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Updated: July 26th, 2011 3:44pm
Reports: Vikings still talking trade with Redskins for Donovan McNabb

Reports: Vikings still talking trade with Redskins for Donovan McNabb

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- There are plenty of reasons to doubt Donovan McNabb as a fit for the Minnesota Vikings, but they reportedly haven't given up on the idea just yet.

ESPN reported on Tuesday afternoon the Vikings are "one of a few teams" that have engaged in trade talks with the Washington Redskins, who don't plan to bring back McNabb and are desperate to get anything in return for the 34-year-old quarterback.

It was reminiscient of a strongly worded report on draft weekend in April from NFL Network, which said McNabb was "expected to eventually become a Viking." Shortly after ESPN's report on Tuesday, NFL Network reported the Vikings and Redskins "have parameters of a deal for McNabb but agreeing on financial terms with him could be tricky."

McNabb was benched twice last season, had a falling out with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan -- son of head coach Mike Shanahan -- and is due a $10 million option bonus if he's on the Week 1 roster. Per ESPN's report, any trade would be contingent on reworking the five-year, $78 million contract extension the six-time Pro Bowl selection received in November.

A union with the Vikings seemed possibley for years when Brad Childress, McNabb's old offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, was the coach. McNabb also has a relationship with current Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who spent time on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia.

But would McNabb fit with a Vikings team that plans to play first-round draft pick Christian Ponder sooner than later? And does he have anything left in the tank in his mid-30s after the worst of his 12 NFL seasons?

The only scenario in which McNabb would have reason to renegotiate his contract, rather than asking for his release, would be if he fears the Redskins would squat on his rights through camp and then cut him at a time it would be hard for him to find work. 

That report was only one of the quarterback rumors flying on a relatively quiet opening morning and afternoon of free-agent negotiations, as teams worked to sign undrafted rookies, clear salary-cap space and sort out the rules of the post-lockout NFL.

The only major contract agreement reached in the first eight hours was a reported six-year, $76 million extension, including a $30 million signing bonus, that kept defensive end Charles Johnson with the Panthers. 

Former Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson reportedly came to terms with Seattle, which subsequently pulled its offer to longtime starter Matt Hasselbeck -- another potential target for the Vikings if they pursue an established starter.

The Vikings also were linked to Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, who reportedly has joined Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb on the high-profile trading block.

Trades could become official as of 9 a.m. Tuesday. Veteran free-agent signings cannot be completed until 5 p.m. Friday.

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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