There might be a shortage of good options when it comes to difference-making quarterbacks the Vikings can add in the wake of Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending injury, but there is no shortage of opinions.
I outlined a few of the options here, though if I had a preference it would be a trade for Cleveland backup Josh McCown — assuming he could be had for, say, a 2017 third-round pick. Colleague Jim Souhan has advocated that the Vikings should trade for Tampa Bay backup Mike Glennon. There was a report (shot down by Andrew Krammer) that free agent Michael Vick was going to be at Winter Park. That didn’t stop Vick’s Facebook page from promoting a post about him playing in Minnesota. As for old friends? Everyone from Christian Ponder to Brett Favre is being mentioned, to varying degrees of seriousness.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman said he hopes to add another QB by Monday, which would give the organization time to sift through quarterbacks cut over the weekend when NFL rosters are trimmed to 53.
And to that end, here’s a name to consider: Aaron Murray. He’s likely to be the odd man out on the Chiefs — which is both good and bad. It’s good because it means the former Georgia QB, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2014 (same year as Bridgewater), could be acquired without a trade. It’s bad because it would mean he has played his way out of consideration behind Alex Smith and Nick Foles — thanks, perhaps, to two INTs in his final preseason work Thursday against Green Bay.
Still, Murray could be a good fit not only as a short-term option but also as a QB the Vikings could groom to be a long-term backup (or even more). At 6-1, he’s not the biggest QB (not even taller than the 6-2 Aaron Rodgers). But he does have some backers — including former Eagles executive and current ESPN analyst Joe Banner, who I talked to Thursday about the Vikings QB situation.
Banner, who was president of the Eagles from 1995-2012 and dealt a couple of times with having promising season threatened by injuries to Donovan McNabb, said he thinks Murray is the top quarterback the Vikings should be targeting.
“He’s probably a little scary to the Vikings because he doesn’t have experience,” Banner said of Murray, who has not attempted a regular-season pass during his two seasons in the NFL. “But I think he could take advantage of some of their weapons and learn the offense quickly. He could be functional. He’s young and likely to stay healthy.”
Banner emphasized that last point about health — which is important, clearly, since the Vikings don’t want to wind up in this same situation at another point this season. He said he considers McCown too similar to fill-in starter Shaun Hill and said Glennon has potential but is inconsistent.
That said, he also noted that it’s an “understatement” that the timing of Bridgewater’s injury is tough.
“My view is that if they see one guy who can win a game instead of manage it, they should move quickly and wrap it up,” Banner said. “But if it’s a bunch of (similar) guys I’d wait to see who’s cut, who’s available. There’s certainly nobody out there who is available for a huge trade value.”