Filling the Vikings’ Needs: Quarterback
By Dan Zinski
Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Continuing our review of the Vikings’ major offseason needs. Let’s now look at the quarterback position. Don’t worry Ponderheads, I’m not going to slam your guy. So relax. As usual we’ll begin by reviewing the current state of the position and then go into some options both draft-wise and free agent-wise…
Under contract for 2013: Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Ponder solidified himself as a starting quarterback with his play down the stretch in 2012. So there’s no question who the starter will be going into camp. There’s a faction out there now that thinks the Vikings should pick up a second possible starting-caliber QB and have a competition, but I’m not in that camp. I was in that camp at one time but the last four games changed my mind. Ponder is the starter. You’re not going to find anyone better at this point.
So what are we talking about here? We’re talking about the back-up position. Joe Webb showed he’s not the guy. And don’t come with any of that “they need to run the read-option” stuff. You know what they need? A back-up who can step right in and run the regular offense. Joe Webb showed he can’t do that. So it’s time to move on from him. And forget about all that “Joe Webb can be a recevier” stuff. There’s a reason they stopped working him at receiver. It’s because he’s terrible and will always be terrible. So drop that line, okay? It’s ridiculous stuck-on-repeat fan crap.
We’re moving on from Joe Webb here. Thanks for the memories Joe. Now let’s consider some back-up options. Normally I do the draft guys first but this time I’m going to flip-flop. You’re not going to draft a back-up QB. It’s going to be a guy with NFL experience who can come in for small money and provide a decent #2. Here’s what’s out there:
Matt Moore Big strapping lad. His days of competing for a starting job are probably over, so now’s the time for him to segue into a career as a back-up. Doesn’t give you much from a mentoring point-of-view. Is certainly better than Joe Webb.
Derek Anderson Didn’t know he was still playing. Pass.
Chase Daniel Might want to leave New Orleans and look around for a starting opportunity. Isn’t going to get one in Minnesota.
Rex Grossman Not an insane idea. But Washington probably keeps him to back up Cousins while RG3 comes back from Mike Shanahan ruining his knee.
Tarvaris Jackson Is going to the Jets. Besides HAHAHAHAHA.
Josh Johnson Exactly the kind of guy I could see the Vikings picking up as a #2. He’s no threat to Ponder and his fragile confidence.
Josh McCown See “Josh Johnson.”
Matt Leinart You could do worse probably. But what if this guy had one good day in camp and rattled Ponder?
Jason Campbell Probably too good. Might upset Ponder.
Brady Quinn He’s been in the league six years already? Wow. But seriously, I’d take him. Solid back-up. Won’t threaten Ponder too much you wouldn’t think. Might put the moves on Ponder’s wife though.
Charlie Batch Mentor.
Sage Rosenfels If you can tear him away from Twitter…
Alex Smith Smith wants his release. The 49ers will probably grant it. He’ll want to go someplace where he can start. Minnesota is not that place.
That’s sort of what you would expect from a rundown of back-up QB options. Lots of retreads. Lots of guys who never quite caught on. Lots of names you’ve heard before but you can’t remember anything they ever actually did. One of the above will end up as the #2 behind Ponder next year. You can bank on that. Rick Spielman will not make the same mistake twice. He will not hang his team out to dry again like he did in 2012. Next year, the Vikes will have a legit option if Ponder gets hurt.
Just for goofs, let’s run down a few of these lower-round draft prospects. I know the Vikes love MBT but you never know. They could just surprise everyone and pick up an extra guy in the late rounds.
Matt Scott This guy will be touted as a possible read-option quarterback. I don’t know why the Vikings would want to go down that road.
Jordan Rodgers You can’t have Aaron so why not get his brother?
Jeff Tuel Popgun arm.
Colby Cameron Another weak-armed guy. Already have one of those starting.
Collin Klein Tebow.
I say sign Brady Quinn and roll.
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