween, 1987: Eric Dickerson Traded To Colts
On this date, precisely 30 years ago, one of the biggest in-season trade in NFL history took place.
In trade that shocked the football world, the Los Angeles Rams traded All-Pro running back Eric Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts, in a three-team blockbuster trade, involving ten players, which also included the Buffalo Bills.
The Colts got Dickerson, and the Bills would land linebacker Cornelius Bennett, the second-overall pick in the 1987 NFL Draft, whom the Colts were unable to sign, while the Rams got running backs Greg Bell and Owen Gill, along with six draft picks three each from the Bills and Colts, including each teams’ first and second round picks in 1988.
Dickerson had set the single-season record for the Rams in 1984, rushing for 2,105 yards. However, the Rams and Dickerson got involved in a contract dispute, with the team refusing to renegotiate his contract and make him the highest paid running back in the league.
After the trade, the Colts quickly signed Eric Dickerson to a four-year deal for $5.6 million, while the Bills signed Bennett to a five-year contract worth $4 million.
The trade paid off for the Colts, as Dickerson rushed 1,011 yards in only nine games, helping the team win the AFC East with a record of 9-6, one season after finishing only 3-13.
Dickerson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999, played four more seasons with the Colts, and finished his career with 13,259 rushing yards.
Bennett, who ironically enough finished his 14-year career with the Colts in 2000, helped the Bills to four Super Bowl appearances, and was named to the Pro Bowl five times.