Number 2: Marshawn Lynch from the Buffalo Bills, 2010
Traded from the Bills for a 2011 fourth-round pick and a 2012 fifth-rounder
Bringing Marshawn Lynch to Seattle changed the make-up of the entire franchise. The Seahawks would no longer be a finesse team but one who wasn’t afraid to grind out games. Over the course of Lynch’s four-and-a-half seasons in Seattle, he embodied what the team was as a whole: Tough, didn’t care what you thought and would beat you down physically.
Yes, the Legion of Boom and building the defense from back to front was a key to the defensive domination of Seattle’s early 2010s. But this married with Lynch’s punishing running style. Seattle’s defense was partly great because of the way Lynch could help control a game offensively.
Think of it like this. This 2021 offense can’t stay on the field long enough to give the defense a break. In 2014, for example, Seattle held the ball 52.4 percent of a game. This season it is 41.75 percent. And for people who think Pete Carroll is dumb for wanting to run more, in 2014 Seattle ran 525 times and threw 454 times. Why? Because they had a decent – not great – offensive line and a running back like Lynch who wanted to run the ball and invoke pain of opposing defenders.
Lynch currently stands at fourth all-time on the Seahawks rushing list with 6,381 yards. He is second in yards-per-game at 76.9. And he is second all-time in rushing touchdowns with 58. Neither of the Bills picks they got for Lynch amounted to much production in the NFL. This was nearly as close to a pure one-sided trade as a team can get. Except for maybe who is number one on this list.