Donovan McNabb is released

About a half-hour before practice Thursday at Halas Hall, reports surfaced that the Minnesota Vikings were releasing quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The Bears immediately were pegged as his next stop.
Jay Cutler is potentially sidelined for the rest of the regular season as he recovers from right thumb surgery, and Caleb Hanie struggled in his first NFL start, throwing three interceptions in a 25-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” McNabb never was specifically asked about the Bears or any other team. But he suggested a team with “veteran players who know how to win” would be appealing.
The 7-4 Bears fit that description. That they play their home games in his hometown can’t be discounted.
Ultimately, though, the decision isn’t McNabb’s.
He’ll be subject to the NFL’s waiver wire, and all 32 teams will have a chance to claim him. Last week, former Bears quarterback Kyle Orton reportedly wanted to return to Chicago. And while the Bears wanted him, the claims of the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs superseded their position, based on record and strength of schedule.
Orton is taking 40 percent of the practice snaps for the Chiefs, and Josh McCown is working overtime at Halas Hall as the backup to Hanie.
The Bears, Cowboys and Houston Texans were widely cast as teams that could claim McNabb and save the Vikings the 1,4 million dollars he’s due for the rest of this season. The Cowboys would have the priority, followed by the Bears, then the Texans.

Donovan McNabb is released
Donovan McNabb.

The failed Donovan McNabb experiment in Minnesota finally fizzled out Thursday when the Vikings waived the veteran quarterback in a mutual parting that punctuated how the team misjudged his ability to still command an NFL offense.
If McNabb is claimed off waivers during a 24-hour window that ends at 3 p.m. today, the Vikings would be off the hook for about 1.6 million dollars of his 5.05 million dollars salary. That’s small consolation, however, for a Minnesota front office that gambled on a 35-year-old quarterback whose diminishing returns prompted McNabb’s two previous teams to bench him even before he went 1-5 as the Vikings’ starter.
“We sat down and talked, and just as we communicated to one another about what we thought was best for our team and best for him going forward, (it was) just a mutual decision” – coach Leslie Frazier said during an impromptu news conference at Winter Park. “We both agreed that this was probably going to be the best thing to do.”
McNabb did not practice Thursday but was in the locker room earlier and was seen posing for a picture with running back Adrian Peterson before sauntering into another section of the team facility.
Following Frazier’s decision to bench him in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, McNabb was cavalier and defiant when asked about his future in the league despite struggling with accuracy in a passing offense that ranked near the bottom of the league in several categories, vowing to revive a career that had stalled yet again.

Donovan McNabb looked around the NFL, saw the quarterback situation facing a few potential playoff teams and wanted a chance to continue his 13-year career on the field instead of on the bench.
In an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter Thursday evening, McNabb spoke about his request to be released from the Minnesota Vikings, a move the team granted Thursday afternoon.
Nearing the end of a season that has gone awry with several young players taking on prominent roles in Minnesota, McNabb (35) felt he was better served moving to a team possibly headed for the playoffs instead of sitting on the bench for team bound to be near the top of the draft board.
“I think when you’re surrounded by experienced players, veteran players who know how to win then that’s something that’s contagious” – McNabb told the network. “There are a lot of teams out there who are in desperate need of a quarterback at this particular point who are surrounded by veteran players and teams that play well together. So, for myself it’s really an opportunity for me to, at this particular point, clear my head, concentrate on the goal and task at hand, and get back to thinking and getting out on the field and playing the way that I know I am capable of playing.”
The 2011 season didn’t go the way McNabb had hoped when the Vikings acquired him in a trade with the Washington Redskins after the lockout ended to provide a veteran starter while the team groomed rookie first-round pick Christian Ponder.
The move gave McNabb a chance to resurrect his career after being benched a year earlier in Washington. However, Minnesota went 1-5 in McNabb’s five starts and decided to make the permanent switch to Ponder after losing, 39-10, in Chicago, a game in which Ponder got his first NFL action in the second half.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection, McNabb hasn’t been the same since he traded by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010. McNabb has lost 10 of the past 12 games he has started and is 6-13 overall since leaving Philadelphia.

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