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Is Chad Pennington a Legitimate Backup Option for the Minnesota Vikings?

After their acquisition of Brett Favre, the I-N-T-S J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets released Chad Pennington, who had been their starter (when he was healthy) for the better part of the past 8 NFL seasons. Immediately after the move was announced, speculation began that Pennington would be a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings.

Now, the quarterback that would obviously have to worry about this potentially happening would be Gus Frerotte, who the Vikings signed this past off-season to back up and mentor young Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson's entrenched as the starter at this point, and I don't think that John David Booty would clear waivers to get to the practice squad, so his roster spot is safe. Essentially, Pennington and Frerotte would be competing for the "veteran backup/mentor" role if the Vikings were to bring Pennington in.

If this battle were to occur, each man involved would have their pros and cons. Pennington is a bit younger than Frerotte (though it surprises me ever time I see it to learn that Pennington is already 32 years old) and is a bit more mobile than Frerotte. He also has the reputation of being a very accurate quarterback. On the other side of the coin, Frerotte has a stronger arm than Pennington does, and has already spent a few months learning the Vikings' system.

Because of all of the surgeries he's had on his arm, Pennington's arm strength is very limited. This might be a reason why the Vikings wouldn't bring him into the fold. They just spent millions of dollars on WR Bernard Berrian for the purpose of having him stretch the field and take pressure off of the Vikings' league-best rushing attack. Putting Chad Pennington into the game at quarterback would severely limit Berrian's ability to do that and, as a result, negate much of what Berrian was brought to Minnesota to do. It would essentially create the same sort of problems that the Vikings had in 2007 with an inexperienced Tarvaris Jackson behind center, as teams just crammed all their players in the proverbial "box" and essentially ignored any kind of deep passes, because it wasn't a threat that the Vikings presented in the configuration they were in.

However, Pennington's accuracy would probably help to negate that a little bit. Pennington has a career completion percentage of 65.6%, which is higher than either Tavaris Jackson's 58.1% mark or Frerotte's 54.2%. With the sort of offense that Brad Childress wants to run, accuracy needs to be placed at a very high premium, and that's an advantage that Pennington would have over any of the Vikings' current quarterbacks.

Now, I don't know for sure if the Vikings are among the six teams that have contacted Pennington's agent at this point, or if they have any interest in him at all. Do you folks out there think that they should be? Feel free to discuss it here, as well as vote in the attached poll.

That's all for tonight, ladies and gentlemen. We'll see you back here tomorrow for the Vikings' first pre-season football game, as they battle the Seattle Seahawks at the Metrodome.