Who should be the Vikings quarterback for 2011?
Let’s start with our current roster, which includes Brett Favre, who coach Leslie Frazier has closed the door on, and Patrick Ramsey, who was signed as a one-year stop-gap measure and seems unlikely to figure into the team’s plans and Tarvaris Jackson, who has had a zillion chances to claim his starting spot and couldn’t hold it down. It’s time for the Vikings to end the TJax experiment.
That leaves Joe Webb, Rhett Bomar, and practice squad guy R.J. Archer on the roster for next year.
We got a glimpse of what Joe Webb is capable of last season and we have not seen a glimpse of neither Bomar nor Archer. Regardless, it’s pretty clear from Frazier’s statements thus far that the Vikings aren’t certain one of these guys is absolutely their franchise quarterback.
So what options are there for the Vikings among the veteran NFL quarterbacks out there?
I’ve already gone through the list of 2011 NFL free agent quarterbacks that are potentially available, and no one seems a fit.
That narrows our options down to potential trades. Let’s go through them:
Donovan McNabb – It seems pretty obvious that McNabb is not long for the Redskins roster; it’s likely he’ll either be traded or released but more likely the latter.
I think McNabb is rapidly deteriorating as a quarterback and even if he is not, he runs hot and cold and not just for stretches during a game but for entire games. Plus, he’s got a reputation for choking under pressure.
Finally, it doesn’t feel like he’s ready yet to be a veteran backup; he’ll want to start, wherever he goes.
Carson Palmer – Palmer could be an interesting option. With the exception of 2008, when he went down with an ACL injury, he’s pretty much started every game, so he’s got durability on his side. He’s got a 62.9% career completion percentage but he also throws a lot of interceptions, 100 to 154 career touchdowns. All of the above needs also to be considered in light of the fact that he’s played his entire career for the Bengals, who nearly always lose.
Carson wants to be traded but the Bengals say he’s not on the market.
Kyle Orton – I’ve said that I wouldn’t mind seeing Kyle Orton in Purple as a one-year transitional quarterback. He’s had success in Denver. He’s not sexy but he can get the job done and he could teach our young quarterback(s) how not to lose games, which is an important lesson to learn.
Vince Young – Meh. I am very not sold on Vince Young. Young seems to me a tremendous talent who has tremendously wasted it thus far. If he’s cut and he costs us nothing and perhaps most importantly, he gets no takers on the open market so he has not preconceptions about being handed a starting position, then maybe it couldn’t hurt to bring him in. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Kevin Kolb – The Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2011 is going to be Michael Vick so it’s likely they’ll shop Kolb while the gettin’s good. Kolb is perfectly positioned for the Eagles to cash in on his perceived value. He’s played enough to give teams a glimpse of what he might become but he hasn’t played enough to give teams an assurance of his value. It’s all speculative but that won’t prevent some team from handing over a second or third-rounder for him.
It just shouldn’t be the Vikings who do so.
Daunte Culpepper – You laugh but as long as we’re tossing out names, hey, he wants a tryout and what could it hurt? For a few years, he was pretty damn good and in 2004 had an MVP-type season.
Ultimately, though, the day has dawned for the Vikings to decide upon a young quarterback. Frazier wants to do just that and we don’t currently have a veteran quarterback on the roster to complicate matters.
For this reason, whatever veteran quarterbacks the Vikings may bring in will either need to accept the role of backup tutor to a young starter or one-year hired gun starter who may give way to a young franchise quarterback halfway through the season.
For this reason, I think Donovan McNabb and Carson Palmer are nonstarters. Further, for those quarterbacks who are not likely to be released (Palmer, Orton and Kolb), we’ll need to give up something to get them…which we really don’t have since Chilli wasted our third-round pick.
I just don’t see us getting anyone of note in free agency or through a trade.
If that, then, is the case, it’s between Joe Webb, Rhett Bomar, and likely a quarterback we end up drafting. [WATCH VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS Of The Top 5 Quarterbacks In The 2011 NFL Draft.]