The 2011 Minnesota Vikings Starting Quarterback is…

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There isn’t really a sense in denying the fact that the 2010 NFL season has been an apocolypse for the Minnesota Vikings. After being mere seconds away from a game winning field goal attempt in the NFC Championship Game last January, the downward spiral of the team has been swift and painful.  The explanation for the demise is so multi-faceted that it would be more productive to shove your face into your computer monitor and then spend the next 24 hours tediously putting the screen back together by hand. Instead, let’s look forward at what can be different.

(note: this is being re-run from December 5th, it’s very topical today with that whole McNabb thing)

At or near the top of the Vikings priorities this offseason will be identifying the quarterback of the team next season and beyond. And yes, I know the Vikings currently employ the most prolific “will he/won’t he” athlete in the history of the position (not the game, because that title will forever belong to Junior Seau) in Brett Favre but he’s said he’s done after 2010 and I actually believe it (after being right about his last three million “decisions,” I’m playing the expert card if you question me). So if it’s not Brett Favre, who will pilot the Vikings offense next season? No really, who?

The candidate pool is pretty large and is completely dependent upon how the Vikings’ brass wants to set up the next few seasons. If the Vikings are looking for a veteran with experience leading a winning team there are ten pending free agents who are age 30 or older and have won a playoff game. If the Vikings are looking for a younger quarterback with potential there are nine pending free agents who are under the age of 30 and have at some point in their career held the top spot in an NFL team’s depth chart. In addition to those 19 possibilities there are twelve other quarterbacks currently slated to become a free agent in March of 2011.

Of course, looking only at free agent lists in the NFL is limiting your perspective since NFL contracts are not guaranteed. If one were to include other potential “available” (by trade or otherwise) quarterbacks on other rosters that aren’t scheduled to become free agents until after 2011, you might also include names like Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Vince Young and Brady Quinn (oh God, I hope not).

Or (this is more like a long, “ooooooooarrrrrr”) there’s a chance that the Vikings could end up starting the one quarterback that has a contract beyond this season (Joe Webb).  Webb, was a 6th round draft pick last year and has yet to see the field for the Vikings as he has been the 3rd QB for all 11 games to this point.

Lastly, there is the possibility of the team drafting a quarterback and inserting that player as their starter immediately. This option is isn’t very likely as only one quarterback prospect is even remotely close to being considered as a first day starter (Andrew Luck). Although, there are a handful of quarterbacks that the Vikings will be eyeing up next April and depending on how things play out, the Purple might just decide to take their lumps and throw their rookie out there.

All that being said, let’s start paring down the list.

A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE IN ECUADOR

Caleb Hanie, Rex Grossman, Brian Brohm, Marc Bulger, Mark Brunell, Patrick Ramsey, Jim Sorgi, Jordan Palmer, Chris Simms, Kyle Boller, Charlie Frye, Matt Moore, Drew Stanton, Todd Collins and Luke McCown.

These players have either seen their last days as starting quarterbacks or need a miracle to find the field in the future. Or both.

Don't Call Me Shirley

SURELY, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS (and please, don’t call me Shirley)

Seneca Wallace, Matt Leinart, Brodie Croyle, Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, Tarvaris Jackson and Billy Volek.

These seven are better options than the last group, but not by much. The only way one of these guys get the call is if guy intended to be #1 (and maybe #2 as well) goes down in training camp.

WAIT, REALLY? THAT’S UHHH, INTERESTING.

Joe Webb, Kerry Collins, Bruce Gradkowski, Tyler Thigpen, Dennis Dixon and Brady Quinn

An interesting mix of players. Each of these guys could land the job if the Vikings draft a quarterback and they allow someone on this list to hold the position for a year. Going with one of these folks is also committing to adding a top 10 draft pick in 2012.

THAT WOULD BE AWESOME, BUT IT’LL NEVER HAPPEN, WILL IT??

Michael Vick and Andrew Luck

For the Vikings to land one of these guys it would take a serious miracle. To get Vick, the Eagles would have to come up way short in their negotiations to keep him or simply decide that they’d rather keep Kevin Kolb. Additionally, the Vikings would have to outbid a gaggle of other suitors to get him to sign their contract offer.

To get Luck, the Vikings would have to either lose out (while teams like Carolina, Cincinnati, Denver, Dallas, Buffalo, Detroit and Arizona must win multiple games) and earn the number one pick in the draft or would have to trade up to that spot. Since the Vikings are currently above seven other teams in the standings, the former is really unlikely and since trading the number one overall pick is always so difficult to do, the latter is also a poor possibility.

We’ve narrowed down 30 potential candidates, now it’s time to look at the 8 guys who might really be trotting out of the Metrodome tunnel wearing purple next season.

THE CANDIDATES

The Longshots

Troy Smith

Prior to a few weeks ago, Smith likely would have been in the “Surely you can’t be serious” category, but since taking over for the injured Alex Smith in San Francisco he has led them to three wins in four games, he’s creeping into a potential option for teams who want to give a young QB a legitimate shot. He might not be a headline grabbing name, but he could be good fit for the Vikings.

Vince Young

VY might have just worn out his welcome in Nashville. He’s whiny, sensitive and kind of injury prone. However, he’s also capable of flashing some outstanding athletic ability. If Titans owner Bud Adams (Young’s biggest ally in the organization) decides to side with head coach Jeff Fisher, Young could find himself on the trading block or released outright from his contract.

Alex Smith

The 49ers have a choice to make this offseason with Alex Smith. If they decide to finally wipe their hands of their former number one overall pick, Smith will be on a few team’s radar. Unfortunately for Smith, he’ll likely be on that radar as a possible back-up. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they may have to give him a look as a starter. On the bright side, he’s only 26 years old. On the other hand, Alex Smith is pretty much who everyone thinks he is.

The Dark Horse

Kevin Kolb

If the Eagles do indeed lock up Michael Vick long term, er, I mean, sign him to a multi-year contract, Kevin Kolb could become available. If that situation arises, I’m sure the Vikings would be one of the teams to inquire about Kolb. Certain media outlets have speculated that the Eagles would be asking for a first or second round pick with a third kicker. Personally, I think this price is outrageous and after Kolb’s performance’s this year doesn’t warrant anything near that. But that’s just me.

No Really, This is For Real

 

Brett Favre

Look, I know said I believed Favre about retiring for real this time, but come on, he’s Brett Favre. Waffling is what he does. Well, that and throw ill-timed interceptions. Regardless, Favre would only come back to be a starter, he would only come back to a friendly situation (i.e. No Brad Childress) and he would only come back if he was begged. If the Vikings strike out on plans A-Y, the Vikings will definitely contemplate begging.

Donovan McNabb

It hurts me just to type that name as a potential Vikings QB, but the media types in Minnesota always love to bring his name up when a conversation like this comes up. McNabb’s oddly constructed contract extension with the Redskins means the team can either trade him or simply cut him at season’s end with very little penalty. If either of those events are put into motion, it’s a near guarantee that the Vikings will be mentioned as a landing spot for McNabb and his patent pending 7 yard skip passes (still not legal in the NFL).

Coming Up Just Short

Cam Newton

OK, so Andrew Luck is the must have QB prospect this year but as our pals over at Walter Football say, the Cam Newton Hype Train is only gaining speed. If the Vikings do pounce on the Auburn Tiger early in the draft, they may just feel the need to throw the kid to the wolves.

And the Winner is…

Matt Hasselbeck

Even though Hasselbeck has been around FOR-EVER, he’s only 35 (I’m saying that tongue in cheek, seeing as how the Vikings current signal caller is 41) and when he’s healthy and well protected, he’s not too shabby. I might be a bit brainwashed by my friend Matt at Fantasy Football Source , who predicted Hasselbeck in purple in 2011 last summer, but I think it might be a good fit. The market for Matt should be rather limited due to his age and with the Vikings offensive weapons, it might be enough to sway him.

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Comments

  1. Matt Hasselback? well, that means his hot but fucking crazy wife is coming too. much to the chagrin of MN’s gay community.

    What’s Fantasy Football Source? Is that a site I should checkout? myabe collabo

    I like the VY and McNabb options. I’d like to see McNabb finally win something somewhere with people who appreciate him. And as bad as the Vikes have been this year, I think they have a good nucleus.

    and Young is a fucking dipshit, but maybe a chnge of scenery is all he needs.

    better him than ALex Smith. wow what a horrible pick that turned out to be

  2. Vikings should get Andrew Luck or Ryan Mallett in the draft and he should start.

  3. Peter Christian says

    The Vikings have very little chance at getting Luck(y) in the draft. He won’t get past the third pick with a bad draft workout and he’ll be taken first overall with just a mediocre pre-draft showing. Mallet should’ve been mentioned above, that was my bad, but even so, he’s not an ideal candidate to start immediately. The reason I list Newton as being more likely to start day one is simply because of the hype train that Newton has. If Mallet were to fall to the Vikings I think he would be allowed to start the year on the bench behind a veteran that they bring in.

    Oh, and PMB, Elizabthe Hasselbeck is Matt’s brother Tim’s wife.

  4. Peter Christian says

    And Fantasy Football Source is my former co-worker’s blog that he started this year. He’s a smart dude.

  5. Matt Lechner says

    Not so sure on the Hasselbeck claim anymore. I think the Charlie Whitehurst experience has soured in the Emerald City. I do think Hasselbeck would be a good 1 to 2 year fit for theVikings while they groom the future QB (maybe Mallat/Locker/Newton). But man-oh-man, I’d love to see them make a play for Luck. Nice job on the post.

  6. Jake Locker?

  7. How about Carson Palmer? He has potential and maybe he could excel on a team without loud mouth wide receivers bagging on him. I’d be alot more comfortable with him than Hasselbacks washed up ass. If the vikes can get Mallet, I’d take him 100X over Newton. Favres done, Tjokes gone, Webbs not the anser.
    My top 5 most likely to start at QB for MN (who arent currently on the roster) next year would be 1. Mcnabb 2. V.Young 3.Kolb 4.Palmer 5.Hasseljoke

  8. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a possibility. He showed flashes of potential this season. Not a bad choice if there is a lack of options

  9. zakaria yusuf says

    hey brett favre let him play only 2011 he will take you to the super bowl man this year the pffence line backers did not protect him like they did in 2009 beg bret farve and he will come back and protect him protect him realy you guys will win a super bowl

  10. bbbaaabbbaaa says

    Elizabeth hasselbeck is tim hasselbecks wife not matts

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    work and exposure! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

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