Facebook Pixel

    Best Miami Dolphins Trades of All Time

    Many of the best Miami Dolphins players were acquired in trades. So what's the No. 1 trade in franchise history?

    Published on

    Published on June 25, 2024 | 1:00 PM EDT

    What would NFL history look like without some hugely impactful Miami Dolphins trades?

    It’s hard to say with certainty, but there’s a real chance that the 1972 team would have finished just like every other to ever don an NFL helmet: With a blemish on its record.

    This is why our top five list of greatest trades in Dolphins history is heavy on early-era transactions.

    Ranking the Greatest Trades in Miami Dolphins History

    5) The Cheetah Hunt | 2022

    The Tyreek Hill swap is a rare trade where it’s tough to determine a winner.

    The Dolphins acquired perhaps the league’s most dangerous offensive weapon and the league’s 2023 leader in receiving yards (1,799).

    The Kansas City Chiefs received five draft picks, which they used in trades to acquire Trent McDuffie, Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, and more. Plus, dealing Hill gave the Chiefs the salary cap flexibility they needed to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

    4) Help in the Nick of Time | 1969

    The Dolphins laid the foundation for their perfect season well before Don Shula even took Miami’s top job.

    One of the first bricks? Future Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, acquired by Miami from the Boston Patriots in 1969. Buoniconti would go on to have an Honor Roll career for the Dolphins, anchoring their early-1970s defense.

    The cost to acquire him? Pro Bowl linebacker John Bramlett (who would play two solid seasons in New England), quarterback Kim Hammond (who would throw six passes for the Patriots), and a fifth-round pick.

    3) Dolphins Catch a Legend | 1970

    Eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Warfield was already a bona fide star when the Dolphins sent the 1970 NFL Draft‘s No. 3 overall pick to the Cleveland Browns for his rights.

    Warfield didn’t love the trade at the time. He was going from a team that won championships in his first two years to a franchise that had never made the postseason.

    FREE: Subscribe to PFN’s NFL Newsletter

    But it certainly worked out for both player and team, as Warfield cemented his place among the all-time greats, and the Dolphins went to three straight Super Bowls, winning two.

    As for that No. 3 pick? The Browns used it on quarterback Mike Phipps, who completed just 48.1% of his passes and threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns in his seven years in Cleveland.

    2) Laremy Tunsil Blockbuster | 2019

    The ripple effects of the Dolphins’ mega deal with the Houston Texans are still being felt. Miami was just beginning its rebuild, while Houston believed (wrongly) that it had a roster ready to compete.

    Laremy Tunsil, a cornerstone left tackle drafted by the Dolphins three years prior, wanted a new contract. The Dolphins wanted draft assets.

    Everyone got what they wanted when Miami sent Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick, and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Texans for a 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first- and second-round picks, tackle Julie’n Davenport, and defensive back Johnson Bademosi.

    The real steal of the swap was the 2021 first-rounder, which ended up being the third-overall pick. The assets Miami got from Houston were ultimately used to acquire Hill, Bradley Chubb, Jevon Holland, Jaylen Waddle, and more.

    1) Winning Big With Larry Little | 1969

    Forget Dolphins history. This might be one of the most lopsided trades professional sports have ever seen.

    The ascending Dolphins acquired a future Hall of Famer for essentially nothing.

    The actual terms? The San Diego Chargers sent Larry Little, a third-year guard, to Miami for defensive back Mack Lamb, who had appeared in 15 games, starting six, in his first two seasons.

    KEEP READING: Ranking the Best Miami Dolphins Teams of All Time

    Little would go on to become one of the best interior linemen to ever put on pads, earning five first-team All-Pro nods and winning two Super Bowls. He should be remembered as one of the five best players in franchise history.

    Lamb, meanwhile, would never play another NFL down.

    Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast

    Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Dolphins Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Dolphins Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.

    Related Articles