- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to trade a pair of sixth-round picks to the Washington Redskins in exchange for quarterback Donovan McNabb, but the deal won’t happen unless McNabb agrees to restructure his contract and accept less money, according to a FOXSports.com report.

The Redskins reportedly would receive a 2012 sixth-rounder and a conditional 2013 sixth-rounder for the six-time Pro Bowler. Washington acquired McNabb only 15 months ago for the steeper price of a 2010 second-round pick and a 2011 fourth-round pick.

Neither the Redskins nor McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, responded to requests for comment late Tuesday night.

Coach Mike Shanahan traded for McNabb in April 2010 expecting him to be the franchise quarterback that would return the club to contender status.

Instead, Shanahan and his son, Kyle, the offensive coordinator, lost faith in McNabb after he did not transition smoothly from the offense in which he played 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

The trade reportedly depends on McNabb’s willingness to accept less money as part of a new contract, so don’t put him in purple just yet.

The five-year contract extension McNabb signed last November includes a $10 million bonus to be paid before the 2011 regular season starts, according to a league source with knowledge of the deal. That’s prohibitively expensive for a 34-year-old quarterback coming off the worst statistical season of his career.

McNabb presumably would start in Minnesota ahead of 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder.

Redskins management stayed busy into the pre-dawn hours Wednesday and finalized an agreement with New York Giants defensive lineman Barry Cofield, according to a report by Josina Anderson of TV station FOX31 in Denver. It’s a six-year, $36 million deal with $12.5 million guaranteed, The Washington Times has learned.

Cofield, 27, has started all but two games in his five NFL seasons as a nose tackle in New York’s 4-3 front. At 6-foot-4 and 306 pounds, he’s a bit light for a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle, so it remains to be seen how the Redskins will use him.

• Rich Campbell can be reached at rcampbell@washingtontimes.com.

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