The Atlanta Falcons could look back on February 11, 1992 as a day that will forever live in infamy. Yesterday marks the day they traded the Green Bay Packers for their first round pick in the 1992 NFL draft for their 1991 second round pick and quarterback Brett Favre. With yesterday marking the 23 year anniversary of the trade, it’s hard to argue that the Packer’s didn’t get the better return on the deal.
When Favre was drafted in 1991, it was no secret that Wolf coveted the mostly unknown quarterback, who played his college ball at Southern Mississippi. With a weak class of quarterbacks available in the 1992 draft and the Packers coming off another woeful season and years in the NFL gutter, Wolf made the risky move to acquire the future first ballot Hall of Famer. It ended up being the spark that would bring the Packers out of the franchise’s dark ages and into a NFL perennial powerhouse.
Favre went on to play 20 NFL seasons, winning three consecutive MVP awards from 1995-1997 and appearing in two consecutive Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots in 1996. The list of awards and career achievements is long and impressive for Favre, who will also see his No. 4 retired and his name added to the Packer’s Hall of Fame this summer.
How did the Atlanta Falcons fare with the first round pick they acquired in trade for Favre? They drafted running back Tony Smith out of Southern Mississippi, who would only last in the NFL for three seasons. Smith was unequivocally labeled a bust, averaging a less-than-stellar 3.8 yards per carry on 87 carries during his rookie year and was demoted to punt returns for the final two seasons of his career before vanishing into the abyss of NFL draft pick misfires.