With the trade of Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins, the QB options for the Minnesota Vikings in the event of the now-apocalyptic scenario of Brett Favre really…REALLY retiring have been drastically reduced. I have been an advocate of getting another Quarterback of the Future (QBOTF) since Tarvaris Jackson is the Quarterback of the…present, Sage Rosenfels is the Quarterback That Can’t Catch a Break, and there is no third string guy right now, if, you know. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Vikings trade either Jackson or Rosenfels. I don’t think it will happen, but let’s just say Rosenfels to the Raiders actually did happen, and that leaves Jackson as the only QB on the roster. And then we’ll assume that the Vikings also draft a QB to hold a clipboard for a year. Let’s look at some current free agent options the Vikings might kick the tires on. And these are just a few, off the top of my head. If you have a better suggestion, let’s hear it.
Jason Campbell—The Washington Redskins think so highly of Jason Campbell that he found out about the Donovan McNabb trade via the Redskin beat writers. Ouch. Campbell seems about as welcome in Washington as Nancy Pelosi at a Tea Party Rally, and I can’t see him as a Redskin for much longer. His career stats are pretty unremarkable, but he’s also played on some pretty average offenses, a high coaching turnover rate, and an owner who’s insane. He’s had flashes of pretty good, but in four years has only one 300 yard passing game and 7 4th quarter game winning drives. So for all the below average talent around him, save Clinton Portis, he’s been a little bit better than expected. Could he develop into a top QB with the offensive talent around him in Minnesota?
Marc Bulger—Now, those of you who are loyal readers to the Daily Norseman might find my placement of Marc Bulger, late of the St. Louis Rams, as blatant hypocrisy based on my comments about Tye Hill. See, I argued that the Vikings should avoid Hill, because he got cut by a crappy team, and if he wasn’t talented enough to play for the Rams, he wasn’t with the Vikings. And yeah, Bulger got cut by the same crappy team, but I think there’s still some talent left in him when compared to the post-apocalyptic Vikings QB landscape. When surrounded by comparable talent like he would have in Minnesota, Bulger flourished. If you remember, he supplanted Kurt Warner as the Rams starter (something many Rams fans still aren’t over) and was in the Pro Bowl in 2006, where he had 1,000 yard receivers in Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, and a workhorse RB in Stephen Jackson. He’d have a similar set up in Minnesota. He has cratered over the last three years as the Rams have bottomed out, leaving them with minimal NFL talent. He has a strong, accurate arm, but has been shell shocked and battered behind a line with more holes in it than the Maginot.
Daunte Culpepper—Almost a zero chance of this happening, but I thought I’d throw it out there. Daunte was the best Vikings QB in quite awhile, but the Love Boat and his bizarre behavior following his knee injury has tainted his legacy. Sometimes, you can go home again, but I think it’s best if we remember the good times and pass on DC. And he’s been terrible since he left Minnesota, anyway. His knee injury robbed him of his mobility, and he never developed as a feared pocket passer. I really do wish him well, because I liked how he played the game, but I think he is done as a starter in the NFL.
Chad Pennington—Chad Pennington has been the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL quarterbacks. Other than his first few years in New York, he never got any respect, but he’s been a consistent winner wherever he’s gone. The big drawback on Pennington is his injury history, which has lead to reduced arm strength. If you go after Pennington, you’re essentially getting a younger version of the 2006 Brad Johnson. His inability to throw long limits the playbook, and it might make the 2006 offense look like a combination of a Sid Gillman and Don Coryell stepchild. Personally, if Pennington is healthy, he might be worth a look. But I doubt his ability to stay healthy for a 16 game season.
I think it’s a done deal that Favre comes back, and I see the Vikings quarterback situation for 2010 the same as it was for 2009. But if Favre does retire, it really puts the team in a pickle foe the 2010 campaign, and if I had my druthers, I’d like the non-Favre QB scenario to be Jackson-Rosenfels-as yet to be drafted rookie. If they trade either Rosie or Jackson, I’d prefer it be Rosenfels, because I think Jackson is the more talented, and I’d like the roster to be Jackson-Bulger-as yet to be named rookie.