By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 50: July 18, 1985 – The Bills trade Tony Hunter to the Los Angeles Rams for Vince Ferragamo and a third-round draft choice in 1986 (Leonard Burton).
In hindsight, this trade looks like no big deal. Trust me – at the time it was big news. Tony Hunter was considered one of the best tight end prospects in recent years when he came out of Notre Dame in 1983. He was big, fast and strong. In a draft that featured six future Hall of Famers in the first round, Hunter was a good fit. Bills’ fans were thrilled when he was still available at pick No. 12.
Hunter put up decent numbers in his first two seasons as a Bill, catching 36 and 33 passes. But there was still hope that he would develop into a star. That made it very surprising that the Bills would trade him. However, the team needed a quarterback badly (Joe Dufek was not going to be the solution), and Vince Ferragamo was available. Ferragamo had led the Rams to a Super Bowl in 1980, but had been up and down after that. Buffalo hoped that Ferragamo would regain his touch here.
It was that rare trade that helped neither team. Hunter jumped to 50 catches in 1985, his career best, but only played one more season. Ferragamo went 1-8 as a starting quarterback for the Bills in 1985, spent 1986 as a backup in Green Bay, and was finished.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)