Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Cris Carter: McNabb the `only solution'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Ex-Vikings Updated: July 27, 2011 - 5:31 PM

While attempting to give Judd a blog breather AND wondering how I get that egg logo off my new Twitter account ...

Talked to former Vikes Cris Carter and Randall Cunningham earlier today. Both ex-Pro Bowlers are fully on board with the Vikings reportedly having worked out a trade for Donovan McNabb.

"Unless you want to throw away the season, this is the only solution," Carter said.

Carter likes rookie Christian Ponder, but not as a starter for 2011.

"Let's face it," Carter said. "Christian Ponder can't start in the NFL this year. He doesn't know the offense. He doesn't know how to call the plays. He doesn't know anything about the NFL."

Cunningham said adding McNabb makes the Vikings a playoff team this season.

"They'll make the playoffs this year," Cunningham said. "No doubt about that."

Cunningham played until his was 38. One of his best seasons came with the Vikings in 1998 during the twilight of his career. He said McNabb, 34, still has plenty of gas left in the tank.

"He's in his prime right now," Cunningham said. "So many people don't realize that when quarterbacks get to their 30s, that's when they really start to understand the game. ... Donovan still has four, five years left in him."

All that might be over-the-top optimism considering McNabb's failed 2010 season. But I have to admit I think it's a logically good move. McNabb's experience and mobility gives the team a better chance to make something of this season while also taking some time to groom Ponder.

Meanwhile, in non-McNabb news, the Vikings aren't expected to get moving on signing their rookie draft picks until later this week. Agents for some of the late-round picks said the Vikings' late reporting date means their clients probably won't sign until they get into town Thursday or Friday.Late-round pick D'Aundre Reed, for instance, is traveling Thursday. (Yeah, I know, you were no doubt wondering when D'Aundre Reed was going to arrive.)

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