The Miami Dolphins once traded a Hall of Fame player to the Vikings for next to nothing.
As the 1980s began and the Miami Dolphins 1970s ended, the Dolphins shipped off a Hall of Fame player to the Vikings and it was a good trade.
It hasn’t been a full year since the NFL world lost Hall of Fame center Jim Langer. Langer passed away in August of 2019. He remains one of the best players in Dolphins history and in 1980 the Dolphins traded him to the Vikings for basically peanuts.
Langer was at the end of his career and the Vikings gave the Dolphins a 6th round pick in 1981 and a 5th round pick in 1982. It is what was behind the scenes of that trade that makes it worth taking a look at.
Langer was having knee issues and only played in seven games his final season with the Dolphins. He had wanted to play in his home state of Minnesota to finish his career. The Dolphins and Don Shula agreed to his request.
Langer would play two more seasons with the Vikings starting only one game in those two seasons. The trade was not about getting good compensation for a player who HOF credentials, it was one of the rare trades that gave a player who had given everything to his team, a chance to finish his career where he wanted.
Miami would use the 5th round pick in 1982 on a NT named Bob Nelson. Nelson would never play for the Dolphins and had four NFL seasons between two teams. With the 6th round pick in 1981, the Dolphins selected DB Fulton Walker. Walker wasn’t known for his defensive play but his claim to fame came during the 1982 Super Bowl against the Redskins when he ran back a 2nd quarter kick-off 98 yards for a touchdown.