Friday, December 2, 2011
On Donovan McNabb and Sage Rosenfels
By Kevin Seifert
Friday's waiver wire brought some interesting news to the NFC North. Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb went unclaimed amid reports that the Chicago Bears have no interest in him at this point. But veteran Sage Rosenfels will be returning to Minnesota after the Vikings claimed him off waivers from the Dolphins.
First, on McNabb and the Bears: We noted Thursday that McNabb grew up in Chicago and might be a better option in an emergency than current third-stringer Josh McCown. But the Bears did not place a claim on him, and ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported they do not plan to pursue him via free agency, either. Regardless, the Vikings are now on the hook for what remains of McNabb's $5.05 million base salary.
The Vikings, however, busily spent Friday attempting to replenish their quarterback depth. They tried to sign second-year player John Parker Wilson off the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but Wilson chose the Falcons' offer to join their 53-man roster instead. Then, they claimed Rosenfels to resume a long-running relationship with Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman.
Spielman acquired Rosenfels in 2002 for the Miami Dolphins and again in 2009 for the Vikings. Former Vikings coach Brad Childress never wanted Rosenfels on the roster, however, and won an internal battle in 2010 to make Tarvaris Jackson the backup to Brett Favre.
Rosenfels, 33, has been ill for most of this season because of complications from strep throat, prompting first his release from the New York Giants and later the Dolphins. He presumably is healthy now and will spend the remainder of the season as a backup to rookie Christian Ponder, while also providing roster flexibility if the Vikings want to use second-year quarterback Joe Webb as a receiver.
Rosenfels' contract will expire after the season, but I'm sure he will return as the Vikings' 2012 backup if it's up to Spielman. In truth, they could do a lot worse.