The Vikings at some point in the coming weeks figure to add another quarterback to their 90-man roster. Right now, they have only three, one of whom might not be cleared to throw a football any time soon.
With Teddy Bridgewater’s status in limbo due to the devastating knee injury he suffered last August, the Vikings have no proven backup to Sam Bradford, whom coach Mike Zimmer named the starter in January.
Shaun Hill, who started the season opener last year before making way for Bradford, is a free agent. I was told a couple weeks ago that Hill, who turned 37 in January, was still trying to figure out if he wanted to play in 2017. If he does, I’m not sure he makes sense here in Minnesota given they no longer need the “mentor” type to help a young starter.
That leaves Taylor Heinicke, who has kicked through more glass doors in his NFL career (one that we know of) than thrown passes in games that count, as the only able-bodied potential backup on the roster.
Despite their frustration with Heinicke missing all of training camp and the preseason last year due to that odd off-the-field mishap, the Vikings still like Heinicke, signed as an undrafted rookie in 2015, and are expected to give him a chance to be the top backup to Bradford this season.
They surely will bring in another signal-caller, though. Will it be a veteran backup via free agency or will they use a draft pick on a passer?
The Vikings had some interest in Nick Foles before he rejoined the Eagles, which suggests they would like to sign a veteran No. 2.
The top veteran options left in free agency include Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chase Daniel, Case Keenum, Robert Griffin III, Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez and our old friend Christian Ponder. Johnny Manziel is eyeing a comeback, too, but I’ll leave the JFF-related content to Michael Rand, my good friend and podcast partner.
With Bradford set as the starter, it seems unlikely they will sign someone such as Cutler or Kaepernick or Daniel, who still want a chance to at least compete for a starting job somewhere. I’m guessing they would prefer to sign a backup who is content with that role, like Hill was here.
Or the Vikings could go in a different direction, drafting a developmental QB to groom for the long haul. That might make the most sense given that Bradford is in a contract year and GM Rick Spielman last month could not definitively say that Bridgewater will definitely play again.
Or perhaps the Vikings could do both, signing an affordable veteran and drafting another youngster to compete with Heinicke for the job.
So the Vikings have some decisions to make at the quarterback spot, including whether or not to give Bradford a contract extension, but also plenty of time to make them. That’s much better than having to decide whether to sign Mike Glennon or Josh McCown to be your Week 1 starter.