St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters, in his latest
attempt to throw crap at the wall and see what sticks rumor mill about Twin Cities sports, mentions a name that hasn't been bandied about very much in the Vikings' search for a veteran signal caller. . .and with very good reason.
The name that Walters tosses out there is Bruce Gradkowski, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, most recently, the Oakland Raiders. A look at his career to this point explains why he hasn't been talked about much.
Gradkowski was drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over the course of his career, he has started 20 NFL games, and appeared in 12 others. In his 20 starts, he has a record of 6-14. He's completed just over 50% of his passes (53.2, to be more precise), and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 20/23.
He performed decently in 2009 when asked to try to save the Raiders from the raging grease fire that was the JaMarcus Russell era, going 2-2 in four starts and throwing six touchdown passes to just one interception over those four games. He also got four starts for the Raiders in 2010, throwing four touchdowns to five interceptions in those games. . .and, in one of those games, getting yanked after a 1-for-7 start in a game that the Raiders ultimately won, 35-27 over the San Diego Chargers.
When it comes to a savvy, veteran option at quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski is not the name that immediately jumps to mind. For that kind of performance, the Vikings could just as well bring back Tarvaris Jackson. So, I'm not sure where Walters is getting his gossip from, but this one doesn't seem to make a hell of a lot of sense.