The Minnesota Vikings have waived quarterback Donovan McNabb, giving the veteran quarterback an opportunity to sign with another team for the stretch run.
The Vikings' intention to release McNabb was first reported by NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
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McNabb, who was traded to the Vikings in the offseason to be their starter, recently had been taking reps with the third string and went to the team requesting his release, team sources told La Canfora. After a conversation with coach Leslie Frazier, the Vikings granted his request.
"This was the best decision for both parties," Frazier said. "He was a great player and has been a great player for our league for a long, long time. Have a lot of affection and love for Donovan."
Several potential playoff teams have lost quarterbacks recently, including the Chicago Bears (McNabb's hometown team, and a place he would obviously love to play) and the Houston Texans, who run a system very much like what McNabb ran during his 2010 season with the Washington Redskins.
Frazier addressed the media Thursday and said he was unaware if McNabb had a preferred team in mind.
"I know there are some teams out there looking for QBs, but he did not mention that to me," Frazier said.
Frazier added: "When you have a guy who has been this successful in this league, he has an idea how he wants his career to continue or not to continue. That played a role in making that decision."
McNabb was in the locker room, seen rather innocuously asking running back Adrian Peterson to autograph a jersey. But he was gone by the time practice began and unavailable for comment.
At this point, all players must clear waivers, a 24-hour process whereby other clubs could make claims. Last week, the Cowboys and Bears made claims on Kyle Orton, as did the Chiefs, who were awarded the former Broncos quarterback because of their worse record, and thus waiver priority.
Several teams could use insurance at quarterback, and McNabb, despite his struggles in recent years, played in five NFC Championship Games and started a Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles.
McNabb started the Vikings' first six games this season before giving way to rookie Christian Ponder, Minnesota's 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.
Despite the fact that McNabb is no longer a part of the team, Frazier said he doesn't regret how he handled the Vikings QB situation at the start of the season.
"Looking back and just knowing Donovan and knowing his history, I would not have done anything different," Frazier said. "He's been awesome (since his benching). He's been great with our players he's been a true pro. … He's a class guy, always has been"
Ponder has led the Vikings to as many victories (1) over the last five games, while passing for 1,141 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.
McNabb has a $5.05 million contract for 2011 and would cost a team about $1.5 million for the remainder of the season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.