T-Jack and JDB: Who Stays, Who Goes?

As mentioned and discussed in the FanPosts, some folks -- including Gregg Rosenthal and Judd Zulgad -- seem to believe that an acquisition of Favre would mean the end of T-Jack's run in Minnesota.  Though it's a safe bet that Rosenfels would become the backup in the event that Favre joins the team, a decision will need to be made between Jackson and John David Booty for the third-string quarterback slot.  I've always felt that Booty would be the odd man out, but in a live chat on Thursday, Zulgad stated just the opposite:

Q: Which QB is in the greatest danger to be dropped if Farve does come, and would we just release them, or try to trade?

A: Many will say Booty but I would not be surprised if it's Jackson. Tarvaris is entering the final season of his contract and the Vikings might not want to give up on Booty because of his potential. Releasing Jackson could set up the Vikings to have Rosenfels be their starter and Booty the No. 2 guy in 2010.

First of all, I think the Vikes will look for a way to keep both T-Jack and JDB -- that is, one might end up getting "injured."  But I completely disagree with Zulgad on this.  If you can only retain one of the two, you've gotta keep Jackson around.  Here's why:

  • The team has invested too much in Jackson to let him go.  Not necessarily monetary-wise, but in terms of time and effort.  To suddenly display that these last few years of the T-Jack experiment had gone to waste would be a tough pill to swallow for those of us who patiently put up with the young quarterback's growing pains.  Favre may be the starter this season, but we've gone too far with T-Jack to give up on him now.
  • He showed that he can excel against playoff teams.  True, T-Jack deserved to get yanked after the first two games of the year, and his playoff performance is hopefully something he's forgotten by now.  But a four-touchdown game against the eventual NFC champions and another solid performance a week later against another playoff team (Atlanta) cannot be ignored.  It's hard to justify letting someone with that track record go while retaining a quarterback who hasn't thrown a single regular season pass in his NFL career.
  • He has the physical tools to succeed.  This is perhaps the biggest reason I'd like Jackson to stay around.  The guy has a cannon of an arm and he has elusiveness -- two key tools to succeeding as an NFL starting quarterback.  At this point, the main challenge of molding him into a starting quarterback is refining and polishing his decision-making ability.  The physical tools are there -- now, his challenges are mainly mental.
  • Guaranteeing Sage the starting quarterback job in 2010 is ill-advised.  Look, the whole premise of trading for Rosenfels was that he could compete with Jackson for the starting job in training camp -- because frankly, he hasn't done enough in his career to deserve anything more than a quarterback competition.  If Sage spends a season holding a clipboard for Brett Favre, he'd suddenly be worthy of a guaranteed starting job?
  • John David Booty is a complete unknown.  He might become a serviceable backup quarterback at the NFL level, but then again, he might not even be with the team for the 2010 season.  Point is, we have no idea what to expect from this guy -- the only thing we know about him is that he performed dreadfully in the 2008 preseason.  At least we've seen something from T-Jack to suggest he can be successful at this level.

Again, it's questionable if the team will even be forced to choose between keeping one or the other -- but if it did come to that, I'm keeping Jackson, and it's not a tough decision in the least. 

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