|Date of birth:||November 28, 1942|
|Place of birth:||Warren, Ohio|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||188 lb (85 kg)|
|High school:||Warren (OH) Harding|
|NFL Draft:||1964 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Paul Dryden Warfield (born November 28, 1942) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) in the 1960s and 1970s for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. He was known for his speed, fluid moves, grace, jumping ability, and hands. He led the Dolphins receiving game and helped them attain the NFL's first and only undefeated season.
Early years and college
Warfield graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio in 1960. He was a star running back and defensive back for the Panthers, joining the varsity as a sophomore in 1957. In 1958, Warfield ran for 810 yards and scored 15 touchdowns—a campaign highlighted by a 6–0 victory over powerhouse Massillon Washington High School. Warfield ran for 1,158 yards in 1959 and had 13 touchdowns. He also set a state mark in the long jump.
Warfield played for the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver from 1964 to 1969. In his rookie season, he caught 52 receptions for 920 yards and nine touchdowns as the Browns won the NFL championship. In 1968 he caught 50 passes and for the only time in his career gained over 1,000 yards in receiving (1,067 yards). That year he scored 12 touchdowns as the Browns reached the NFL Championship Game for the third time in the 1960s.
In 1970, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a draft pick which the Browns used on Purdue University quarterback Mike Phipps. The trade is considered one of the most lopsided in NFL history, as Phipps had only limited success for the Browns, while Warfield was a major factor in the Dolphins' championships in the early 1970s. For most of Warfield's tenure in Miami the Dolphins ran an offense which stressed running the ball. Warfield was considered a major threat on any given play. Even though he only caught 29 passes during the 1973 NFL season, 11 of those receptions were touchdowns, with four coming in the first half of the regular season finale. Three years earlier, when he arrived in Miami, he caught only 28 passes but he averaged 25.1 yards per catch.
Shortly before Super Bowl VI President Richard M. Nixon famously telephoned Dolphins coach Don Shula to suggest that they run a particular pass play to Warfield. The play, a down-and-in pattern, was tried and resulted in an incomplete pass.
Memphis Southmen and return to Browns
In 1974, shortly after the Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, Warfield and teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick made what were then surprising decisions. They left the Dolphins at the conclusion of the season for what appeared to be more lucrative pastures with the Toronto Northmen of World Football League. (The Northmen moved to Memphis without playing a game in Toronto, and became the Memphis Southmen.) Warfield played the 1975 season with the Memphis Southmen, before finishing his playing career with the Browns in 1976 and 1977.
In his 13 NFL seasons Warfield caught 427 passes for 8,565 yards for 20.1 yards per catch and scored 85 touchdowns. He added another 204 yards on 22 rushing attempts. In his only WFL season (1975) he caught 25 passes for 422 yards, a 16.9 yards per catch average, and three touchdowns. He was in the Pro Bowl eight times and was named All League six times.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1999, he was ranked number 60 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. In 1979 Ohio State inducted him into its Varsity "O" Hall of Fame for both his football and track accomplishments.
On November 19, 1990 he was inducted into the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. On September 19, 2010, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor. In 1977, he earned a M.A. degree from Kent State University. He worked for WKYC in Cleveland as a sportscaster in 1977-78. He also worked as a scout and football front office executive.
In 2013, Warren G. Harding High School had a life size statue made of Warfield. Warfield had the honor of performing the coin flip at the Ohio State–Michigan game in 2006, in which the No. 1 ranked Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 ranked Wolverines 42–39 in Columbus, Ohio. He has worked as a special assignment scout for the Browns. He is retired and living in Rancho Mirage, California.
- Dave Hyde, Still Perfect! The Untold Story of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Dolphins/Curtis Publishing. p. 273. 2002. ISBN 0-9702677-1-1
- "Paul Warfield Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Phillips, Robert. "1975 World Football League Memphis Southmen Statistics". wflfootball.tripod.com. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- "Sporting News Top 100 Football Players". Democrat and Chronicle. August 15, 1999. p. 3D. Retrieved January 9, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Joe Castiglione with Douglas B. Lyons (2006). "Broadcasting beginnings". Broadcast Rites and Sites: I Saw it on the Radio with the Boston Red Sox. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 1-58979-324-2.