By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
No. 92: May 1, 1984 – The Bills trade a first-round draft choice in 1984 (Jackie Shipp) to Miami for a first-round draft choice in 1984 (Greg Bell), a third-round draft choice in 1984 (Sean McNanie), and a third-round draft choice in 1984 (Speedy Neal).
You might not remember Jackie Shipp, a linebacker from Oklahoma. The Miami Dolphins certainly do. They traded a good-sized package to the Bills to move up to get him. The Dolphins needed linebackers badly in that era, because two of their players (Larry Gordon and Rusty Chambers) had died a year apart. It’s fair to say Shipp didn’t work out. In fact, he was put on a list of the worst trades in Dolphins’ history. Shipp started for a few years, but then flamed out.
But the Bills picked up a first-round pick in the deal, and Greg Bell turned out to be a good choice. The running back from Notre Dame ran for 1,100 yards as a rookie in 1984. Bell had a decent 1985, and fought injuries the next season. But then he was a key piece in the massive trade that brought Cornelius Bennett to Buffalo. Bell had a pair of fine seasons for the Rams.
This would have been a better deal had Sean McNanie and Speedy Neal done anything for the Bills, but they didn’t. Neal is remembered in Miami for showing up for the Dolphins training camp in 1986, and then leaving after one day.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)