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Eagles and Redskins Swap Quarterbacks

Mar. 31, 1964 - Joe Kuharich, fast becoming the biggest horse trader in the NFL, made another major deal today when the Eagles swapped quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and defensive back Jimmy Carr to the Washington Redskins for quarterback Norman Snead and defensive back Claude Crabb.

The Eagles’ new coach had startled local fans 11 days ago by trading Tommy McDonald, one of the league’s foremost receivers, to the Dallas Cowboys for Sam Baker, veteran punter and placekicker, and linemen John Meyers and Lynn Hoyem.

While not as surprising as his first trade, Kuharich’s deal with the Redskins puzzled some because he gave up Jurgensen, generally rated as the best “arm” in the league, for another quarterback who has yet to prove his greatness. What Kuharich obviously got were youth and greater future potential in both his acquisitions. Snead, 24, is five years younger than Jurgensen, and Crabb, also 24, is Carr’s junior by seven years.

“I don’t think this is a gamble,” Kuharich said. “I think it was horse for horse. We have a high regard for both quarterbacks. Snead’s record is impressive enough to indicate a bright future for him. We gave up a quarterback of more experience, and certainly Jurgensen has been an outstanding performer in the NFL. After a careful analysis of our quarterback situation, we feel a trade of this stature will be the best in our plans for the next four years or more.”

One factor in Kuharich’s thinking was that Sonny has been beset with shoulder, arm, and leg injuries since his brilliant 1961 season. Last year, he missed five complete games, saw limited service in three others, and was on the field for only 175 minutes, compared to 351 in 1961.

Today Jurgensen said he was “disappointed” in the trade.

“How else can I feel? I’m disappointed for two reasons — I made a great many friends in Philadelphia and I kind of wanted to end my career here. I also wanted to help bring a winner back into Philadelphia. The fans deserve it. They suffered through two miserable seasons with us, and I wanted to be part of the rebuilding of the team.”

Snead said at first he was shocked at the trade.

“I didn’t have the slightest idea I was going to be traded,” he said today from his home in Hampton, Va. “I talked with a Redskins official Monday, and he never mentioned anything about a trade. So, I was shocked. I thought, ‘Why did they do it?’ But I’ve had a few hours to think about it, and the more I think the better things look. I think I can do the kind of job coach Kuharich expects. I talked to him today, and he assures me the Eagles are on their way back and I have a place in their plans. A lot of guys tell me you’re not really a pro until you’ve been traded once. Well, I’ve been traded. I just hope I can be part of the Eagles’ return to the top.”

The Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFL championship game in 1960. In the three seasons since then, they have finished with records of 10-4, 3-10-1, and 2-10-2.


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