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Former Washington QB dies at 84

Norm Snead, who was selected to two Pro Bowls as Washington Redskins quarterback from 1961 to 1963, died Sunday in Naples, Florida, at the age of 84.

Snead grew up in Newport News, Virginia, and attended Wake Forest. During his last two years for the Demon Deacons, he was first-team All-ACC. He was taken by the Redskins with the second overall selection of the 1961 NFL draft.

Washington struggled during Snead’s tenure, posting records of 1-12-1 (1961), 5-7-2 (1962) and 3-11 (1963).

Following the disappointing 1963 season, Snead was traded to the rival Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for QB Sonny Jurgensen.

Jurgensen came to Washington and had a tremendous career, resulting in his being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the class of 1983. Snead would start a total of 159 games for the Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants. His teams had a record of only 52-100-7 in those games, and his 257 interceptions rank sixth all-time.

Commenting years later on the trade, Jurgensen said: “Maybe it was a good thing for Norm, too. Because he had been thrust on the field as a rookie without the surrounding cast that a young quarterback needs. There’s no question he could throw the ball. He just needed surrounding people. So, it was good for him to get out and start fresh.”

One of the more unusual facts regarding Snead’s career was that he was traded for two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Not only was he traded for Jurgensen in 1964, but he was also dealt for Fran Tarkenton in 1972.

The latter trade brought Snead to the Giants, where he enjoyed perhaps his best NFL season, leading the NFL in completion percentage and earning a Pro Bowl selection as the Giants went 8-6. However, it was mostly overlooked because Dallas (the defending Super Bowl champion) and Washington (the NFC champion that season) were both in the top tier of NFL teams in 1972.

Snead had a big arm, but because his teams were so often playing from behind, he led the NFL in interceptions in four different seasons (1963, 1968, 1969, 1973).

Snead passed for 30,797 yards and 196 touchdowns in his career (1961-1976). He was voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire