Donovan McNabb is officially a Minnesota Viking and he's focusing on wining now on a team in which he sees plenty of talent.
Terms of the deal weren't announced, but FOXSports.com reported that the Vikings gave up a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth-rounder in 2013 based on McNabb's performance this year. McNabb and head coach Leslie Frazier both declined to disclose even the length of the contract.
"It's not about that. I want to win and I want to win here. My focus this year is to do whatever it takes to help us win. Everything else will take care of itself," McNabb said. "Do I want to end my career [in Minnesota]? Absolutely. So obviously there's going to be talks with that and everything else. I can't focus on the future. I can't focus on who is going to be where and what. I can only focus on what's going on right now, and right now I'm a Minnesota Viking. I would love to be here and end my career here. But the most important thing is to win, and we want to win and win now."
McNabb was in Minnesota Friday and went through a physical to complete the trade, with Frazier saying the 12-year veteran looked "great."
The Vikings have given indications all along that they were interested in acquiring a veteran quarterback, and McNabb said there was discussion about ending up in Minnesota before the lockout. But McNabb's contract with the Redskins called for $12.5 million in 2011 money with $10 million of that due in a bonus if he remained with the Redskins. The Vikings renegotiated McNabb's contract as part of the trade.
For his 12-year career, McNabb has completed 58.9 percent of his passes with 230 touchdowns and 115 interceptions.
Last year, in his first season away from the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 3,377 yards, 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for the Redskins. It was the first time in his career he had more interceptions than touchdowns.
"I got the sense that he really wanted to put 2010 behind him, much like we want to do here in Minnesota in 2011," said Frazier, who coached in Philadelphia from 1999-2002 when McNabb was in the infancy of his career. "I think that's a good thing, the fact he'll have a chip on his shoulder to some degree. He's going forward and not looking back, learning from that experience and having a great 2011. That's what you would expect to hear, hope to hear."
Said McNabb: "Sometimes you have a down year and you bounce back and that's the way that I see it. I put last year behind me. It was a learning experience. It's one that I can take a lot from, and be able to benefit from it this year. I look forward to that. This opportunity is something that I enjoy and I take a full head of steam and [I'm] going to be prepared and ready to go."
Now it will be up to McNabb to learn coordinator Bill Musgrave's offense in short order. Because he restructured his contract, he can't begin to practice with the Vikings until Aug. 4, meaning he will miss four practices in Mankato before the Vikings' have their first full-pads practice on his first morning of eligibility.
"This isn't the time where you just run off plays and just dial up plays just because you feel like that will work. Well, if the team's not comfortable running it, then it's not going to work in your favor," McNabb said.
"Training camp is an opportunity for us to first and foremost build a bond with each other. You have to build that bond with your offensive guys, knowing in tough situations that this is what I'm going to do. How do you run routes? How do you like your ball delivered?"
No matter who the Vikings quarterback was this year, because of the lockout he wouldn't have had the opportunity to familiarize himself with the offense. But now, despite having drafted Christian Ponder in the first round and him spending the last three months with the playbook, there is no doubt who is the team's starter.
"When you trade for a guy who's been a starter for 12 years, you're not bringing him in here to be a backup," McNabb said. "You're bringing him in here to win now."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
McNabb arrives, focused on winning
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