Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Philly phlub?

There's an old saying that says those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles need to take some remedial courses.

The most stunning aspect of Donovan McNabb leaving the Eagles isn't that he was traded -- although some, like Giants QB Eli Manning, openly questioned the logic of such a move -- but where he was traded to. It's one thing to make a trade in order to make your team better. It's another altogether to make a deal with a division rival, as the Eagles did with the Redskins, leading to a very real and very likely scenario that the transaction will come back to haunt them -- perhaps for a very long time.

The Eagles chose to strike a deal with the Skins, despite the historic precedent that was set back in 1964, when they traded Sonny Jurgensen even-up for another QB, Norm Snead. Jurgensen went on to win three NFL passing championships and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Snead? In seven seasons with Philly, the Eagles had one winning season.

As Jurgensen himself told Ray Didinger of Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia, speaking of the Eagles and their fans, "Those people never learn."

Jurgensen even earned the praise of the legendary Vince Lombardi, who coached Jurgensen in 1969 in Lombardi's only season with the Redskins before he died of cancer.

"He is perhaps the best (quarterback) the league has ever seen,” Lombardi once said. “He’s all man. He stays in there under the most adverse conditions.”

Getting booed by the Philly faithful would qualify in that department, something Jurgensen and McNabb can relate to. Despite being banged up at certain points in his career, McNabb still has plenty in the tank, and it is by no means a stretch to suggest the Eagles could wind up regretting this trade for years to come.

There have been several quarterbacks in NFL history who were traded in their prime and flourished with their new teams, including Fran Tarkenton, Y.A. Tittle and Norm Van Brocklin, but Jurgensen can say he's among the very few who found success playing for a former division rival.

Clearly, McNabb and the Redskins hope for the same.

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