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.