Atlanta Falcons invite 53-year-old Herschel Walker to training camp

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Herschel Walker: I Still Do 1,500 Push-Ups Every Day


Herschel Walker is an old man. He's also in incredible shape -- not just for a 53-year-old dude, but for anybody. He's been out of the NFL since 1997, when he was a kick returner for the Dallas Cowboys, but he also competed professionally in MMA in 2010 and 2011.

Really, he's an athletic freak. So when he went on WFAN's Boomer and Carton earlier this week saying he could still play in the NFL, we couldn't help but think he was serious. Well, even if he wasn't, the Atlanta Falcons are taking him up on it.

Head coach Dan Quinn extended Walker a training camp offer on Thursday, and the former (and current?) running back will suit up with the team later this summer.

"He's one of my all-time favorite players. Yeah, we have room for him," Quinn said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "For him, the legacy he left at Georgia ... He'd definitely fit in great from a competitive standpoint."

At the very least, he'll hang around the young players and help boost team moral. It's unreasonable to ask a 53-year-old to contribute much more than that -- but if anyone can, it's Herschel Walker.

Most lopsided trades in sports history
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Atlanta Falcons invite 53-year-old Herschel Walker to training camp

20. March 16, 1998: Chargers trade two first-rounders, a second-rounder and a player for the rights to the second-overall pick, used to draft Ryan Leaf

There are bad trade, and then there are bad trades followed by embarrassing draft decisions that lead to a lifetime of punchlines.

Not only did the Chargers elect to draft Ryan Leaf with the second overall selection in 1998 -- one pick after Peyton Manning -- but they traded up to get there. Notable players still on the board include Randy Moss, Charles Woodson, Hines Ward and Matt Hasselbeck, to name a few.


19. March 14, 2012: Redskins trade three first-round picks and two second-round picks for the rights to the 2012 second-overall pick, used to draft Robert Griffin III

When Dan Snyder wants to make a splash, he's going to do it at all costs. No matter how risky the splash, or how steep the cost. This was clearly the case in 2012, when his Redskins surrendered five draft picks in exchange for the rights to draft Robert Griffin III.

After an impressive rookie year, Griffin has struggled to stay healthy, and when he's been on the field, he's been a shell of the athletic rookie from three years ago. The trade's obligations wrapped up in 2014, fittingly, with St. Louis receiving the... 2nd overall pick in the draft.


18. August 30, 1990: Red Sox trade Jeff Bagwell to Astros for Larry Andersen

A year after being drafted by the Red Sox, minor-league first baseman Jeff Bagwell hd no place in Boston. With 22-year-old slugger Mo Vaughn waiting in the wings at Triple-A playing the same position, Bagwell was merely a trade chip for the contending Sox. 

A trade chip that would go on to smack 449 home runs and bat .297 over 15 years in Houston.

Larry Andersen, who was 37 at the time, appeared in 15 games for Boston in relief and pitched well. But signed with the Padres after the season. Oops.


17. June 22, 1987: Sonics trade Scottie Pippen and a first-round pick to Bulls for Olden Polynice and two picks

In an attempt to trade back in the 1987 draft and acquire more assets, the Seattle Sonics dealt away Scottie Pippen, the fifth pick, for the eighth pick and several future choices. That eighth pick was Olden Polynice, who you probably have never heard of. Pippen went onto be one of the 1990's best players and Michael Jordan's second option on Bulls teams that won six championships. 


16. June 15, 1977: Mets trade Tom Seaver for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry

Known as the "Midnight Massacre" to Mets fans, trading away the franchise's best player ever is something the organization would like to forget. In return for Tom Seaver -- who would pitch a no-hitter and win his 300th game in other teams' uniforms -- New York received Doug Flynn (who batted .234 over his five Mets years), Steve Henderson (who was later traded to acquire Dave Kingman), Dan Norman (who was out of baseball by 1982) and Pat Zachry (who was a mainstay in the rotation over six of the franchise's worst seasons).


15. November 19, 1993: Dodgers trade Pedro Martinez to the Expos for Delino DeShields

It's safe to call this one a failure in judgement by the Dodgers. Trading Pedro Martinez after just three career starts is a bold move, but returning only Delino Deshields, who would leave Los Angeles after three seasons is a travesty. 

Pedro would win 219 games in his 18-year career, posting a pair of 300-strikeout seasons.


14. April 17, 1999: Redskins trade rights to Ricky Williams to New Orleans for eight draft picks

Mike Ditka was once given full control of the New Orleans Saints, and it didn't go so well. His first major transaction was trading his entire 1999 draft for Ricky Williams. Literally. All of their picks in the '99 draft, plus a first-rounder in 2000, which turned into LaVarr Arrington. Champ Bailey and Jon Jansen were other Pro Bowl results of the deal for Washington.

Ditka was out of the NFL after the 1999 season.


13. June 27, 2002: Indians trade Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew to Expos for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens

Near the 2002 trade deadline, the Cleveland Indians were out of the race, and the Montreal Expos were desperate to make a splash that would resonate with the fanbase. The result: Montreal dealt three future all-stars for ace Bartolo Colon, who would leave the Expos in free agency after a half-season. The Expos would spend just two more years in Montreal.


12. November 22, 1988: Bucks trade Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity to Mavericks for Robert Traylor

In hopes of beefing up with a big man, the Bucks traded the rights to slim, lengthy rookie Dirk Nowitzki on draft day, 1998. Nowitzki has gone on to become one of the most talented players of this generation, while Robert Traylor, whom they received for Nowitzki, spent two years in Milwaukee. 


11. January 15, 1965: Warriors trade Wilt Chamberlain to the 76ers for Paul Neumann, Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer and cash 

In an attempt to cut costs, the Warriors dealt Wilt Chamberlain to the 76ers after averaging 42.9 points and 26 rebounds over his first four years. He later won two championships and three straight MVPs.


10. December 9, 1965: Reds trade Frank Robinson to Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson​

After the 1965 season, the Reds deemed that Frank Robinson was aging poorly would no longer be of much help to the team. After being dealt to the Orioles, Robinson immediately won the MVP in 1966, and went on to play for 11 more seasons, hitting 262 home runs and batting .284.


9. June 9, 1980: Warriors trade Robert Parish and a first-round pick (Kevin McHale) to Celtics for two draft picks

This deal may not have seemed preposterous for the Warriors at the time. They were acquiring the first and 13th overall picks in exchange for the third pick and a center. 

Little did they know the duo they gave away would go on to become part of the nucleus of a dynasty. That center, Robert Parish, and that third pick, Kevin McHale, helped the Celtics take home three championships during the 1980s.


8. December 10, 1971: Mets trade Nolan Ryan with Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Leroy Stanton to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi

One of the greatest pitchers of all-time, once upon a time, was a New York Met. A very mediocre one. He was ultimately traded for an aging bat in Jim Fregosi, who played 146 games for the Mets over two seasons. Example No. 2 of New York dealing away a Hall-of-Fame ace.


7. July 11, 1996: Hornets trade draft rights to Kobe Bryant to Lakers for Vlade Divac

Vlade Divac was a special player over his 16 NBA years. But he was on the short end of one of the silliest trades of all time. 

Weeks after drafting Kobe Bryant, Charlotte dealt the guard to LA in exchange for some veteran help. Divac spent two seasons as a Hornet, while Bryant has put together one of the more storied careers ever. 


6. October 20, 1976: Nets sell Julius Erving to 76ers

What's worse than trading one of the best players of all time? Trading one of the best players of all time and getting no players in return. Just cash. 


5. February 11, 1992: Falcons trade Brett Favre to Packers for 17th-overall pick

After famously drafting "Brett Favor" in 1991, the Atlanta Falcons quickly gave up on the backup quarterback before ever appearing in a game. With a need at the position, the Green Bay Packers flipped their first-round pick for him the following year. He would go on to start 321 consecutive games including the playoffs—an NFL record—and brought a Super Bowl back to Lambeau Field.


4. August 9, 1988: Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky to Kings with 4 other players for 2 players and 3 picks​

Seldom do great players get traded in the prime of their careers, but this was the case with the Great One. The first occasion, at 27 years old and after winning eight of the previous nine Hart trophies, was particularly troubling for the Oilers. 

Wayne Gretzky went on to score more than 900 points with the Los Angeles Kings over eight years -- not quite the 1,669 he logged in Edmonton, but still unmatched by any mere hockey mortal.


3. Cowboys trade Herschel Walker to the Vikings for LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart and six draft picks (which led to Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson)

Looking for a quick way to form a dynasty? Trade your best player for a haul of 10 players. It worked for the Cowboys! Dallas won three Super Bowls after the Herschel Walker deal, which lives on as one of the more laughable deals ever.


2. June 16, 1975: Bucks trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Lakers for Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith and Brian Winters

Despite averaging at least 27 points in each of his first six NBA years with the Bucks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wanted a bigger market -- New York or Los Angeles, he told management in 1974. So to the Lakers he went, where he'd become one of the greatest scorers in league history. 

In return the Bucks received two good pieces in Junior Birdgeman and Brian Winters, but nothing of significant import in relation to Kareem's legendary status. The Bucks finished under .500 in three of the next four seasons.


1. December 26, 1919: Red Sox sell Babe Ruth to Yankees for $100,000

The sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees wasn't poor luck or an error in talent evaluation. Boston was well aware that the Babe was in elite company. By 1919 he'd led the league in home runs two years running while taking the mound as a full-time pitcher (with a 2.19 ERA).

But Sox owner and theatrical producer Harry Frazee just had to finance the production of Broadway musicals. So on went Ruth to New York, where he'd spend the next 14 years and smash 659 more home runs. And on lived the curse, until 2004, 85 years after the Babe was sold to the Yanks.



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