A lasting mystery of the Donovan McNabb trade has finally been solved. As part of the deal, the Minnesota Vikings renegotiated McNabb's contract into a one-year deal worth $5.05 million, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
McNabb has $2.2 million in incentives available to him, bringing the maximum possible value to $7.25 million. Regardless, the deal makes McNabb one of the NFL's lowest-paid established quarterbacks. For context, consider that the deal is roughly equal to the one-year, $5 million contract that Alex Smith signed this summer with the San Francisco 49ers. In this market, it's essentially the minimum value for a veteran quarterback who might start in 2011.
It's also less than a third of what the Vikings paid former starter Brett Favre last season. Favre earned $16 million in 2010 and $13 million in 2009.
The value of McNabb's deal reflects two realities: Few teams were clamoring for his services and the Vikings already have his successor, rookie Christian Ponder, on the roster. If you're McNabb, you're betting that you'll have a strong season and can cash in -- somewhere -- as an unrestricted free agent next spring.