Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) throws the ball against the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings won 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Who Will Be The Vikings 2014 Starting Quarterback?

Quarterback is the most popular position in the NFL.  Not only does the quarterback touch the ball on every offensive play, but he also helps control the tempo, make adjustments, and execute every play.

This brings up a strange situation in Minnesota.  The Vikings paid fairly handsomely to bring back veteran quarterback Matt Cassel.  They still have former first round pick Christian Ponder on the roster.  And they just used a first round selection on a rookie passer named Teddy Bridgewater.

While many teams are already willing to redshirt their rookie quarterbacks, the Vikings have already declared that it will be an open competition in camp to name the starter for the year.  That brings up a great question: Who will be the Vikings 2014 starting quarterback?

I’ll break down the options as if they were horses at the Kentucky Derby:

Dec 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passes the game in the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

The Safe Bet:  Matt Cassel

Minnesota should know what to expect from Cassel.  He’s a former starter who has had some success as a starting quarterback in the past.  He is familiar with the current players, including the wide receivers, tight ends, running back, and offensive line.  Cassel fits what offensive coordinator Norv Turner seems to like in quarterbacks: a strong arm and good accuracy.

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) calls a play during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Long Shot:  Christian Ponder

I have to admit that I would be pretty surprised to see Christian Ponder win the starting job this year.  Although he has shown a couple flashes of brilliance during his time as a starter with the Vikings, he has given many more moments that left us scratching our heads confused.  However, with an amazing performance this preseason, he could get the nod.

May 9, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is interviewed by the media at Winter Park Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Young Upstart:  Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater is a great unknown coming into the season.  The rookie has no NFL experience and will be there for the coaching staff to develop into a great quarterback.  With no idea of how long it will take Bridgewater to acclimate to the NFL level, Bridgewater remains the trendy and fun pick as Minnesota’s starter.

The Field:  Anyone Else

This is definitely the worst bet to take right now.  I don’t see the Vikings trading for any other quarterback to become the starter and it is hard to imaging one of the training camp quarterbacks beating out Cassel, Ponder, or Bridgewater.  While it’s always a possiblity, it’s not one that I’d want to risk any money on.

Who would you bet on as the Vikings starting quarterback for week 1 of the 2014 NFL season?  Let me know in the comments!

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Tags: Christian Ponder Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater

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