Because of league rules, the trade would not become official until Friday.
Meanwhile, the team added another passer in Kellen Clemens, defensive lineman Barry Cofield, cornerback Josh Wilson and wide receivers Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley. Just after midnight Wednesday, Leonard Hankerson, a wide receiver from the University of Miami, became the first of the Redskins’ selections from this spring’s NFL draft to agree to contract terms.
Moving McNabb ranked among the Redskins’ top priorities of the offseason, but the NFL lockout had prevented teams from conducting any business. After Monday’s resolution to the labor dispute, Washington and Minnesota began hammering out the framework for a trade. On Wednesday, McNabb agreed to rework his contract, which was necessary for the Vikings to obtain him and still maintain 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. Exactly how much of a pay cut was not immediately clear. People familiar with the situation said McNabb didn’t mind taking a pay cut because it got him out of an unfavorable situation with the team that acquired him in April 2010.
When reached to comment Wednesday night, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said: “Donovan is really a class individual and I always thought he handled himself in a professional way, and I wish him the best. . . . 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.”
Redskins players expressed disappointment that McNabb, Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had not been able to salvage their relationship, but they wished the quarterback well.
“Donovan was a great stand-up guy. Loved him dearly,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “He was a leader in our locker room, a guy I admired and grew up watching. . . . I would love to have him back here, but things just didn’t turn out the right way, and he’ll go on and eventually be a Hall of Famer.”
John Beck and Rex Grossman, who remains a free agent but is a high re-signing priority for Washington, are expected to battle for the starting quarterback job. On Wednesday, the team also agreed to a one-year deal with Clemens, who was drafted 49th overall in 2006 and is expected to serve as a backup.
The Redskins tried to assist their quarterbacks by adding three veteran wide receivers. Stallworth, an eight-year veteran, agreed to a one-year contract. The Redskins traded seldom-used defensive end Jeremy Jarmon to Denver to acquire Gaffney, who is coming off of a 65-catch, 875-yard 2010 season. And the Redskins added Stokley, a 13th-year veteran, who appeared in 11 games for Seattle last season and played for Shanahan in Denver in 2007 and 2008.
Stallworth was suspended for all of 2009 after pleading guilty to felony DUI manslaughter. He signed with Baltimore last season but broke his foot in the preseason. Stallworth returned for the final eight games of the season and recorded two catches. He hasn’t had more than 20 receptions or 200 receiving yards since 2007.
Stallworth will be reunited with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who as head coach of the New Orleans Saints drafted the wide receiver out of the University of Tennessee in 2002.
“He knows that I trust him a lot,” Stallworth said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “We have a great relationship. We spent four or five years together. He had nothing but good things to say about the Redskins. I know if there was anything negative, he would’ve told me.”
Cofield, who agreed to a six-year deal featuring $12.5 million in guaranteed money, is likely to have the biggest impact of any player acquired Wednesday.
The 27-year-old lineman is expected to start at nose tackle, and is coming off of a 54-tackle, 41
2-sack season for the New York Giants. The 6-foot-4, 306-pound veteran will fill a position that Haslett describes as one of the most important roles in the 3-4 defense.
“In talking to coaches, the Redskins really see Barry as a very versatile guy that’s strong at the point of attack and capable of playing multiple positions along the line,” Cofield’s agent Mike McCartney said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He’s had experience in the [3-4 defense] in college [at Northwestern] and is excited about coming to the Redskins.”
The Redskins late in the day addressed a pressing need on defense by agreeing to terms with Wilson, who started nine games for Baltimore last season, recording 40 tackles and three interceptions. Wilson, who is expected to start opposite DeAngelo Hall, played college football at Maryland and attended DeMatha.
The Redskins still have a rather lengthy to-do list. In addition to signing the rest of their draft picks, they still need help at offensive guard.
Also looming on the eve of training camp is the presence of defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who last season clashed with Shanahan and Haslett and wound up suspended for the last four games.
Washington is expected to part ways with Haynesworth. But Shanahan, according to people familiar with the situation, would rather not cut Haynesworth, who has been paid roughly $35 million over the last two years. Instead, the coach wants to trade the defensive lineman, but teams are reluctant to give up significant compensation for a player they know doesn’t figure into Washington’s plans.
Players are scheduled to report to Redskins Park for physicals on Thursday and hold their first practice on Friday. Training camp officially opens on Saturday, when the public can attend.
Staff writers Rick Maese and Sally Jenkins contributed to this report.