As we mentioned in our roster review of the quarterback position, the Minnesota Vikings would appear to be set at the quarterback position. Teddy Bridgewater is the unquestioned starter, Shaun Hill is his backup, and Taylor Heinicke is the third-string "project" quarterback as things stand right now. Still, the goal in the National Football League is to improve, and there are some possibilities that the Vikings could be looking at for the quarterback position in free agency, particularly if they think they can upgrade from Shaun Hill at the backup spot.
Obviously, the Vikings aren't going to be pursuing any of the "bigger" names at the quarterback position. That means no Kirk Cousins, no Sam Bradford, no Brock Osweiler, no Robert Griffin III (when the Redskins inevitably release him), and no future Ohio Penal League Most Valuable Player Johnny Manziel (when the Browns inevitably release him). These are players that could potentially be targeted as backups for Bridgewater rather than guys that would expect to compete for a starting spot. Mike Zimmer has said that Bridgewater is this team's quarterback, and that's good enough for me.
So, here are some names to potentially keep in mind for the Vikings at the quarterback position as we approach free agency.
Keenum eventually took over as the starting quarterback for the Rams after St. Louis came to the conclusion that many of us had come to previously. . .that Nick Foles is freaking awful. (Seriously, 2013 Nick Foles might be the biggest con job this side of Verbal Kint turning out to be Keyzer Soze.) He wound up starting five games for the Rams, and put up numbers that weren't great, but did lead the Rams to a 3-2 record in those five games. He finished the season completing just under 61% of his passes and threw four touchdown passes to just one interception.
Keenum is still fairly young at age 26, and in some years might have an opportunity to go to a team in a "caretaker" sort of role for a team that had drafted a young quarterback. However, with some of the names that are on the market this year, it would appear Keenum's best bet would be as a backup once again.
A lot of Vikings fans are going to laugh at this, but Jackson would be a pretty fine backup quarterback for Teddy Bridgewater, in my opinion. He got a bit of a raw deal in Minnesota thanks to Brad Childress not knowing what the heck he wanted to do at quarterback, but since leaving Minnesota he hasn't been all that bad. He'd certainly offer more athleticism and a stronger arm at the quarterback position than Hill would, but he might be of the impression that he could compete for a starting job somewhere else. Frankly, the Vikings could make worse moves than going from Shaun Hill to Tarvaris Jackson at the backup quarterback spot.
McCoy hasn't had a lot of stability in his NFL career, to put it mildly. He spent the first three years of his career with the Cleveland Browns, who are still looking for Bernie Kosar's replacement at quarterback, before moving on to the San Francisco 49ers for a year and, most recently, being a part of the quarterback carousel in Washington. He's started 25 games over the course of his career, including 21 in his first two seasons in Cleveland. He doesn't appear to be the sort of guy you're going to try to build around long-term. . .but, again, that's not what the Vikings are looking for here. He's shown that he can get it done for short stretches, though, and might present a pretty good option for the Vikings as Bridgewater's backup.
Someone will probably suggest it, but yeah. . .we've seen this movie before. We don't need to see it again. Next.
McGloin is a bit different from the other names on this list, in the respect that he's a restricted free agent rather than an unrestricted one. If a team were to sign him to an offer sheet that the Raiders chose not to match, it wouldn't cost them anything because McGloin was an undrafted free agent. He's only taken 51 regular season snaps over the past two seasons, but he did some good things as a rookie in 2013 and has played very well in his preseason opportunities over the past couple of seasons. He might be an interesting player for the Vikings to take a flier on. It won't really cost them anything to at least give it a shot.
You can see a complete list of pending free agent quarterbacks over at Walter Football. Anyone on that list that catches your eye, Vikings fans?