Dec 16, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson (85) in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Which of These Quarterbacks Should the Vikings Go After in the Offseason?

The Vikings are going to have some options at the quarterback position this offseason. If in fact they are looking to add another quarterback. It’s possible they are so sold on Christian Ponder that they’re willing to go into next year with him and Joe Webb/McLeod Bethel-Thompson or perhaps some other developmental QB. Which is fine with me. If that’s the road they wanna go down. But just in case they’re in the market for a second viable option at the position, here are some possibilities. Throwing these out there for entertainment purposes:

Mark Sanchez

Just hear me out. Yes, I realize Sanchez was brutal in 2012. Just absolutely unspeakably awful. But look at the situation he was put in. Quarterback of a team with a dreadful receiver corps (sound familiar?). Undue pressure placed on him after the acquisition of Tim Tebow. The whole New York media thing. Having to deal with clowns like Rex Ryan. In many ways, Sanchez was set up to fail this year. So, get him out of that terrible situation and put him in a place where he’ll be nurtured a little bit. In Minnesota he won’t have fans and media breathing down his neck. He can just go out and play football.

So what do you give up in a trade for Sanchez? I would be willing to give up a fifth. Obviously the contract would have to be restructured or the Jets would have to pick up a chunk of the money. Sanchez at his current massive number – $8.25 million base for 2013 with a $4.1 million signing bonus – is not doable. But if the Jets and Sanchez really want a trade to happen – and right now it looks like both sides would/should be amenable to this – it can be made to happen. Money can always be worked out.

And by the way, no one is saying just bring Sanchez in and hand him the job. No. He would have to compete with Ponder for the job. That’s the case with all these proposals. This isn’t about dumping Ponder. Any QB plan for 2013 includes Ponder having a chance to start. I happen to think Sanchez would easily beat Ponder out in a fair, open competition but that’s just me. I could be wrong.

Alex Smith

The 49ers will very likely cut Alex Smith before his roster bonus payment is due in early March. It appears they’ve decided to go with Colin Kaepernick as QB and they certainly won’t keep Smith as a back-up at his current salary. That will free Smith to sign with any team. How would he match up with the Vikings? I personally don’t think it’s a great fit. Maybe from the Vikings’ point-of-view it is, since Smith is already well-versed in their style of ball control offense. But from Smith’s side? Doesn’t make sense. Why would he go from one situation where he was forced to sit down behind another guy to a new situation where he has to compete for a job? Unless the Vikes are willing to hand Smith the starting job from the second he steps in the building, I don’t see him wanting to go to Minnesota. There are going to be other options for him out there. Arizona will probably give him good money and a guaranteed starting job. Or maybe Kansas City or even the Jets. So I just don’t see this happening. Unless the market dries up and Smith just has to take whatever he can get.

Michael Vick

Vick is almost certainly on his way out of Philadelphia. He was Andy Reid’s guy and Andy Reid is going to be gone. Speculation is already running high that the Jets will jump on Vick. This move would speed Mark Sanchez’s butt right out of town. But if it’s not the Jets for Vick, could the Vikings end up giving the QB a new home? I don’t see this one happening either. It’s the same problem here as the Alex Smith situation. Is Vick going to sign with a team that expects him to win the job? And from the Vikings’ side of things, why would they invest money in an injury-prone QB who also happens to be turnover-prone? I realize Sanchez is also turnover-prone but I think there are extenuating circumstances in his case. I think the Vikes could turn Sanchez around and get him to take care of the ball. Vick I don’t think you can do much with. He’s never shown much ability to recognize a blitz. He’s just not good at reading defenses. He takes hits. Plus there’s baggage with him. I’m not feeling it.

Jason Campbell

Didn’t look good in his short stint with the Bears while Jay Cutler was hurt. He feels like more of a straight back-up option to me rather than a guy who would come in to compete for a starting job. I think his starting days are probably over.

Matt Flynn

There’s going to be a lot of speculation about Flynn. The Seahawks have obviously found their starter in Russell Wilson and they’ll likely be looking to trade Flynn’s contract. The problem with Flynn is, nobody really knows about him. The Seahawks took kind of a gamble on him when they gave him $10 million in guaranteed money last offseason. They were taking a little bit of a shot in the dark. Whatever team picks up his contract in a trade will also be taking a shot in the dark, though they’ll be on the hook for less guaranteed money. What would the Seahawks look to get in a trade? Will enough of a market materialize for Flynn to drive his value up? Or could you get him for a fifth? I just don’t know if the Vikings should be taking a chance on a guy like this who really hasn’t played. I like Sanchez a little better because you’ve seen him perform in the past. I’d be more willing to gamble a draft pick on Sanchez. Flynn just doesn’t do much for me.

Tim Tebow


Joe Flacco

This one of course is stupid. Flacco will end up staying with the Ravens for some absurdly high amount of money. And after a couple disappointing years they’ll try to trade him. Possibly to the Vikings.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Another guy who’s owed a bunch of money. It’s sort of a Sanchez situation all over again. But the Bills are less likely to trade this guy. They’re definitely not going to cut him. I don’t know why anyone would want him.

Ryan Mallett

You think if the Vikes offered Belichick a third for Mallett? No. Trades involving third round picks to the Patriots don’t work out well. Plus a third for Mallett would be rock-stupid. Also, I have it on good authority that Mallett will be going to Cleveland along with Josh McDaniels. They said it on the internet! It must be true!

Kirk Cousins

Okay here’s the one everyone loves right now. The Redskins have RG3 and will be committed to him for a very long time. So Cousins is seen as a trade chip. Cousins played brilliantly last week and his potential trade value has now skyrocketed in many people’s minds. There’s speculation that Washington could get a two for him. Would you give up a two for Cousins? Because I would. Hell yes. In a heartbeat. This guy has a great arm and a great future. He would step right in and become the Vikings’ own future star a la Luck, Wilson and Griffin.

But here’s the problem. I don’t think the Redskins will trade him. Contract-wise, there’s no reason to trade him. I think they keep him as insurance behind Griffin who has taken some hits and suffered some injuries. It’s nice that they’ve been able to give everyone a look at him though, just in case some team wants to offer them an insane super-package. I just don’t see the Vikings being that team. I doubt they’d be willing to even give up a two. Rick Spielman wants to hold onto those draft picks. I don’t see these two teams matching up as trade partners. Even though I would love to have Cousins and would gladly throw Ponder in as part of the deal. Hey, there’s an idea…

Which QB Should the Vikes Go After?

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  • PC1960

    I don’t understtand the part where a QB wouldn’t come to a team where he has to win the starting job, according to Tom Brady, even he has to win his job in training camp every year. Alex Smith would be fantastic but I don’t think we can afford him. I’m not a Sanchez or Vick fan, Flynn is an unknown, I’d be willing to let him compete for the job but I wouldn’t mortgage the future on him, Cousins had a couple good games, but I’m not sold on him and I really wouldn’t want to give up the draft picks for him. I’ve seen Fitzpatrick play well. If I was going to give up draft picks for a QB I’d tried to fanagle a deal to get into position to draft Geno Smith, that would be expensive but possibly worth it. Baring Geno, I’m willing to give Ponder another year and pick up some good receivers, maybe some defensive linemen and offensive linemen in the draft this year. I’d be looking for a stand out offensive right tackle, and interior defensive and offensive line men. Another player from WVU I’d love a shot at is Tavon Austin, Harvin without the migraines.

    • Brant Van Dyke

      Unless Geno Smith drops significantly down draft boards, I don’t think that would even be an option. The Redskins had to break the bank to move up just a few spots and given the Vikings current record, they would probably have to move up 10 spots at minimum to get in position to draft a QB in the top 5, meaning they’d have to give up an insane amount of picks. No way would Spielman go for that trade in my opinion.

  • Jake

    I don’t get the argument for Sanchez. He’s really no different than Ponder. Why bring in another guy with accuracy and confidence issues? If it were me I would keep Ponder and let him compete. I’d bring in Tebow, I know I know, but the guy is a competitor and a leader and he finds ways to win. If you let Tebow play Tebow’s game he’s damn near unstoppable. I would also look into a trade for Mallet or Cousins which both could probably be had for a 3 or 4 pick. I don’t think either has shown themselves to be worth more than that. Bringing in Smith would be smart too but I don’t know why you think he wouldn’t come if he has to compete. You’re probably right about a team like AZ being a better fit for him and giving him more money though. I’d stay away from Flynn and Fitz. The Seahawks brought in Flynn to start and ended giving the job to an undersized, unproven, shaky in camp, rookie. That’s how much faith they had in Flynn. I’m happy for Wilson but the decision to play him over Flynn from the get go shows how much they thought of Flynn.

    • Brant Van Dyke

      I agree with what you are saying overall except for one thing. I don’t think the Seahawks gave the job to Wilson because they didn’t trust Flynn so much as they saw what they had in Wilson. It’s pretty obvious that Wilson is the real deal.

      • Jake

        Nobody doubts the move to play Wilson now, he’s obviously been great this year. But everyone doubted the move in week 1. I remember reading that Wilson had a bad camp just like Flynn and T-Jack had bad camps and he was largely thought of as being the best of a bad bunch. Obviously he’s shown he can play and I’m happy for him, everyone loves an underdog.

    • PC1960

      If you want a Tebow style offense you may as well use Webb. He could play that style as well as Tebow

      • Jake

        I would take Tebow over Webb any day based simply on his leadership and athleticism.

  • The Decoder

    The Vikings will be looking for a cheap, non controversial veteran to manage the team until they can draft a premium QB prospect in the 2014 draft if Ponder doesn’t develop in 2013 since the 2013 draft is bad year for QBs and 2014 looks good for QBs.

    NONE of the people on this list meet this criteria. they are all either expensive, likely not available or controversial.

    They will sign Tyler Thigpen, Matt Moore or Jason Campbell all of which are free agents.

  • Brant Van Dyke

    Mark Sanchez – please, oh please no. Also, you made me straight up laugh when you said that the Vikings fans wouldn’t breath down his neck… YEAH! Like they were so loving and coddling to Ponder this year.

    Alex Smith – I’d take him.

    Vick – no way would I take him and no way is it happening because Ponder and Vick are too different from each other. You can’t have your backup be the opposite of your starter otherwise your system would have to completely flip-flop if the starter got hurt.

    I’ll skip down to Cousins and say, “Are you kidding me?” You want to offer a 2nd rounder to a guy who has had 1 good start? That’s lunacy. I don’t care if he has a good arm or not, you are jumping on the Cousins bandwagon a little too much. Now I could definitely see offering a lower draft pick, but not a 2nd rounder. At the same time, if I was the Redskins, I’d jump all over an offer for a 2nd rounder for the same reason – it’s way more than his value (not to mention more than what they drafted him for – good return on investment right there).

    I’d much rather spend that 2nd rounder on a good receiver and give Ponder a legitimate chance to prove himself. Peyton Manning couldn’t have made our receivers look good this year, so how do we expect Ponder to do it?

  • Spatrickmpls

    Romo for Percy, Gerhart, and maybe a pic.

    • spatrickmpls

      …and by pic, I mean pick.

    • PC1960

      I wouldn’t trade Percy for Romo unless I was sure he was going to be a problem child. By that I don’t mean his seemingly endless medical problems I mean an attitude problem. Percy is points on the board in the running game, the passing game and kickoff returns. Thats a rare player.

    • Jake

      I don’t think Jones would ever agree to that trade. Who is going to replace Romo? Romo is a pretty decent QB and those are much harder to come by than decent WR’s. Jones isn’t dumb enough to trade Romo.

    • Brant Van Dyke

      Who would Romo throw to? Getting rid of Percy would make us worse not better, even if the QB position is upgraded.

    • 41-0

      Are u dumb romo sucks can’t trade harvin

  • savy vet

    We need you Sage Rosenfels!

  • Boo number 7

    Never thought I’d say this, but even T-Jack might have played better than Ponder these past few weeks. Ponder should really think about switching to a different number other than 7. It’s been cursed ever since T-Jack had it when he was here. Oh well, at least number 7 still working out with Joe Mauer.

  • LeoTPP

    I would say Tebow, because while Webb could do some similar things, Tebow brings a chemistry with Harvin (who for your sake I hope you keep) and a toughness and leadership that will really help, since your coach doesn’t seem to show much of that.

    Knowing that won’t happen, I’d say that Alex Smith would be pretty good for the Vikings. Needs another guy to throw to, tho.

  • Buck Melanoma

    I don’t see how the writer of the article considers the idea of Tebow a joke, while at the same time he is willing to give a 5th round pick for the likes of Mark Sanchez. Rex Ryan and his circus have ruined Sanchez. On the other hand, Tebow showed last year in Denver what he could do, but had to sit and watch as Sanchez “butt-fumbled” the Jets out of the playoffs. I’d take Tebow every time over Sanchez and most of the other guys on his list.

  • mike kessler

    Come on , Tebow is a running QB, and the Vikings are a running team and we know Tebow can get the ball to Percy Harvin. just kidding, LOL.

  • Gabber_jo

    Drew Brees…. when he was on the market from San Diego and every Viking fan was screaming for a franchise qb….. wait too late to pull the trigger and change the Viking’s fortunes of the last 5 years.

  • 41-0

    DON’T TRADE HARVIN he’s a F’n BEAST show him the money get a wr in the draft Percy AP &patterson from TENN so u later

  • Gandrew

    Why do you think the 49ers will just cut Alex Smith instead of saving a million dollars and getting something in return by trading him?