Chart: The Vikings' quarterback question

  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 5:15 PM

FREEING FREEMAN

Contract situation: Josh Freeman is in the final year of his rookie contract with Tampa Bay, which took him with the 17th pick in 2009. The Bucs owed Freeman $8.4 million this season. After he was released, the Vikings signed him for the final 12 weeks and will pay him slightly more than $2 million, so Freeman will collect more than $6 million from the Bucs while he is with the Vikings. Freeman is a free agent after this season, but if he remains on the Vikings roster through Week 17, they will have exclusive negotiating rights with him until the free agency “negotiating window” begins March 8.

This season: Freeman played three games for the Bucs, posting a 59.3 passer rating, before they cut him. He played one game for the Vikings, completing only 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards in a loss to the Giants. He reported with a concussion the following day, and hasn’t played since. The Vikings blamed “poor mechanics” for his abysmal 43 percent completion rate this season. His career rate, before this season, was close to 60.

PONDER PROBLEM

Contract situation: Christian Ponder, the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft, signed a four-year contract for $10.15 million that is fully guaranteed. His signing bonus of $5.8 million is paid out evenly over the four years. In 2013, his base salary is $1.3 million and the bonus is worth close to $1.5 million. Next season, his salary is $1.76 million with another bonus of nearly $1.5 million. If the Vikings cut him following this season, they would be on the hook for that money and a $3.2 million salary cap hit.

This season: Following a strong finish in 2012, the Vikings hoped Ponder would be consistently good this season. He started nine games and has a 77.9 passer rating, 33rd best in the NFL. The Vikings are 2-6-1 in games Ponder started; in both of those victories, he was injured and replaced by Matt Cassel.

CASSEL CONUNDRUM

Contract situation: Matt Cassel signed as a free agent with the Vikings in March. His two-year contract is worth $7.4 million — $3.7 million each season. Cassel can opt out of the contract following this season. The Vikings would owe him a $500,000 roster bonus (which is part of his 2014 salary) if he is still on the team a week after the official league season begins March 11.

This season: Cassel started Week 4 against Pittsburgh when Ponder was injured and led the Vikings to their first victory. Freeman was signed the following (bye) week, and Cassel struggled in a loss to Carolina. He returned to backup status, replacing Ponder in three games, twice because of injury. Week 13, he beat Chicago after replacing an injured Ponder in the second half, and claimed the starting job with a strong performance in a loss at Baltimore the following week. In Sunday’s victory over Philadelphia, he had the best performance by a Vikings QB this season — 26-for-35 for 382 yards and two TDs. Cassel’s passer rating of 90.7 is 13th in the NFL.

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Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 47 2nd Qtr 0:01
Houston 50
Golden State 5:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Indiana
Portland 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Orlando
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
Los Angeles 0 1st Prd 1:33
Winnipeg 1
Tampa Bay 4:00 PM
Florida
Columbus 4:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Dallas
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Vancouver
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 46 2nd Half 7:50
California 56
South Florida 40 2nd Half 7:50
Houston 62
Marquette 29 2nd Half 18:21
Providence 44
Michigan State 17 1st Half 6:16
Wisconsin 21
Siena 0 1st Half 19:34
Monmouth 0
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
Wake Forest
Oregon 6:00 PM
Stanford
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 37 2nd Half 2:50
Drexel 46
Illinois State 42 2nd Half 7:50
Bradley 46
Southern Ill 58 2nd Half 7:30
Loyola-Chicago 46
Northern Iowa 44 2nd Half 6:50
Wichita State 56
Minnesota 63 2nd Half 5:05
(17) Iowa 73
(15) North Carolina 44 2nd Half 11:56
(16) Duke 54
Alabama 44 2nd Half 9:15
Auburn 58
(9) Florida State 38 2nd Half 18:40
Miami-Florida 24
Arkansas 29 2nd Half 6:11
Missouri 47
Georgia 39 2nd Half 7:53
Florida 34
Dayton 71 2nd Half 6:30
Saint Louis 58
Drake 39 2nd Half 7:44
Missouri State 74
Colorado 14 1st Half 6:10
(10) Arizona State 15
(19) Stanford 22 1st Half 6:35
Oregon 23
Marquette 21 1st Half 6:50
DePaul 31
Southern Miss 21 1st Half 7:41
Texas-El Paso 23
Vanderbilt 4:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
(2) South Carolina 4:00 PM
(13) Kentucky
Utah 4:00 PM
Arizona
Ohio State 4:00 PM
Nebraska
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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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