The Vikings seem to have a strong interest in securing a veteran quarterback once the NFL lockout ends.

It also might be possible the Vikings and Redskins have had some conversations about a deal for 34-year-old quarterback Donovan McNabb, who definitely won't be a member of his current team once play resumes.

Of course, no deals can be made while the lockout is in progress, but I don't know if there is any rule against the clubs talking about making a deal.

One reason why McNabb might be the veteran quarterback the team will sign is because Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is personally familiar with McNabb. Frazier was a defensive assistant with the Eagles from 1999 to 2002, when McNabb was in his prime.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and McNabb have had a hard time communicating, and McNabb didn't get along with Shanahan's son, Kyle, who is the team's offensive coordinator.

The word is that the Redskins definitely will trade or release McNabb.

Last season, Shanahan's first year as the Redskins coach, McNabb played in 13 games, completed 275 of 472 passes for 3,377 yards, a 58.3 completion percentage and an average of 7.2 yards per attempt. He threw for 14 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a 77.1 passer rating.

The big problem might be McNabb's contract, which calls for the Redskins to pick up McNabb's $10 million option if he is on the Redskins' 53-man roster the day after the first regular-season game. McNabb's base salary for the 2011 season, if it is played, is reported to be $2.5 million, but jumps to $12.75 million in 2012.

I'm sure the Vikings would not deal for McNabb unless they could redo his contract. They are not going to pay that kind of money to a 34-year-old quarterback who is at the tail end of his career.

ESPN correspondent Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he "believes McNabb would like to play for the Vikings" next year.

I have reasons to believe the Vikings' interest in McNabb is a lot more than just a rumor. No doubt the plan is to sign a veteran quarterback, draft another and try to develop Joe Webb into the future starter.

No contract yet

Jerry Kill continues to coach the Gophers football team without a contract. Apparently University of Minnesota lawyers and Kill's agent can't agree on some of the clauses in the contract.

Basketball coach Tubby Smith's lawyers still are trying to reach an agreement on an extension. Baseball coach John Anderson, who won the Big Ten title a year ago and advanced to the NCAA tournament, is operating on his old contract without any new negotiations taking place.


With the NFL lockout in force, the Vikings and other clubs can bring in their draft choices for a news conference, but from then on they are under the same restrictions as current players. The teams can't contact the players beyond that. ... Peter King of Sports Illustrated has the Vikings taking Washington quarterback Jake Locker with the 12th pick in the first round in his mock NFL draft.

Former Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera is one of the big reasons for the Cleveland Indians' early success and first-place standing in the American League Central entering Wednesday's games. The 36-year-old is hitting .262, and his 11 RBI is second on the team. He's also hit two home runs this season after hitting five in all of 2009 for the Twins and four for Cincinnati last year. ... Jon Rauch, who the Twins declined to keep after the 2010 season and instead signed a $3.5 million deal with Toronto, is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA and three saves for the Blue Jays.

Another pair of relievers the Twins let go last winter are doing well with their new teams. Jesse Crain has been fantastic for the Chicago White Sox, posting an 0-1 record and a 1.93 ERA in 9 1/3 innings pitched, with 11 strikeouts and only two walks. Matt Guerrier has yet to give up a run in eight appearances over 8 2/3 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers, striking out five and walking two.

Former Twins utility player Nick Punto appeared in his first game of the season for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, taking a walk as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. Punto had been on the disabled list because of a sports hernia. ... J.J. Hardy, who was hurt a great deal in his one season with the Twins last year, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Baltimore Orioles because of a muscle strain. Hardy was off to a somewhat slow start for the Orioles, hitting .200 (3-for-15) through six games, but all three hits were doubles.

Anthony Tucker, the former Minnetonka star who began his college basketball career at Iowa and then transferred to Winona State and had off-the-court problems at both schools, reportedly has left Winona State and is giving strong consideration to walking on at Minnesota. He would have to spend a year out of competition if he joined the Gophers, and then he would be eligible for one year.

Speaking of Winona State, Kellen Taylor, the former Wayzata player and son of former Gopher Corky Taylor, was named freshman of the year at Winona State. Corky's other son, Chris, who played basketball at Brown, is graduating with a 3.7 GPA.

The Gophers' Brock Spandl was named co-Big Ten field event athlete of the week after placing second at the California Invitational Decathlon in his first career decathlon. Spandl scored 7,384 points -- the sixth-best score in Gophers history -- and is the top score in the Big Ten and 17th in the country this year. His best event was the pole vault, in which he cleared 17 feet, 0¾ inches.

Ronnie Lee, former Gophers football co-defensive coordinator, continues to live here and plans to stay until his kids get through school.

Tony Morrow of Kasson-Mantorville, the runner-up in the Class 2A wrestling meet at 119 pounds, will walk on at Minnesota.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. •