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Show Who the Money?

Found this interesting little tidbit on KFFL:

Vikings | Team not planning to increase B. Johnson's salary
Thu, 20 Jul 2006 21:05:19 -0700

Kevin Seifert, of the Star Tribune, reports the Minnesota Vikings have indicated no plans to raise QB Brad Johnson's salary to league norms for starting quarterbacks. Johnson is scheduled to make $1.2 million this season, a figure that would make him the NFL's lowest-paid veteran starter. Team owner Zygi Wilf predicted Thursday, July 20, that Johnson will report to training camp happily and expressed no concerns about Johnson's contract status. A holdout is considered unlikely, but Johnson's agent, Phil Williams, repeatedly has declined comment on the issue. Wilf said he had not spoken directly to Johnson. "I think he is happy with the fact that we have a good team going forward and he's our starting quarterback," Wilf said. "He's very excited to be in that role. I won't comment on financial or contract issues, but I think he'll tell you that he's very excited to start the new season with all these new players. I'm sure he's excited to have a front line that will protect him during the upcoming season."

And hey, you know what I say to that?


People who have known me for any length of time know that I was, and still am, a huge fan of Daunte Culpepper.  Now, that's not to say I especially have anything against Brad Johnson.  I don't.  What I don't like is the fact that we've now hitched our wagon to him, and put absolutely nothing behind him at the QB position in the event that he gets injured.

I'm also not as ga-ga over Brad's performance last year as so many other people were.  Simply put, he was pretty much carried by a defense that finally decided to pull their heads out of their asses after 6-7 years of being terrible.  If the defense forces 4-5 turnovers a game and constantly starts the offense on the opponents' side of the 50-yard line, I could lead the Vikings to a 7-2 record.

(Well, maybe not. . .but that DOES make things a great deal easier.)

Brad Johnson may or may not be the best answer now at quarterback. . .and he certainly isn't the future answer at quarterback.  That distinction goes to Tavaris Jackson.  Before the 2005 season, he made a tour of a few different places, including two other NFC North teams (Detroit and Chicago), and nobody offered him an opportunity to be the starter.  So, yes, he's making backup-level money. . .because he's a backup-level quarterback, and that's what he signed as.

Don't think he's a backup-level quarterback at this point of his career?  Name one team that would cut their starter right now to replace him with Brad Johnson.

Detroit?  Doubt it. . .they could have done it last year.
Chicago?  With Grossman and Griese?  Don't think so.
J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets?  Ramsey, Pennington, and 2nd round pick Kellen Clemens?  Nope.
Buffalo?  Eh. . .maybe.  I guess 1 out of 32 isn't bad.

So, I don't think the Vikings need to be in any sort of hurry to redo Brad Johnson's contract.  No point in tying up present or future money in a guy that definitely isn't going to be on the roster in two years, and might not be there next year, either.  If he performs well during the season (against teams that don't blow chunks), then give him a nice bonus or something.  But don't make that kind of committment right now.  There's really no point.