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Updated: April 30th, 2011 10:07am
Report: Donovan McNabb 'expected to eventually become a Viking'

Report: Donovan McNabb 'expected to eventually become a Viking'

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The first-round pick the Minnesota Vikings spent on Christian Ponder hasn't slowed speculation about their interest in Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Citing league sources in a strongly worded report, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported on Friday night there is a "high probability" the Vikings will pursue McNabb, who "is expected to eventually become a Viking."

Coach Leslie Frazier has said several times since the Vikings drafted Ponder on Thursday he expects an open competiton between the 12th overall pick, Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar. However, it seems unlikely Bomar or even Webb would factor in any such competition, and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave acknowledged on Friday he wants to bring in a veteran at least as a backup.

The report from La Canfora -- who spent six years covering the Redskins for the Washington Post -- only adds to speculation that has swirled for weeks. The Post reported on April 18 the Vikings are one of multiple teams that have shown interest in McNabb, who was benched down the stretch last season and likely will be released unless he restructures his contract.

The appearance is that the Redskins are doing their best to create a marketplace for a 34-year-old quarterback whose relationship with the team soured within months of receiving a six-year, $89.2 million contract extension.

All transactions remain on hold, thanks to the stay a federal appeals court granted the NFL on Friday, restarting the lockout lifted earlier in the week. Ponder has a head start on any veteran quarterback because he spent time with Musgrave and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson during the roughly 11-hour window players were allowed to work out at team facilities on Friday.

As for McNabb, no one will trade for his contract, which includes a $10 million option bonus due in September. The former No. 2 overall draft pick is coming off the worst of his 12 NFL seasons and would be nothing more than a stopgap if acquired.

A union with the Vikings was seen as likely for years when Brad Childress, McNabb's old offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, was the coach. But he also has a relationship with Frazier, who also spent time on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia.

Depending what happens in the courts, it could be months before it becomes clear if all there's any fire behind the McNabb smoke.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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