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Continued: Frazier on Vikings' QB situaton with Freeman: 'Hindsight is 20-20'

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 22, 2013 - 8:21 AM

Yes, as the only general manager in the NFC North without a franchise quarterback to build around, Spielman views the Freeman signing as one of the stones that needed to be turned whether he played this year or not.

“If you’re not out there always looking and trying to find a Peyton Manning, then I feel you’re not doing your job,” Spielman said last month. “Our job is to be aggressive, to try and get that position solidified.”

Don’t bury Ponder yet

Although the Vikings obviously love Freeman’s arm strength and are satisfied with his ability to learn, they’re careful not to reveal what their level of interest in re-signing him will be.

Part of that is for competitive reasons, while a lot of it has to do with the fact that the team waits until after the season before crafting its final roster evaluations.

And quarterback will be a complicated process because of all that has transpired, including Cassel’s late-season surge and the fact that he has an option to void the final year of his contract and sign elsewhere this offseason.

Ponder could be traded but also can’t be written off because, frankly, the coaching staff could be entirely different or significantly altered. If that’s the case, Ponder might be kept in hopes that his career path follows those of notable late bloomers such as current Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

In his first five seasons, Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, was inconsistent with 51 touchdowns and 53 interceptions. But since being coached by Jim Harbaugh and his staff in San Francisco and now Andy Reid and his staff in Kansas City, Smith has become one of the league’s more steady quarterbacks with 53 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in three seasons.

Cassel playing well down the stretch is adding another layer to the possibilities. At 31, he could be brought back as the starter in 2014 while the Vikings address their long-term future in the draft, depending on where they end up in the selection order.

Altogether, the three quarterbacks cost the Vikings $8.5 million in salary and bonuses this season.

That’s not a heavy investment in quarterback dollars, but it isn’t insignificant considering any one of the three or none of the three could be the team’s starting quarterback on opening day next fall.

“If that [money] helps us make a decision on who’s our quarterback going forward,” said Spielman, “then it’s well worth it.”


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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 Bottom 7th Inning
Cincinnati 8
San Diego 3 Bottom 9th Inning
Texas 2
San Francisco 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Seattle 8
Colorado 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 12
Cleveland 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 4 Top 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 Top 9th Inning
LA Angels 3
Kansas City 3 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 5
Atlanta 6:00 PM
New York 7:00 PM
Golden State 7:30 PM
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Denver 9:00 PM
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
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Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
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Florida 6:00 PM
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
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St. Louis
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Dallas 9:00 PM
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Wisconsin 24
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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
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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
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