Which of These Quarterbacks Should the Vikings Go After in the Offseason?
By Dan Zinski
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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