Mortensen: Kyle Orton “On Vikings’ Radar”


I need to pay closer attention to Chris Mortensen‘s Twitter feed. There’s some pretty juicy stuff on there, like this tweet from six hours ago, in response to a follower:

"Where does Joe Webb stand with the Vikings?No big expectations. They’ll get a vet w/Ponder. Orton on radar."

I sort of always assumed that the Vikings would pick up some kind of vet to back up Christian Ponder, just because it’s a good idea to have a veteran QB backing up a rookie. But Kyle Orton? Seems to me Orton is the kind of guy who would not just be a strict back-up. He would be thrown into the open competition promised by Leslie Frazier.

Given Orton’s experience and proficiency, there’s a very good chance that he would beat out Ponder and Joe Webb in camp. Speaking of Joe Webb: Mortensen’s tweet would seem to confirm my suspicion that the Vikings think very little of Webb, and do not realistically expect him to be in the mix.

But what about Orton as the starter? It all goes back to the same thing we’ve been discussing for weeks. Do the Vikings really have a shot to do anything in 2011, or should they commit to the rookie QB as part of an overall rebuilding process?

Obviously the lockout complicates matters. As people have been saying all along, the longer the work stoppage goes, the worse it is for a rookie QB like Ponder who needs all the practice he can get. If camp is cut short or even eliminated, forcing teams to go straight into preseason or even – gulp – the regular season, the Vikings would surely feel better with a QB who has a few years under his belt.

Orton would seem to be a safer bet than Donovan McNabb or Vince Young. He could probably be had for a 3rd round pick which isn’t at all unreasonable. If the team is indeed dead-set on getting a veteran, Orton would appear to be the best available option.

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