VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell of SportsData, Arif Hasan of Vikings Territory, Aj Mansour, who hosts Minnesota Vikings Overtime on KFAN, and Joe Oberle a long-time Minnesota based writer. The VikesCentric crew crunches numbers, watches video and isn't shy about saying what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: Could the Vikings pursue Cutler?

Posted by: Bo Mitchell Updated: December 10, 2013 - 2:42 PM

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jay Cutler. How's that one sound, Vikings fans?

Many assume that the Vikings will part ways with Christian Ponder at the end of the season, setting him free to latch on with another team. In addition, Josh Freeman will become a free agent in March and I don't see them bringing him back. Nor do I think Freeman would want to return without at least seriously testing the market to see if anyone is interested in his Knoblauch-esque passing skills. As for Matt Cassel, he showed again on Sunday what even an adequate quarterback can do for a team in today's NFL. He truly gives the Vikings their best chance to win right now, but he's not a viable long-term solution.

So who plays quarterback for the Vikings in 2014 and beyond? To this point all of the discussion surrounding who the Vikings' next quarterback might be has centered on the NFL Draft.

The 2014 NFL Draft is going to have plenty of intriguing quarterback talents available even without Marcus Mariota, who decided recently to return to Oregon. Teddy Bridgewater remains the favorite to be the first quarterback off the board, but from where the Vikings currently sit at fourth in the draft order they won't have a shot to take him. Johnny Manziel will very likely be available anywhere in the top-10 of the first round and I would love to see him in purple. However, I dare say that's not a sentiment shared by too many Vikings fans and I have no idea where he resides on the Vikings' war room draft board.

The first few rounds of the draft will also include guys like Brett Hundley from UCLA, Blake Bortles out of Central Florida and A.J. McCarron from Alabama. All are candidates to be drafted by the Vikings.

Drafting a franchise quarterback early remains the preferred method of obtaining one. However, it's obviously not the only way.

Trades are sometimes an option, but rarely will a team deal a quarterback who has shown any inkling of being a franchise-level talent. Forget about the short-lived "Ben Roethlisberger wants to be traded" rumors. That's not happening. The only other way to solve a quarterback vacancy is via free agency, and that at least has to be considered by the Vikings' front office if they don't like Manziel or fail to fall in love with any of the other draft-eligible quarterbacks.

Peering ahead to the quarterbacks that could be available in free agency come March, one name stands alone above the rest: Jay Cutler.

Six weeks ago I would have told you that there's no way the Bears would let Cutler walk. They'll franchise him or sign him to a new, lucrative deal I figured. Now I'm not so sure. Since Cutler has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain, his backup Josh McCown has caught fire in Marc Trestman's system. Having receivers like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery helps, as does playing against defenses like the Cowboys and Vikings. However, McCown has obliterated expectations, completing 67 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns against just one interception. He's thrown for 1,055 yards in his last three games alone. He's one of the hottest quarterbacks this side of Peyton Manning and the Bears can't help but wonder whether it would be more prudent to sign McCown at a fraction of the cost it would take to retain Cutler.

Yes, Trestman has re-iterated that Cutler will be the Bears' starter again once he's healthy… whenever that might be. What happens after the season, though? I have to think there's at least a chance now the Bears will allow Cutler to enter free agency. If that happens there will be a long line of suitors, and the Vikings should at least consider kicking the proverbial tires.

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Cutler fan in the world. Putting aside whatever reservations one might have about his questionable body language, attitude, ego and durability, the guy's got a heckuva arm and knows how to play the game. He would provide the Vikings with at least a better than average solution at the quarterback position for the next three or four seasons. He'd also get a lot more out of Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph -- which might be enough to get this team back to the playoffs. It would also free up a first-round pick for some badly needed help on defense.

I'm still firmly on the Manziel bandwagon, but the thought of Cutler in purple is, at the very least, intriguing. And it's looking more and more like at least a possible scenario with each new gem McCown turns in.

Bo Mitchell is the Vice President of Content at SportsData and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America

You can follow Bo on Twitter at @Bo_Mitchell

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Golden State 99 FINAL
Cleveland 110
Oklahoma City 9 1st Qtr 2:38
Phoenix 22
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Arizona 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Montreal 5 FINAL
Columbus 2
Philadelphia 2 FINAL
Toronto 3
Chicago 3 FINAL
Florida 0
St. Louis 2 FINAL(SO)
Winnipeg 1
Minnesota 4 3rd Prd 1:39
Nashville 2
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 2:17
Los Angeles 0
Detroit 0 1st Prd 3:49
San Jose 1
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 73 FINAL
Citadel 74
Winthrop 50 FINAL
Campbell 65
Delaware 58 FINAL
Drexel 44
Jacksonville St 57 FINAL
Eastern Ky 63
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Elon 72
Sacred Heart 90 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 85
Western Carolina 49 FINAL
Furman 53
Char Southern 81 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Western Ill 66 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Nebraska Omaha 73 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67
Radford 69 FINAL
Liberty 80
St Francis-NY 74 FINAL
Long Island 69
Wofford 76 FINAL
Mercer 72
Minnesota 96 FINAL
Michigan State 90
High Point 75 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 71
Samford 67 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Ohio State 81
Wagner 59 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Mount St Marys 60 FINAL
St Francis-PA 63
Houston 54 FINAL
Temple 66
Vanderbilt 73 FINAL
Tennessee 65
Chattanooga 86 FINAL
Va Military 82
Milwaukee 61 FINAL
Wright State 58
Coastal Carolina 69 FINAL
Presbyterian 80
Central Conn St 69 FINAL
Bryant 77
Ga Southern 77 FINAL
Appalachian St 58
SIU Edwardsville 61 FINAL
Austin Peay 64
Green Bay 72 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 67
Texas-El Paso 60 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 77
FIU 69 FINAL
Marshall 87
Rider 63 FINAL
Monmouth 60
Eastern Ill 57 FINAL
Murray State 65
Charlotte 65 FINAL
North Texas 81
North Dakota St 58 FINAL
Oral Roberts 74
Old Dominion 63 FINAL
Rice 54
TX-San Antonio 66 FINAL
Southern Miss 70
UT Martin 69 FINAL
Tennessee St 52
Fla Atlantic 68 FINAL
Western Ky 71
Northern Ariz 85 FINAL
North Dakota 75
Grand Canyon 70 FINAL
Chicago State 74
Utah Valley U 50 FINAL
UMKC 69
ULM 75 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Texas-Arlington 80 FINAL
Arkansas State 81
Georgia State 83 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 92
Troy 61 FINAL
Texas State 67
Arizona 82 FINAL
Colorado 54
SMU 66 FINAL
Memphis 57
Tenn Tech 70 2nd Half 0:30
Morehead State 86
Rutgers 72 2nd Half 1:13
Purdue 86
Southern Utah 64 FINAL
Northern Colorado 77
Montana State 68 FINAL
Eastern Wash 92
UC Davis 36 2nd Half 15:52
UC Santa Barbara 39
UC Irvine 48 2nd Half 15:15
Cal Poly 36
Cal State Fullerton 41 2nd Half 18:50
CS-Northridge 39
Montana 33 2nd Half
Idaho 24
BYU 36 2nd Half 19:30
Portland 41
Pacific 31 2nd Half 15:57
Santa Clara 26
Arizona State 7 1st Half 7:05
Utah 20
San Diego 10:00 PM
Gonzaga
St Marys-CA 5 1st Half 18:35
San Francisco 0
Oregon State 10:00 PM
Stanford
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Marshall 74 FINAL
FIU 50
TX-Arlington 62 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
ULM 45 FINAL
South Alabama 38
Troy 75 FINAL
Texas State 59
Georgia State 39 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 56
William & Mary 84 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 55
Delaware 68 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
UMBC 41 FINAL
Maine 61
UMass Lowell 72 FINAL
Vermont 64
Albany 65 FINAL
Hartford 50
Stony Brook 68 FINAL
Binghamton 59
Boston College 60 FINAL
(8) Louisville 77
(23) Syracuse 60 FINAL
Clemson 55
(16) Duke 62 FINAL
Georgia Tech 71
Florida 53 FINAL
Alabama 49
NC State 52 FINAL
(9) Florida State 72
Miami-Florida 59 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
LSU 57 FINAL
Ole Miss 58
(11) Miss State 50 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 69
Fairfield 74 FINAL
Iona 62
Marist 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 66
Quinnipiac 91 FINAL
Rider 53
Virginia 70 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 72
Pittsburgh 59 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 87
Ohio State 88 FINAL
Penn State 70
Massachusetts 60 FINAL
Dayton 69
(22) George Washington 81 FINAL
Richmond 69
Saint Louis 53 FINAL
Rhode Island 68
Wright State 74 FINAL
Detroit 59
Green Bay 70 FINAL
Oakland 55
Western Ky 85 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 74
Indiana 72 FINAL
(5) Maryland 83
North Texas 46 FINAL
Charlotte 71
Central Arkansas 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 56
SE Louisiana 60 FINAL
Northwestern St 71
Nicholls 63 FINAL
New Orleans 68
Incarnate Word 44 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 58
Denver 68 FINAL
No Dakota State 87
IUPU-Ft Wayne 61 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 70
IUPUI 53 FINAL
South Dakota 69
Lamar 77 FINAL
McNeese State 98
Western Ill 49 FINAL
South Dakota St 69
Missouri 70 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 69
(13) Kentucky 56 FINAL
Arkansas 51
(20) Rutgers 60 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 80
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 59
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
(17) Iowa 78
North Dakota 68 FINAL
Northern Ariz 72
Northern Colorado 88 FINAL
Southern Utah 66
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
Eastern Washington 53 FINAL
Montana State 63
Idaho 68 FINAL
Montana 81
Auburn 70 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(6) Tennessee 70 FINAL
Georgia 59
Gonzaga 62 FINAL
San Diego 75
USC 48 FINAL
Washington 60
Portland 63 FINAL
BYU 65
(24) California 74 FINAL
Oregon 59
(19) Stanford 69 FINAL
(7) Oregon State 58
Chicago State 49 FINAL
Grand Canyon 73
UMKC 51 FINAL
Utah Valley U 61
San Francisco 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 62
UCLA 56 2nd Half 16:37
Washington St 58
Santa Clara 34 2nd Half 16:26
Pacific 53
CS-Northridge 41 2nd Half 16:49
Cal State Fullerton 30
UC Santa Barbara 21 2nd Half 13:43
Cal-Irvine 31
Hawaii 19 2nd Half 20:00
Long Beach St 22
Cal Poly 29 2nd Half 20:00
UC Davis 22
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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