By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 52 – April 29, 2013 – The Bills trade Kelvin Sheppard to Indianapolis for Jerry Hughes.
Young players are rarely traded for young players in the NFL. You never know how they might develop, increasing the risk. But when the Bills and Colts got together in the spring of 2013, they thought a deal might make some sense.
Jerry Hughes had been a first-round pick of Indianapolis in 2010, but he had trouble getting on the field. Hughes, a linebacker/defensive end, had a total of four sacks in his first four years. He was considered at the time a rare miss in the first round of the draft by general manager Bill Polian. Meanwhile, Kelvin Sheppard – a third-round pick of the Bills in 2011 – had been adequate as a starting linebacker during his career. But Buffalo had draft pick Kiko Alonso coming on to the roster, and the Bills wanted to make room for him.
Therefore, Hughes and Sheppard switched addresses. Hughes had 10 sacks in each of his first two seasons, and has been a starter for six years. He recently signed a new contract to stay a while longer. Sheppard spent one season with the Colts before bouncing to the Dolphins, Giants and Lions. You’d have to call this one of the best trades in Bills’ history.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)