Coaches Can Be Traded in the NFL - Here Are The Five Biggest Trades

Published on May 14th, 2022 2:03 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

In photo: Jon Gruden as a Buccaneers coach.  Biggest NFL coach trades. Did you know that coaches can be traded in the NFL?

In fact, coach trades have happened on multiple occasions in the NFL.

Teams have contracts with coaches, just as they have contracts with players.

Players under contract can be traded, and the same applies to coaches. The NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for the trading of coaches.

A coach can have a massive impact on a team, and trading for a coach can sometimes make sense.

In some cases, coach trades worked out phenomenally well - in other cases, it was a disaster.

Here are five of the biggest coach trades in the history of the NFL:

1. Jon Gruden From the Raiders to Buccaneers, 2002.

I'm putting this at number one because of the massive haul that the Raiders got for Gruden.

The Raiders ended up getting two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million for Gruden.

The deal worked out for both teams, as they both made the Super Bowl in 2003.

The Buccaneers ended up winning, so they could argue that the cost was definitely worth it.

2. Bill Belichick From the Jets to the Patriots, 2000.

This trade obviously changed football forever, as the Patriots would go on to win numerous Super Bowls with Bill Belichick at the helm.

The original plan was for Belichick to take over the New York Jets from Bill Parcells.

Belichick was reportedly promised full control of the team. He felt as though he wasn't getting what he promised, so he resigned from the Jets to become the new head coach of the New England Patriots.

The situation ended up in litigation, with the Jets eventually receiving a first-round pick, a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick (they gave back a fifth and seventh round pick as well).

This coach trade changed football forever.

3. Bill Parcells From the Patriots to the Jets, 1997.

The Jets wanted Parcells as their new head coach in 1997, and the Patriots didn't want to let him go.

The Jets did something cagey instead - they named Parcells' assistant, Bill Belichick, as their head coach, while Parcells would be his consultant.

The Patriots demanded compensation, and they would get it in the form of a first-round pick, a second-round pick, a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick.

The Patriots would get their revenge a few years later when they would snatch Belichick back from the Jets.

4. Mike Holmgren From The Packers to the Seahawks, 1999.

In the late '90s, Mike Holmgren was the hottest coaching commodity in the NFL.

The Seahawks wanted Holmgren badly, and they offered him an 8-year, $32 million contract in 1999. In addition, Holmgren would be the GM and Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

The problem? Holmgren was still under contract with the Packers.

The two teams worked out a deal for Holmgren, with the Seahawks giving up their second-round pick in the 1999 draft.

Did it work out for the Seahawks? Holmgren would end up staying with the team for almost a decade, and he led the Hawks to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.

5. Herm Edwards From the Jets to Chiefs, 2006.

The Jets are involved in a great deal of these trades.

In 2006, Herm Edwards went to the Jets and request a lucrative new deal to remain as their head coach.

The Jets balked at this and started talking to the Kansas City Chiefs about a trade that would see Edwards become the new head coach of the Chiefs.

The teams eventually settled on terms of the deal, which saw the Chiefs send a fourth-round pick to the Jets in exchange for New York releasing Edwards from his deal.

Edwards would remain with the Chiefs for three years, though the Chiefs didn't give up very much to get him.

Related Articles