The great NFL swindle


While watching highlights of the Falcons-Saints game from last night, I was reminded once again of perhaps the greatest NFL swindle since the Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Vikings 20 years ago.

In 2001, the San Diego Chargers had the first pick in the NFL Draft. The obvious, hands-down choice was Michael Vick, Virginia Tech’s outstanding quarterback. Yet San Diego made a deal, sending the selection to Atlanta for the Falcons’ No. 5 pick in the first round, as well as their third-round pick.

The Falcons took Vick, who went on to, well, you know.

The Chargers used the No. 5 to pluck LaDainian Tomlinson who, despite recent slippage, is a 10,000 yarder and guaranteed Hall of Famer. Then, with the first pick of the second round, San Diego grabbed Drew Brees of Purdue. The word on Brees wasn’t great—nice arm, but too short and not especially mobile.


Best of all, with the third-round pick acquired from Atlanta, the Chargers acquired Tay Cody, a cornerback from Florida State. According to Wikipedia, Tay is married to his high school sweetheart, Chara. They have four boys—Conronta, Ty’Wantae, Montana Tay and Santana.

OK—Tay Cody never made it. But had the Chargers gone with Vick, they certainly would not have landed L.T. or Brees. And, based on NFL 2009, both men will go down as all-time greats (and extremely nice guys) …