One of the best parts about the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions is we get to hear stories we probably would’ve never heard otherwise.

With players and coaches finally feeling as though they reached the pinnacle, they’re much more likely to open up.

And that’s exactly what happened this year when a Hall of Fame coach revealed he almost gave up all of his draft picks to land this one quarterback.

No 2021 Hall of Fame inductee’s enshrinement in Canton was more surprising than that of former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson.

Of course, Johnson’s induction itself wasn’t the surprising part – it’s that it took so long to actually happen.

After all, Johnson was the first coach to ever win both a college National Championship and a Super Bowl, won two Super Bowls in Dallas, was the AP Coach of the Year in 1990, and only lost in the first round of the playoffs once in his career.

Needless to say, Johnson had no business waiting over 20 years after his retirement to finally be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Regardless, during his time with Dolphins, Johnson compiled a respectable 36-28 record, making the playoffs in three of his four seasons.

But the team was always unable to get over the hump and not just be a team that could make the playoffs, but a team that could compete for Super Bowls.

However, that could’ve been a completely different story if Johnson would’ve pulled the trigger on what would’ve been one of the biggest trades in NFL history.

Recently, Johnson revealed that during the lead up to the 1998 NFL Draft he had the chance to make a trade for a young quarterback out of the University of Tennessee named Peyton Manning.

The only catch was Johnson would’ve apparently had to send the Colts every single one of his other 10 draft picks to make the trade happen.

“It would have taken my entire draft board, but I could have made a trade to move up to get Peyton Manning,” Johnson said. “In truth, I talked to Peyton and Archie about it this weekend.”

“That’s all the details I can give you. I probably gave you too much already,” Johnson continued.

Now, obviously, it’s quite the understatement to say that giving up your entire draft for one player that hasn’t taken a snap at the NFL level is a tad risky.

But in hindsight, there’s no doubt that Manning would’ve been worth all 10 of the Dolphins’ other draft picks, and could have completely changed the fortunes of both the Dolphins and Colts franchises, not to mention Johnson’s personal legacy.

Had Jimmy Johnson drafted Manning, there’s no telling how things would’ve gone for everyone involved, and could’ve extended Johnson’s career beyond his retirement in 1999.

In fact, that one trade could have completely changed the face of the NFL and turned the entire league’s future on its head.

But all of it was for naught, as Manning ultimately became a Colt, Johnson’s 10 draft picks with the Dolphins were rather average, and he retired the very next year.

It’s still fun to think about what might have been, though.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.