JAY Davis: Signing quarterback odd midseason move, maybe
The Minnesota Vikings are a struggling football team with a 1-3 record. Their defense has more holes than a butterfly net.
But the offense is scoring 29 points a game, so why bring in another quarterback? Maybe with one more touchdown, some of those Ls can become Ws.
That’s an exaggerated response, but one would have to question why the Viking brass would muddle a semi-shaky quarterback position by adding another struggling signal caller to the mix.
If you missed it, the Viking signed ex-Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman to the team on Sunday night. He, like Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, is a quarterback who has some skills but has not shown that he can play at the level of a guy who can lead a team to postseason glory.
There is an old NFL adage that says if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any quarterbacks. I’m not sure where three quarterbacks fits, but it doesn’t mean the team is suddenly better.
You may recall that the Vikings were not a very good team entering October last season either, but they turned it around and became a pretty good one that made the playoffs. Ponder played his best when his back was against the wall. While Ponder hasn’t done anything to prove he’s ready to take the next step, he is far from the reason the team has struggled this year. In two of his three games, he had his team ahead until the defense gave up the winning (or losing) touchdown in the waning seconds. In Cassel’s start, the defense did its darnedest to squander the win in London away too.
So why bring in another quarterback when the defense is the biggest problem the team has?
Here is my theory. The Vikings added Freeman to the mix for what they call a mere $3 million. That gives the team the rest of this season to let their three quarterbacks fight for control of the huddle. It really might just be a two-man battle. Ponder and Freeman are just 25 years old, while Cassel is 32.
If things go according to the Vikings’ plan, one of the players is going to distinguish himself as the kind of thrower who can lead the team to the playoffs, and maybe to some postseason glory.
If it works out that way, the Vikings the can use the 2014 draft and the offseason free agency period to address all the places they need to make player upgrades. Having a quarterback they can call their field general would simply give the team one less place they need to make an upgrade.
If this works out, if Ponder uses this prodding as a vault into becoming the player the team thought they were drafting or if Freeman proves to be the kind of talent he looked like he was going to be up until the middle of last season, well then the Vikings have made one heck of a midseason deal.
If one of these quarterbacks does not step up and distinguish himself, then the Vikings will scrap all three of them and draft a quarterback of the future yet again in the offseason.
For now though, how about just figuring out how to field a defense that gives up less than 30 points a game. If the defense can step up just a little, then maybe whichever quarterback is on the field can give the ball to Adrian Peterson and then hit a pass or two downfield and the Vikings can make a second straight push to the playoffs. After all, at 1-3, they are just one game out in the loss column.