John Elway Was Almost Traded to the Oakland Raiders


Nov 25, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway waves to fans before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Could you imagine what would have happened if John Elway spent his entire career with the Oakland Raiders?

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur reports that on a documentary to be released Tuesday, Elway claims that in 1983, the Raiders, Bears and Colts discussed a three-way trade that would have sent Howie Long to Chicago, Elway to Oakland and draft picks to Baltimore.

Elway was selected by the then Baltimore Colts as the first pick in 1983 out of Stanford, but refused to suit up for the Colts, citing issues with their head coach. So, GM Jim Irsay gave in and began shopping him around.

Obviously something didn’t work out with the three-tame trade above that would have sent Elway to Oakland, because Irsay shipped him to the Denver Broncos for QB Mark Herrmann, rights to OL Chris Hinton and a first-round pick about a month after the draft.

Elway would go on to have a legendary career, going to nine Pro Bowls, winning two Super Bowls, and being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.