Sage Rosenfels apparently was being showcased after all.
The Vikings traded the veteran quarterback and running back Darius Reynaud to the New York Giants on Friday evening for an undisclosed draft choice in the 2011 NFL Draft and a conditional draft choice in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Vikings announced the trade on their website.
The trade ends a frustrating season-plus stint in Minnesota for Rosenfels, who arrived in a trade with Houston in February 2009 expecting to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job but ended up being the No. 3 quarterback last season behind Brett Favre and Jackson.
Rosenfels, who is due $2.6 million this season and $3 million next season, was the Vikings' best quarterback in the preseason this summer -- keep in mind Favre did not join the team until a few weeks back -- but again appeared destined to be the No. 3 quarterback. This despite the fact that Jackson did not play as well and struggled badly in the Vikings' fourth exhibition game on Thursday night against Denver at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.
Rosenfels ended the preseason having completed 31 of 51 passes for 402 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 111.7 passer rating. Nonetheless, coach Brad Childress said late Thursday that Jackson remained the top backup to Favre. Jackson completed 12 of 26 passes for 60 yards with a 53.0 rating in the preseason.
Rumors circulated this spring that Rosenfels might be traded to Oakland. Rosenfels then found himself used for limited snaps in the Vikings' second day of mandatory minicamp in June. On the third day, he took no snaps as Jackson and rookie Joe Webb got the reps in front of him.
Because of Rosenfels' performance this preseason, and the concern that the soon-to-be 41-year-old Favre might not remain healthy this season, there was a feeling the Vikings might keep four quarterbacks because no one expected coach Brad Childress would let go of Jackson.
The Vikings certainly are gambling that nothing will help to Favre or Jackson because Webb, a sixth-round pick from Alabama-Birmingham, remains an extremely raw player.
Rosenfels, who will get a chance to be a backup to Eli Manning with the Giants, said early in camp that his preference was to remain with the Vikings.
"This is a championship type ballclub and that's what you want to be on is a championship type ballclub," he said. "The best team that you can be on is the one that you're on. That's the thing I've been thinking about and trying to stayed focused on. I don't worry about all the speculation because I can't control it. I can control how I've been working on the practice field and I think I've been getting better every day."
After Thursday's game, Rosenfels admitted it wasn't easy to see the cut down to the 53-man roster approaching.
"I'll just play it by ear," he said. "It's not an easy thing. There's a human aspect to the whole thing with family members and kids in school. I like that I had a good preseason and I had a good training camp. The body of work I thought was pretty good."
Reynaud, who was signed as a undrafted free agent by the Vikings out of West Virginia in 2008, was converted to running back this offseason after beginning his NFL career as a wide receiver.