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Old 04-04-2013, 06:26 AM  
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WSJ: Trading for a Quarterback Doesn't Really Help



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Trading for a Quarterback Doesn't Really Help

Trading for quarterbacks has been quite popular this off-season, but are NFL teams being wise to do so? Recent history suggests otherwise.

This week's trades of Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and of Matt Flynn (pictured, far right) to the Oakland Raiders brought the total of projected starters acquired via trade to three this off-season, along with Kansas City's Alex Smith.

Notable quarterbacks such as John Elway and Brett Favre were traded by the teams that drafted them, before they had their greatest successes. But if Palmer, Flynn and Smith succeed in their first seasons with their new teams, it would buck a pretty clear trend in recent NFL history.

Since 1994, there have been 25 trades involving quarterbacks who started at least eight games for their new team the following season. Only two led their new teams to the postseason in the first year—Brad Johnson (1999 Redskins) and Steve McNair (2006 Ravens).

Some quarterbacks were successful, but struggled in their first season in a new city. Matt Hasselbeck went on to win five postseason games with the Seattle Seahawks and lead the team to Super Bowl XL. Trent Green had some success following a trade to the Kansas City Chiefs, and Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler remain upper-echelon quarterbacks with the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, respectively, but have only three combined playoff victories with their new teams.

The failures of traded quarterbacks have far outweighed the successes, especially with over-the-hill QBs such as Brett Favre, who struggled down the stretch in his one season with the New York Jets, and Donovan McNabb, who struggled in his only season with the Washington Redskins, and later with the Minnesota Vikings. Both Palmer and Flynn were last traded within the past two seasons—and in both cases, the teams that traded for them gave up more than they got, while not achieving the results they were expecting.

—Eric Edholm
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...?mod=djemITP_h
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