In a move that is sure to spark heated debate, the Vikings have traded quarterback Sage Rosenfels and running back Darius Reynaud to the New York Giants for two draft picks.
The trade puts an end to weeks of speculation about the final quarterback pecking order behind Brett Favre. It also frees up two roster spots, one of which the Vikings may now use to protect project quarterback Joe Webb.
Rosenfels was brought to Minnesota via trade in 2009 to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the starting role. That plan fell by the wayside, however, when Brett Favre became available.
Despite a lucrative three-year contract, Rosenfels spent the entire 2009 season carrying a clipboard on the sidelines, watching Favre lead the team to the cusp of the Super Bowl. When the season ended and Favre took up his customary position on the fence, Rosenfels again seemed to enter the quarterback mix alongside Jackson.
But Rosenfels got the short end of the stick again when Favre decided to continue his career in purple.
It was assumed after Favre’s return that Sage would compete with Tarvaris for the #2 job. However, despite performing markedly better than Jackson in the preseason, Rosenfels apparently was never given a serious shot at usurping him. In the end, the Vikings must not have felt they could afford to pay Rosenfels $2 million to stand on the sideline again, and decided to move him.
The trade leaves the Vikings with a 40-year-old, gimpy Brett Favre as their starter, and only Tarvaris Jackson as an established back-up. The third quarterback as of now is Joe Webb, a man who was drafted to be a wide receiver.
The second man in the trade, Darius Reynaud, had been penciled in as the Vikings’ punt returner and 4th running back. The deal leaves the Vikings without an obvious punt return candidate. It also, for the moment, seems to guarantee bubble-dwelling running back Albert Young a roster spot.
Vikings.com reports that the team will receive an undisclosed 2011 draft choice and a conditional 2012 draft choice in return for the two players. The wheeling and dealing is probably not over for the Vikings who still need cornerback depth.