Bennett Held Out For Over Three Months

Published on May 30th, 2024 2:04 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The NFL Defensive Superstar - Cornelius Bennett. Cornelius Bennett was the #2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, where he was taken by the Indianapolis Colts.

Bennett was incredible during his time with Alabama, as he was named to three All-America teams.

In his senior year, Bennett won the Lombardi Award, the SEC Player of the Year and was 7th in Heisman Trophy voting - an impressive accomplishment for a defensive player.

Bennett finished his college career with 287 tackles and 21 1/2 sacks - he was a clear difference maker on defence, which is why the Colts invested their first-round pick on him.


Bennett and the Colts couldn't come to a contract agreement, so Bennett was a holdout from camp.

There was a 24-day player strike that season, and Bennett's holdout carried over into the aftermath of that labor stoppage.

It was clear that the Colts and Bennett were at an impasse, so the Colts elected to trade their #2 pick away.

The Buffalo Bills thought that Bennett was the final piece to the puzzle, so they pitched the Colts on a deal that would send Bennett their way.

In the end, the Rams, Bills and Colts agreed on a three-way deal.

The Rams received a number of assets in the deal, including three first-round picks, and ended up giving up Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson.

The Colts received Dickerson.

The Bills received the rights to Cornelius Bennett, while giving up running back Greg Bell, their first-round picks in 1988 and 1989, as well as a second-round pick in 1989.

This deal was completed on October 31st, 1987 - just before the trade deadline.


The deal worked out for the Bills, as Bennett was a 3x First-Team All-Pro that helped lead the Bills to multiple Super Bowl appearances.

Bennett was so good, in fact, that he made the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.


Despite starting in just 7 games in 1987, Bennett made the most of his time, notching an impressive 8.5 sacks.

1988 was Bennett's breakout season, as he made the Pro Bowl and finished fourth in DPOY voting.

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