In 1993, the Miami Dolphins traded with the Patriots for Irving Fryar.
Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins were trying to make a big run and a major change to the offense came in the form of a rare trade between the Dolphins and the Patriots. Irving Fryar, a top league receiver was joining Dan Marino.
It was a big move for Shula and a rare trade with a division rival. He traded a 1993 2nd round draft pick and a 1994 3rd round draft pick for the speedy receiver. Fryar was the number one overall draft pick of the Patriots in the 1984 draft. In his second season he was voted to the Pro Bowl.
Fryar spent nine seasons with the Patriots before being traded. The price that Shula paid was high for nine-year veteran at a time when the NFL was in its final year of Plan-B free agency, a prelude to unrestricted free agency that came a year later.
In his nine years with New England, Fryar posted 12,785 yards on 851 catches and 90 touchdowns. He was supposed to be the big deep threat for Dan Marino.
Fryar only spent three seasons with the Dolphins making the Pro Bowl twice but NFL free agency would be the killer for his career in Miami.
Irving Fryar would test the free-agent waters and leave Miami.
Unrestricted free agency was in its infancy and players, for the first time in history, had the chance to control where they played and/or go to the highest bidder. The Dolphins and Don Shula opted to not pay Fryar when he entered free agency and he signed with the Eagles.
He would make the Pro Bowl the first two seasons with the Eagles. He played there for three years. In Miami, Fryarer would catch 199 passes for 3,190 yards and 20 touchdowns. It was a good stint in Miami but not a great one. The Patriots didn’t turn the selections into anything much, guard Todd Rucci who played until 1999 was taken in the 1993 draft.
Overall, the trade for Fryar was one that could have been great but impeded by the beginning of free agency.