Happy Ash Wednesday everyone! I'm guessing most of you are aware that today marks the beginning of Lent for us Catholic folks (along with other religions, but that Wikipedia page was way too long to read thoroughly). It also marks the beginning of a very large hangover for everyone that celebrated Fat Tuesday last night in New Orleans.
One of the traditions of the season is to "give something up" between now and Easter. Most people try to give up something like chocolate, alcohol, smoking, eating meat, or pretending to retire. I'm going to try to give up two things this year since I usually completely forget, but I don't want to jinx them, so I won't share them with the tens of people that might read this article. (Commenters, I'll save you some time: I'm not giving up "cheering for the Vikings" or "sucking at writing".)
It's nice to see the Vikings supporting their local churches by completely giving up on hope that they'll have a proven, dependable quarterback in 2009. Of course they can't make their pledge official until 11:00 PM tomorrow night, but all signs are pointing to the Vikes picking up their next great backup quarterback, Sage Rosenfels.
I'm half-kidding, but doesn't this acquisition raise more questions than answers?
I feel like I'm watching a "Deal or No Deal" episode where the contestant still has a few big amounts left but takes a lowball deal anyways just to be safe. Last week I discussed how I thought Jeff Garcia would probably be our best option this year, and I didn't mention Sage because I didn't think he was even on the radar*. But apparently Childress & Co. have a pretty big crush on him, because this is the second straight offseason the Vikings have tried to land the RosenCopter, and it looks like they'll succeed this time.
* = My belated late night bar/girl analogy for Sage: The girl who's cute enough and looks like a decent time, but she had that one crazy night at a party last year where she ended up dancing naked on a table and puking in the fish tank. Now that's what she's famous for and nobody can really look at her the same.
Call me crazy, but wouldn't you rather go after someone that can change the face of your team instead of maybe upgrading you from a D+ to a C- at quarterback? I've said in this space numerous times that I'm big fans of Tarvaris Jackson, Gus Frerotte, and even John David Booty--as backups. I'm afraid the same goes for The Guy Named After a Household Herb (TGNAHH for short. I think it'll catch on).
Of course it's not like I have a ton of past work to base this opinion on. Although this will be Rosenfels' 8th season in the league, he's played in only 32 games and started a whopping 7. He's played very well in some games and terribly in others. He seems that he can carry a team here and there, but he's also been a big reason for a few losses in his career. It's tough to tell if the success he has enjoyed was because of his talent or the benefit of having one of the best players in the league on his side.
Wait a second...who does this sound like? Lack of experience, streaky, bailed out a lot by superstar teammate...that's right--Tarvaris Jackson! That's why this move doesn't make much sense to me. Are the Vikings "set" at quarterback for 2009 now? Do they think Jackson or Rosenfels will start, assuming this move would signal the end of Gus' time in Minnesota? Is the front office OK with these two battling it out for NFL mediocrity? Will the 2009 starter simply be the guy that screws up the least?
So yeah, I'm not exactly thrilled with it, but I don't think it's all bad. I do like the price the Vikings are paying for a potential starting quarterback. Giving up a 4th round pick and paying him around $3 million/year (reportedly) seems reasonable if he produces at all. It also gives the Vikings quite a bit of cap room left to do something big in free agency, whether it's a cornerback, wide receiver, tackle, or another position they need depth in.
I also think RosenCopter has shown more "updside" than T-Jax. From time to time, he's looked like an honest-to-God NFL quarterback that can win games for you. He looked pretty darn good when he came in for Schaub at the Metrodome this past season. Even in Tarvaris' best games, he just looked like someone that had only perfected scrambling and the rollout pass.
I really do hope I'm wrong about this, but it just feels like we're about to get more of the same at quarterback next year. So Mr. Rosenfels--if my favorite team does indeed acquire you when free agency starts, please prove me wrong. Make me look as silly as Catholics with the ashes on our foreheads after church tonight. Please help us Vikings fans give up mediocrity instead of hope.