By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

No. 50: July 18, 1985The 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)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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