Wetmore: If Rams look to trade for a QB, should Vikings get involved?
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Rams quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL in a loss to the Panthers on Sunday. The injury will end Bradford's season, according to the team.
An MRI confirmed that #Rams QB Sam Bradford suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). He will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) October 21, 2013
That's bad news, of course, for the 3-4 team that was still in the mix for a playoff spot.
But it opens an interesting opportunity for the Vikings, if the Rams look to fill the void with a trade. (The only other quarterback on the roster is Kellen Clemens, and other names the team has reportedly looked to sign include Tim Tebow. Suffice it to say that the quarterback cupboard is bare.)
The Vikings on Monday night will debut Josh Freeman, whom they hope can be their quarterback going forward. That means they have two expendable quarterbacks on the roster, in Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.
A few Vikings fans jumped to Twitter to suggest the team immediately ship out Ponder to the Rams.
I wonder if that would be the most logical, in this hypothetical trade scenario.
Let's make a few assumptions here, just for argument's sake:
1) The Rams look to fill quarterback with a trade.
2) St. Louis feels Sam Bradford is their long-term answer at quarterback, as has been reported.
3) It follows, then, that the team would look for a temporary stop-gap who is a competent quarterback, capable starter, and won't cost much to acquire in terms of assets.
Competent fill-in, thy name is Matt Cassel.
It's logical from a Vikings' fan's perspective to get rid of Ponder because it appears he has no long-term future with the club. To play devil's advocate, though, could he be a serviceable NFL backup? Is it helpful that he has an understanding of the offense and could fill in if Freeman is hurt or ineffective?
Furthermore, if I'm Cassel, I may be a bit shell-shocked at how the past three weeks have transpired. I probably sat down with my agent this offseason and looked to find a place where the quarterback situation was unsettled. I got my chance to start after Ponder was injured and then benched.
Now that the circumstances have changed in Minnesota and Cassel got just a quick tryout before the rug was yanked from under his feet, might he want to move?
He went from the starting opportunity that he probably coveted to third-stringer in a very short period of time. He carries himself professionally and likely won't publicly ask to be traded, but I would want to be if I was him.
St. Louis is as logical a destination as any, if the assumptions stated earlier hold true. For Cassel, the Rams and the Vikings, a trade might actually make some sense.
For what it's worth, the Rams are at $109.5 million, according to The Guardian. Bradford makes roughly $12.6 million; Cassel makes $3.7 million; Ponder makes less than $2.8 million