Let me start by saying, I am not a fan of Brad Childress. He’ll probably be remembered most for two things: bringing Brett Favre out of retirement (twice), and trading for Randy Moss. Yeah, that second trade was a pretty bad move (we sure needed that 3rd rounder in the last draft!). But guess what, we currently have 2 players back on the team that we recently traded away (Benny Sapp and Sage Rosenfels). That means we pretty much came out ahead on both of those trades as we essentially got those players for free (Greg Camarillo, and 2011/2012 picks). It got me thinking, what other trades did Brad Childress make when he was head coach, and how successful were his trades? We remember the big ones: Randy Moss and Jared Allen, but what about all the others? So, let’s take a look at all his trades as head coach and see how successful Brad Childress was at making trades in the NFL.
1. Traded 2006 4th round and 6th round draft pick to Philadelphia for Artis Hicks and a 4th round pick.
Hicks was a starting Guard for us that year, and eventually became a versatile backup. He was signed by the Redskins in 2010 as a backup, and then signed by the Browns in 2011 as a backup. We drafted Ray Edwards with the Eagles 4th rounder. Meanwhile, the Eagles traded our 4th and 6th round picks to Green Bay, who drafted Will Blackmon in the 4th and Tyrone Culver in the 6th. So, the trade sort of went something like Artis Hicks/Ray Edwards for Will Blackmon/Tyrone Culver. Will Blackmon started one year at CB for the Packers, and then floundered, while Tyron Culver has done nothing as a safety in Miami since being drafted. We came out way ahead in that trade. Chilly: 1, opposition: 0.
2. Traded Hank Baskett to the Eagles for Billy McMullen.
Neither player has had an impact in the league so it’s sort of a wash, but in a weird twist, Hank Baskett found his way back to the team in 2010 when we were hurting at WR. So, in the end, we ended up with both players anyway (though, not at the same time) so I would give Childress the slight nod. Chilly: 2, opposition: 0.
3. Traded CJ Mosley to the Jets for Brooks Bollinger.
Bollinger was a backup who played in a handful of games in 2006-2007 (connected to Childress through their time together on the Wisconsin Badgers team), while CJ Mosley ended up as a starter for the Jets and is still in the league as a backup for Jacksonville. I’d say Mosley has had more value over time than Bollinger, who is no longer in the league. I think Childress kind of lost out there. Chilly: 2, opposition: 1.
1. Traded 2009 6th round draft pick to Philadelphia for Kelly Holcomb.
Kelly Holcomb was nothing more than a backup QB who started a couple games in 2007. He wasn’t very good. Philadelphia traded our draft pick to Cleveland who drafted RB James Davis. James Davis has never played a regular season game and is no longer in the league. It’s mostly a wash, but I’d still call this one a win for Childress since Holcomb has played in the league, while Davis has not. Chilly: 3, opposition: 1.
1. Traded 1st round, two 3rd round, and 6th round picks in 2008 draft to Kansas City for Jared Allen.
This was very controversial at the time, but Jared Allen has proven to be an elite superstar for our team since the trade. Kansas City traded our first rounder to Detroit who picked Gosder Cherilus. In the 3rd round the Chiefs drafted Jamaal Charles and safety DaJuan Morgan. In the 6th they grabbed WR Kevin Robinson. So, is Jared Allen worth Gosder Cherilus/Jamaal Charles/DaJuan Morgan/Kevin Robinson? That’s a tough one to answer. Jamaal Charles has shown to have elite RB skills, and Cherilus has been the starting RT for the Lions since his rookie year. Morgan and Robinson haven’t had impacts in the league. On pure value alone, I’d probably say no, but on team needs at the time (and considering we already had Peterson), I’d be tempted to call it a wash. However, and fans might hate me for saying this, considering who we could have gotten in the draft, I’d have to argue that Jared Allen (1 starter) probably isn’t worth Charles and Cherilus (two starters) and change (Morgan/Robinson). Chilly: 3, opposition: 2.
1. Traded 2009 4th round draft pick to Houston for Sage Rosenfels.
Houston picked TE Anthony Hill with our 4th rounder, who hasn’t had an impact in the league, although he was signed away from the Eagles practice squad by the Colts this year. Sage never started a game for us either though, and has had little impact in the league since this trade. I’d probably give the nod to Childress since Sage has at least been on more active rosters than Hill and would appear to have a little more value. Chilly: 4, opposition: 2.
1. Traded Sage Rosenfels and Darius Reynaud to the Giants for a 2011 5th round pick and a conditional 2012 draft pick.
We traded our 5th round pick in last year’s draft to Cleveland who ended up selecting OT Jason Pinkston who is a backup that has started 4 games this year (we slid down into the 6th with Cleveland’s pick and selected OT DeMarcus Love). To truly evaluate this trade, we would need to wait until next year’s draft to see what we get with our conditional 2012 pick, however, the writing is already on the wall. Sage Rosenfels is back on our team, and Darius Reynaud is a free agent. I think this one is a win for Chilly either way. Chilly: 5, opposition: 2.
2. Traded Benny Sapp to Miami for Greg Camarillo.
Both players are on our team now, so you don’t have much choice but to call this one a win for the Vikes. Chilly: 6, opposition: 2.
3. Traded Jayme Mitchell to CLE for 2012 Late-round pick.
It is impossible to evaluate this trade, since the 2012 draft hasn’t happened yet. Jayme Mitchell was a backup DE and special teams guy for us, and with our depth along the D-line, was expendable. It remains to be seen what we will get in exchange, so until then, it goes as a tie. Chilly: 6, opposition: 2, unknown: 1.
4. Traded 2011 3rd round draft pick to NE for Randy Moss.
Wow, this trade was terrible and will go down in history as one of big reasons Brad Childress was fired. New England picked up Ryan Mallett with our 3rd round draft pick, and he looked pretty good in the pre-season. Meanwhile, Randy Moss was waived after a mere 4 weeks, and after floundering with the Titans later that year, retired after the season. I remember all the excitement surrounding Randy’s homecoming around here, but in hindsight, yeah, we gave up WAY too much for Randy Moss. Chilly: 6, opposition: 3, unknown: 1.
What it all means
So, Brad Childress made 10 trades during his 5-year tenure as head coach, 6 of which were good trades for the Vikings. However, the 3 bad trades were pretty damaging to the team. We gave up a King’s ransom for Jared Allen, and while he’s been awesome, I can’t help but think we still gave up too much, because our lack of depth is truly killing our team right now. And the Moss trade…ugh, we really needed that 3rd rounder in this past year’s draft. While his overall record in trades is 6-3-1, it’s hard to call the overall winning percentage of 0.65 a real positive. While the results of the Jayme Mitchell trade hang in the balance and could push that to 7-3, it could also knock it down to 6-4. So, depending on who we can get in the 2012 draft for Jayme Mitchell, I’m not willing to fully grade Childress yet. At best he’ll get a C, and at worst he’s in the D/F range. So as of this moment his grade is an I, incomplete.