Veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb went unclaimed by the waiver deadline on Friday afternoon, one day after he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings so he could pursue an opportunity for playing time elsewhere.
"This was probably the most desirable outcome," McNabb's agent, Fletcher Smith, told The Associated Press on Friday. "This way it really gives him a chance to weigh his options and evaluate the situations as they come and make the best decision for him.
"The intent all along was to put himself in a position to explore any opportunities as they present themselves. He could not do that while he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings."
McNabb was acquired from the Washington Redskins during the offseason to be the Vikings' starter as a bridge between Brett Favre and Ponder. He had been taking reps with the third-string offense before requesting his release, team sources told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. He is now a free agent after passing through waivers.
McNabb started the Vikings' first six games this season before giving way to Ponder, the 12th overall pick in last April's draft. McNabb recorded 1,026 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions while leading Minnesota to a 1-5 record.
Smith said that playing time wouldn't necessarily be the top priority for McNabb, who "still feels he can play at a high level today."
"At the end of the day, at this stage of his career, the most important thing for him is winning a Super Bowl," Smith said. "That's what he wanted in Minnesota, that's what he wanted in Washington and that's what he wanted in Philadelphia. If he moves to another team, that's what he'll want there."
McNabb has a $5.05 million contract this season and would have cost a team about $1.5 million for the rest of the season if he had been claimed. The Vikings are now on the hook for the remainder of McNabb's contract.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.