With the trade of backup quarterback Matt Cassel to Buffalo earlier this week, the Vikings are currently left with two quarterbacks technically under contract, Teddy Bridgewater and practice squader Pat Devlin. That’s a problem, but the Vikings must have some sort of plan...right?
Reports surfaced Friday evening that former Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson might be interested in making a return to the Vikings after a successful backup stint with the Seahawks in Seattle. Seriously speaking though, who are the Vikings going to bring in to backup Teddy Bridgewater? Here are some of the options...
Christian Ponder -
We should probably start and stop the conversation here. While Christian would be a viable option at backup, that page has turned for both sides and Christian will be looking for a new start, with a new team, in a new city this year.
Brian Hoyer -
Familiar with Norv Turner and his offensive styles, Brian Hoyer would be a great fit to slide right in and have an impact as the backup for the Vikings. One problem...Brian Hoyer still thinks he’s a starting quarterback and the Vikings don’t have room for two starting quarterbacks on their roster. Hoyer would also come with a higher price tag and as much as the Matt Cassel deal may have been to accumulate draft picks, it was as much about shaving some money from the top as well.
Mark Sanchez -
Say what you will about Mark Sanchez. Yes, the “butt fumble” will forever be a part of his legacy, but Sanchez stepped into a tough spot in Philly last year and won them some big games. He’s longer in the tooth now and is projected to sign for somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.25MM, roughly half of what Cassel was making. He’s been there and seen almost everything that this league has to offer and strangely enough could help mentor Teddy in his own special way.
Jake Locker -
One of the more intriguing options, Jake Locker brings a lot of Christian Ponder to the table with him. As Paul Allen explained on KFAN this week, both Locker and Ponder were battered and beaten early in their career and never really recovered. It might serve both of them well to get a new start in 2015. Locker is on the younger side but the upside remains with him, so does the higher price tag. You’re talking somewhere in the ballpark of $3.5-$4MM for Locker to join the Vikes.
Matt Moore -
Maybe an interesting option, but Moore will demand more than Matt Cassel was going to make in 2015 (north of $5MM) and that’s not happening, sorry Matt.
Tarvaris Jackson -
Seriously start to think about this. First Torii Hunter, then Kevin Garnett, the Jordan Leopold AND THEN Tarvaris Jackson rides back into town on his trusty steed too!?! I don’t know if I can handle it! In all seriousness though, when I use my brain, which is pretty seldom, T-Jack might make the most sense here. He’s a veteran backup who knows his role as the backup is to mentor and be there just in case, not to compete for the starting gig. He’d demand just over $1MM and could be a nice little stopgap for the time being just in case Teddy gets hurt. There’s the obvious familiarity with the organization and Rick Spielman which also helps and the well-oiled pipeline that has sent players to and from Minneapolis and Seattle is still up and running. Dust off your old #7 jerseys, this could be a reality.
And then there’s…
Michael Vick, Blaine Gabbert, Shaun Hill, Ryan Mallet and TJ Yates. I clump all of these guys together because they deserve to be mentioned, but either because of money demanded, style of play or mental makeup I don’t see them being a good fit for the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater.
If I were a betting man, I might start to piling my money up behind the Tarvaris return camp. It makes too much sense to not have any legs. Secondarily, don’t count out Mark Sanchez because of the butt fumble. Infamous yes, but if he can overcome seeing that on Sportscenter for the better part of a year and still bounce back to be solid with Philly last year, there’s something there.