Well, that was obviously not the way that many of us neither predicted nor wanted the season to end but here we sit watching two teams play the Super Bowl in our stadium; such is life I suppose. We have to learn to move on quick in the NFL so even though the Super Bowl has yet to be played let’s move our focus to the offseason. I’ve debated how I want to tackle writing this stuff. Do I post it all in one big blurb? Or do I focus on position groups? I’ve decided to do a few separate posts focusing on certain positions and there is no better way to start it off than tackling the elephant in the room; the quarterback position.
What a problem we have, and to be honest even though, yes technically it is a good problem to have. I am sick of hearing how great of a problem we have. Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford are all Free Agents after this season which means as of now we don’t have a quarterback on our roster that has started a game in the NFL. It’s an interesting dilemma that we have for sure, mainly because a lot more goes into it than talent. Let’s take a look at all these guys and some other options as well.
Sam Bradford: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Year after year this man can’t catch a break. Injuries, horrible coaching, traded, it’s just one thing after another for the former number one pick and now many people are skeptical that he can be counted on due to his knees. He is the best pure passer of the three upcoming FA but his knee injury this year is still a mystery. I think Bradford is capable of being this team’s starter next year, but the knee thing scares me, more so than Teddy’s knee. It’s also hard to determine what Bradford will demand for money. All in all, I think Sam’s time with the Vikings is over which is sad. I would gladly take him back as a backup, but I doubt he wants that. And in typical Viking fashion, he’ll probably go somewhere and light it up and then we will get to play the “what if” game.
Case Keenum: There is not one person who could have predicted what he accomplished this season, besides maybe Case himself. Jumping in week 2, he led the Vikings to multiple victories and this team rallied behind him. I understand the fan base’s love for Keenum, I am with you, and you want to cheer for him. He is a great guy off the field and on the field…well on the field he is okay. I know that may not be what you guys want to hear, but it’s true. There were a few weeks where Case continued to progress but towards the end of the year he regressed and he consistently missed reads over and over again. I would love to have Case back next year, I truly would. But from a money standpoint, I just can’t justify it. Keenum’ s market rate right now is about $21 million a season or if you want to franchise tag him it’ll be about $23 million all of which is too much for me. I wish the best to Case wherever he may go next year, and yes that could be here. If he does return here it will most likely be on the franchise tag because I doubt Vikings commit long-term to him. We can bite the bullet on money this year, but next year we have guys like Diggs, Barr, Kendricks, Hunter, and Waynes that all need to be re-signed.
Teddy Bridgewater: Sometimes I dig myself a hole because of my blind love for this guy, but I have taken off the glasses in this situation and I am strictly looking at it from a GM perspective. Many signs, in my opinion, point to him being back next year as our starter. I’ll start with the most glaring and obvious one, he is young and cheap. Now obviously no one knows what Teddy’s market rate will be, but I can promise you it won’t be more than a one or two year deal worth about $12-14 million. Bringing him back at that rate will allow you to continue to bring in other FA and sign your own guys. Second, Zimmer has not been shy about his love for Teddy and the Vikings did not invest all that time into helping Teddy rehab just to let him walk out the door. I know there are some concerns with Teddy, and I agree with those concerns; I mean the guy practically lost his leg. But he’s 25 years old, and he still has more potential than Bradford and Keenum. I do think that Teddy is the one back next year, basically, two years removed from football he will take a lot of reps in preseason and the team will move on from there.
Other: Now I suppose there are other options the Vikings can go. But all of it goes back to my argument against bringing Case back. If you choose to invest in a QB like Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum be prepared to let two of these guys go (Diggs, Barr, Kendricks, Hunter, and Waynes) unless of course, you are paying money for an elite quarterback like Drew Brees. And I would be fine with the Vikings bringing in a guy like Cousins if he indeed would sign for $23 millionish but anything above $26 million is only going to hinder us moving forward in my opinion.
I think the Vikings go into the offseason prepared to bring back one of their guys (my guess is Teddy), then draft a QB in the middle of the draft along with signing a vet in Free Agency. It’s all speculation now but, hey that’s what makes things fun!