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Tuesday, February 26
Texans deal Wuerffel to 'Skins in first-ever trade

By Len Pasquarelli

Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier confirmed on Tuesday that the team has traded for quarterback Danny Wuerffel, a deal that reunites the former Heisman Trophy winner with his college head coach. He also said his club is "close" to a deal to acquire another onetime University of Florida signal-caller, Shane Matthews.

The Redskins sent defensive tackle Jerry DeLoach to the expansion Houston Texans in exchange for Wuerffel. A second-year veteran, DeLoach was on the Washington expansion list last week, and the Texans were prepared to take him, but the Redskins pulled him back when guard Matt Campbell was chosen from their five available players.

Part of the trade stipulates that the Texans will receive a seventh-round draft choice from the Redskins if DeLoach doesn't make their roster. The trade is the first ever for the Texans.

"It would be very comfortable to have both (Wuerffel and Matthews)," Spurrier said. "It would allow us to coach all the other guys knowing that the quarterbacks know what's going on. Those two guys have been SEC player of the year twice each and they've won six SEC (titles) and a national (title) between them. They know how to win. We hope to have both of them."

Matthews has hardly been bashful in publicly acknowledging his desire to play for Spurrier, and the Bears probably would accept a low-round draft choice for him. Matthews preceded Wuerffel as the Gators quarterback and both posted huge numbers in the Spurrier-designed offense.

The Redskins are without a starter and both veterans from their 2001 roster, Tony Banks and Kent Graham, will become unrestricted free agents on Friday. The only quarterback who is under contract, beyond Wuerffel, is 2001 draft choice Sage Rosenfels.

Wuerffel, 27, has bounced around the NFL since entering the league in 1997. He has played with the New Orleans Saints (1997-99), the Green Bay Packers (2000) and the Bears (2001). In that time, he has appeared in 18 games and started six of them, completing 126 of 258 passes for 1,404 yards, with nine touchdown passes, 16 interceptions and an efficiency rating of 51.2. He has appeared in only two regular-season games in the last two years, however, and hasn't thrown a pass since the 1999 season or started since 1998.

Agent Mike Moye termed Wuerffel "very excited" by the move. "No one knows better than coach Spurrier how well Danny can play the position," Moye said. "This is a great opportunity for Danny. Playing quarterback in the NFL is about survival and Danny has survived to get to this point."

Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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