With the way that things stand right now between the league and the NFLPA, the 2009 season might be the last NFL season that will be played with a salary cap. The two sides still haven't hammered out an agreement that goes beyond the end of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. That means that the 2010 season would be an "uncapped" year. Now, the Vikings wouldn't be in any real trouble financially because of this, I don't think. Each team gets a significant amount of money from the TV contracts that the league has with the networks, so teams would at least be able to cover their team's salaries and things of that nature. . .but what other effects could this potentially have, specifically for the Minnesota Vikings?
We all know that the one position that the Beloved Purple need more help at than any other is the quarterback position. As we've discussed previously, it appears that Tarvaris Jackson has played his last meaningful snap as a Minnesota Viking, and we know that Gus Frerotte isn't anything resembling a long-term answer. We also know that the list of senior quarterbacks is, to be generous, iffy in terms of pro prospects. The top senior quarterback is probably Missouri's Chase Daniel. Our friends at New Era Scouting currently have Daniel projected to go in Round 2 of the 2009 Draft. . .and he's the only quarterback they have graded out that high. They have a quartet of signal callers projected as third-round picks, including Purdue's Curtis Painter, Clemson's Cullen Harper, Rhett Bomar of Oklahoma Sam Houston State, and John Parker Wilson of Alabama.
If you're not excited yet, I don't blame you.
However. . .the end of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement would signal not only the end of the salary cap, but also the end of the current rookie pay scale. That means that contracts like the one given to Atlanta's Matt Ryan would not, necessarily, become the rule. Teams wouldn't be forced to give huge contracts to players. . .particularly quarterbacks. . .that have never set foot on an NFL field. So what does that mean for Minnesota?
It means that there's a very good chance that there could be a bunch of talented underclassman quarterbacks that could end up declaring for the 2009 Draft in hopes of hitting the big money that would be gone by the time the 2010 Draft came around. We'll take a look at these potential Vikings a bit more over the next couple of weeks, but here are the names that you college fans should be keeping an eye on, in no particular order.
Mark Sanchez, Southern California
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Matthew Stafford, Georgia
Tim "Are We Not Men? We Are" Tebow, Florida
Josh Freeman, Kansas State
Colt McCoy, Texas
All of those players are juniors except for Bradford, who is a red-shirt sophomore.
As I said, we'll get a better look at all of those players over the course of the next couple of weeks. . .maybe get some profiles from some of our college bloggers that follow those teams.
But that's all we've got for tonight, folks. . .something that I think everyone will enjoy coming tomorrow. It will give us some Viking-related stuff to look at while our boys have this weekend off. Until then, enjoy the rest of your Saturday!