The Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings have officially finalized the agreement that will send quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Vikings in exchange for one and possibly two sixth-round picks, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The three parties had agreed on all the terms required and Minnesota was in the process of finalizing the paperwork, the source said.
To make the deal possible, McNabb agreed to rework his contract to give the Vikings more salary cap flexibility.
The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback was due to earn $14.75 million this season – including a $10 million roster bonus due to him on Sept. 12. But now McNabb will be making significantly less. People familiar with the situation said that the quarterback didn’t mind taking a pay cut because it got him out of bad situation in Washington.
Acquired from Philadelphia in April of 2010 for a second- and fourth-round draft pick, McNabb was Mike Shanahan’s first major move, and was supposed to lead Washington back to relevance.
But Shanahan and his son and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan took issue with McNabb’s work ethic and lack of accuracy. McNabb was benched in Week 8 at Detroit, deeming him unfit to run the two-minute offense. But two weeks later, Washington awarded him a contract extension.
Mike Shanahan then benched McNabb for the final three games of the season, and people within the organization anonymously criticized the quarterback’s performance and professionalism. Meanwhile, McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, fired back and blasted the Shanahans for not properly tailoring the offense to McNabb’s strengths and for disrespecting the player.
When reached for comment Wednesday night, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan refused to criticize the quarterback.
“Donovan is really a class individual and I always thought he handled himself in a professional way, and I wish him the best,” Shanahan said. ”You just like people to have success, and he’s had a lot of success. That’s the tough decision I have to make, you have to do what you think is in the best interest of the Redskins. You got to do what feels best for the organization, and go on. Without a doubt I think this is the best decision for the organization.”
It had long been expected that Washington would part ways with McNabb, and Minnesota had remained the leading destination. Following the draft, Mike Shanahan strongly endorsed John Beck, and people familiar with the situation said Washington’s plan is to re-sign Grossman to compete for the starting quarterback job.
Washington hadn’t been able to attempt to move McNabb, however, because of the NFL’s labor dispute. The league’s owners and players agreed to terms for a new collective bargaining agreement on Monday, and Tuesday was the first day that trades could be negotiated.
The Redskins and Vikings hammered out the framework of the trade on Tuesday, and then the finishing touches – including McNabb restructuring his deal – were completed on Wednesday.
--Photos: Donovan McNabb’s season in Washington