Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1983 Trade That Never Was: Montana for Elway

(Photo courtesy of ESPN)
The 2013 NFL Draft is just ten days away, with the Denver Broncos scheduled to select 28th overall in the first round next Thursday.  Thirty years ago, Denver made a post-draft trade that would alter the course of the franchise—for the better—for the next two decades.

The Baltimore Colts owned the No. 1 pick in the 1983 draft and selected Stanford quarterback John Elway.  Six days later, Baltimore agreed to trade him to Denver.  But before that trade happened, another team made Baltimore an offer (in fact, several teams made offers).

The San Francisco 49ers and Colts discussed a trade that included quarterback Joe Montana, who would go on to win three Super Bowls with the 49ers after the 1983 draft.  In an NFL Films production, Elway to Marino, the latest installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 series, the details surrounding the '83 draft will be revealed next week.

Marvin Demoff, who represented both Elway and Dan Marino, tells the story in the 30 for 30 series that will air on Tuesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.  The production is incredibly well done and the story is jaw-dropping.

In addition to the 49ers, the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and even the—gasp!—San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Raiders pursued trading for Elway. Ultimately, the Colts agreed to trade Elway to Denver, where he would go on to win a pair of Super Bowls.

All of the details will air on ESPN next week two days before the draft, on April 23.