Well I’m sure you all know by now that being a Minnesota Vikings’ fan can be rather complicated. While we lack in Championships, we’re off the charts in the commotion department. In my time alone it’s been a wild ride. We had Mr. Moss, Gary’s NFC championship missed FG, Culpepper’s rise, Culpepper’s contract, Culpepper’s fall, The “love boat”, Favre-a-Palooza, The NFC championship “Oh no Favre” moment, Favre-a-Palooza Pt. II, Mr. Moss Pt. II, Mr. Moss’ departure, the migraine(s) of Percy, Adrian running records down, and now… The recently released Franchise QB: Josh Freeman. I apologize for taking you back down memory lane. I know it’s been tough, and that’s coming from a guy who didn’t even experience the 4 Super Bowl losses. But remember, a weathered past will make a bright future that much more brighter, or something like that. But let’s talk about the Free-man. And those who don’t register this as a big deal are in for quite the surprise.
First and foremost, I am a believer in Josh Freeman. But that doesn’t mean I believe he should start. And that’s the sticky situation. Freeman is a 25 yr. old “gifted” Quarterback. He is also a 25 yr. old headache. Coming into this season in the best shape of his life, he still possesses the ability to change a game with his right arm. And so we now have our second Quarterback controversy of the season. Remember I was the one last week who said Cassel should start the rest of the season. That he could right the ship and catapult us into the Playoffs. He’s off to a good start, clearly knows the playbook, and is backed by many members of the team. Most notably, Adrian Peterson:
[Cassel] is more vocal,” Peterson said, “so he was out there and he was saying it to us in the huddle and you could see guys buying into it and keeping the huddle together. And that is all you can ask for from any player, especially in the quarterback position.
Adrian believes in Cassel. I believe in Cassel. And he’s 1-0 as the Vikings’ starting Quarterback. But I never said he was a long-term answer. Maybe he is, but at the age of 31 it’s tough to think Cassel could be a Franchise Quarterback. I think after watching the Cowboys and Broncos duke it out with a combined 9 Passing TDs and 99 points, we can all agree a Franchise Quarterback is a must-have in today’s NFL. Being surrounded by 3 franchise Quarterbacks in our division alone is a constant reminder of this. We tried drafting our own Franchise leader and unfortunately missed badly with Christian. And when I say badly, I mean we missed the entire target.
So what do we do? It will take weeks for Josh Freeman to truly grasp the offense. Weeks we can’t afford if we truly believe we’re still in the running for the division/playoffs. You may scoff at this, but being only 1 game back in the loss column of the division leader, that thought is not as farfetched as it sounds. If we start Cassel for the remainder of the season, regardless if we make the playoffs or not, it’s hard to believe Josh Freeman would stay after this season. So paying Ponder his salary, and Freeman’s 3 million for 12 games, we’re looking at a pretty steep price for backup Quarterbacks. It’s apparent that Freeman didn’t come here to sit on the bench. It’s also apparent that the Vikings are not paying Freeman 3 million without at least entertaining the idea of him possibly being the starter at some point this season. It’s now a battle of long-term vs. short-term.
I don’t have an answer. I don’t even think Frazier and management have an answer. One thing is for sure, Ponder is not the answer. As a die-hard fan, I would like to see the best possible lineup every Sunday in hope of reaching the Playoffs. As an NFL enthusiast, I see the possibility of a Franchise Quarterback for a bargain. Even if Freeman were to lead us to the Playoffs in a contract year, there is no way his agent would have the nerve to ask for a Franchise Quarterback Contract (100 million dollars). With many teams starting to question whether or not giving a Quarterback a large chunk of the salary cap can set the organization back (Giants-Manning, Falcons-Ryan, Steelers-Roethlisberger), it’s tough not to envision the possibility of signing one for half the price. So as usual, buckle up Vikings’ fans, we’re in for some commotion.