On April 13th, 2013, the Indianapolis Colts traded Jerry Hughes to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Kelvin Sheppard. Like the LeSean McCoy trade, this deal was an utter steal for the Bills as they got a franchise cornerstone for a middling MLB. So how did these players’ careers pan out post-trade?
Jerry Hughes was a slumping third-year player with Indianapolis when he was traded. In fact, he was considered one of Bill Polian’s worst draft picks. However, since then, he’s shown why he was a first round pick in 2010. Hughes is the longest tenured Buffalo Bill to date, sticking around for nine seasons, three head coaches, and two general managers. Not only that, but he’s been integral to the success of this defense over the years.
Hughes was a vital piece to Jim Schwartz and Mike Pettine’s “Cold Front” defenses with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus. During that run in 2013 & 2014, Hughes totaled a combined 20 sacks, five forced fumbles, and 22 TFLs. He even played at a high level through the awful Rex Ryan era. Despite all that, Hughes was never a Pro Bowler. Hughes remains a vital part of the defense, multiple HCs later. Even at age 33, he is still starting every game he plays in at a consistently high level. And now he’s taken on another responsibility, being a teacher to the younger players on the DL.
The Bills selected Kelvin Sheppard in the third round of the 2011 draft. In his two seasons with Buffalo, Sheppard started 24 games and totaled 150 tackles, two sacks, and six TFLs. Since then, Sheppard has been on quite a few teams. He played one season for the Indianapolis Colts, two for the Miami Dolphins, two for the New York Giants, and one for the Detroit Lions before fading out of the league. In March of 2020, LSU, the college where he once shined as a LB, hired Sheppard as the director of player development. Then, in February of 2021, the Detroit Lions hired him as a defensive assistant on Dan Campbell’s coaching staff.