The Buffalo Bills traded for Marcus Stroud from the Jacksonville Jaguars in March of 2008. The trade wasn't complicated on the surface, but when you delve into the components of the trade, it becomes a long list.
In exchange for Stroud, the Jaguars received third- and fifth-round picks from the Bills, but neither pick was Buffalo's original choice in the round. The third-round pick used in the trade was obtained from the Baltimore Ravens as part of the trade for running back Willis McGahee. Another third-round pick obtained for McGahee turned into Trent Edwards, as well as a seventh rounder that became C.J. Ah You. The fifth-round pick was obtained from the Chicago Bears in a trade for DT Darwin Walker.
In the grand scheme of things, the Bills gave up Walker and McGahee for Stroud, Edwards and Ah You.
Walker never played for the Bills, refusing to report after being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles. In his time with the Bears, he managed a sack and 12 tackles in 11 total games. Walker was released after the 2007 season, landing with the Carolina Panthers. He started two games for the Panthers, totaling two batted balls and six tackles in ten games.
McGahee famously didn't like being in Buffalo, and was shipped out following the 2006 season. In the intervening four years, he has made a Pro Bowl appearance while seeing his rushing totals decrease in every season - all the way down to just 100 rushes for 380 yards in 2010. While he has been a touchdown machine (averaging almost eight scores a season), his role has continued to decrease in Baltimore.
The Bills needed a defensive tackle, and when Walker didn't work out they filled the void with Stroud, who was coming off of several down years in Jacksonville. He received early talk for Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 after a scintillating start, but he quickly came back to earth. In his three seasons, he missed only two games after missing 12 in his final two seasons with Jacksonville. He racked up 96 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered three, batted 16 balls and sacked the opposing quarterback 7.5 times. Not Pro Bowl caliber, but steady numbers.
Ah You was released in the final round of cuts in 2008 and joined the St. Louis Rams' practice squad. He played in all 16 games in 2010, grabbing four sacks and 26 tackles.
Edwards went 14-16 as Buffalo's starting quarterback, passing for 5,739 yards and 25 touchdowns, while getting picked off 27 times. He was released in the fall of 2010, three weeks into the season.
As for the draft picks in the Stroud deal, the third- and fifth-round selections in the 2008 draft, they were both traded by Jacksonville. Baltimore got back their own third-round selection when Jacksonville moved up in the first round to select DE Derrick Harvey. The Ravens took LB Tavares Gooden at No. 71 overall. While he started 12 games in 2009, he was relegated to a reserve role in 2010 and has 43 tackles in three seasons.
The Dallas Cowboys traded up for the fifth-round pick, obtaining CB Orlando Scandrick. Scandrick has started nine games in three seasons, with two interceptions, 109 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Jaguars fell back and selected LB Thomas Williams and RB Chauncey Washington. Williams and Washington have bounced around practice squads, with Williams actually spending time on Buffalo's taxi squad in 2010.
The Jaguars ended up with "18 spots in the first round," Thomas Williams, and Chauncey Washington in exchange for Stroud.
There's no doubt the Bills won this trade in the long haul, even if Stroud ultimately fell short of lofty expectations.