Wed Jul 27 01:03pm EDT
Quarterback Donovan McNabb(notes) will play for a different team for the third straight year, pending the final details in a trade that will send the six-time Pro Bowler from the Washington Redskins to the Minnesota Vikings. Word is that the Vikings would send a sixth-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013 to the nation's capital for McNabb's services.
Standing in the way of the deal is McNabb's current contract. Just two weeks after they benched him last year, the Redskins gave McNabb a contract extension that was reported to be in the neighborhood of $40 million guaranteed over a number of years.
It turned out that a lot of that was funny money, but McNabb will still have to move some cash off the table if he wants to play in Minnesota … or anywhere else. He's got a $10 million option bonus that would kick in this year, and he'd be due over $10 million in base salary and escalators in each of the next four seasons.
For the Redskins, who acquired McNabb from the Philadelphia Eagles just last season, the move allows the father-son team of head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to forge ahead with their new quarterback plan — the plan which involves the two-pronged attack of John Beck(notes) and Rex Grossman(notes).
(pause for hysterical laughter).
Done yet? OK. For the Vikings, McNabb gives them a good placeholder as they bring first-round quarterback Christian Ponder(notes) along. McNabb is very familiar with the West Coast offense run by offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, and Ponder can learn a lot from the veteran without all the ancillary drama brought about by a return to the B***t F***e saga.
McNabb had a fairly disastrous year for the Redskins in 2010, but it wasn't all his fault — he wasn't what he used to be, but his pass protection was a complete joke most of the season and his receivers were iffy at best. The Vikings don't provide elite pass protection, but McNabb should at least be able to take two steps in a drop and set his feet before three different defenders maul him to smithereens. That didn't always happen last year.
2010 was the first season in McNabb's 12-year career in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, but mitigating circumstances leave many thinking that he can still be an effective short-term option in the right situation.
As it stands right now, the Minnesota Vikings appear to have that situation in hand.
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