December 01, 2011
If the Donovan McNabb(notes) era in Washington was a failure, his time in Minnesota should be classified as a disaster. The Vikings released the veteran quarterback on Thursday, ending his brief stint with the team.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported McNabb asked to be released by the Vikings so he could seek out another team. His request was granted, much like the way Kyle Orton(notes) freed himself from the Denver Broncos bench last week and was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs. McNabb will now be placed on the waiver wire and any team interested in picking up his salary for the remaining five games of the NFL season can put in a claim.
McNabb began the year as the Vikings starting quarterback. After a 1-4 start in which he was completely ineffective, McNabb was pulled from the Vikings sixth game of the year in front of his hometown crowd in Chicago. Rookie Christian Ponder(notes) replaced McNabb for that game and has started each one since, putting up an identical 1-4 record.
With McNabb relegated to a backup role and many teams in need of a viable starter, it made sense that he'd want to leave Minnesota to see if another team in playoff contention was interested. Possible destinations include Houston, Chicago or even Kansas City, the team that picked up Kyle Orton. A move to his native Chicago would be the most logical choice, though the team's porous offensive line and mediocre receiving corps wouldn't be a big change from what McNabb failed with in Washington and Minnesota.
The release of McNabb should increase calls that the NFL's trade deadline be moved to later in the year. When quarterbacks go down and benched veterans are available on other teams, the market should allow that franchises get something in return for cutting loose an Orton or a McNabb. In the current structure, the Vikings will get nothing in return for McNabb's release.
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