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The future of the Vikings, Part 1: The quarterbacks

Following their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game, the Minnesota Vikings are now officially in offseason mode. Throughout the coming weeks, we will look at the future of each position, what changes may come in free agency, the draft or trades and which direction players are trending. For Part 1, we look at the quarterbacks….

When Sam Bradford struggled to come back from a Week 1 knee injury, it appeared the Vikings would be in for a long season, but career backup Case Keenum rose to the occasion, leading the team to a division title and a playoff win.

It’s safe to say the Vikings got their money’s worth out of Keenum, who signed a one-year, $2 million contract in Minnesota last offseason. But now he is a free agent, as is Bradford and one-time franchise QB Teddy Bridgewater.

The results

Case Keenum

Why everyone was wrong about Case Keenum

By nearly every possible measure, Case Keenum had a very good season. He completed 67.3 percent of his passes at 7.4 yards per attempt with 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a quarterback rating of 98.3.

ESPN’s QBR stat, which is an adjusted version of quarterback rating for game situation, rated Keenum No. 2 in the NFL, only behind Carson Wentz. Pro Football Focus, which grades every play, scored Keenum as the league’s ninth best QB.

Breaking things down even further, Keenum was strong in most situations, scoring a 99.2 passer rating against the blitz, 78.5 under pressure (league average is 67.4), and 113.2 in the red zone.

The areas where Keenum did not have great numbers were on third-and-long and when he attempted “big-time throws.”

In situations where the Vikings had third down and more than six yards to gain, Keenum averaged 5.8 yards per attempt, which ranked at the very bottom of the NFL among starters. He also posted a 65.2 rating in those situations. Compare that to third-and-short, where the Vikings’ starter had a 107.8 rating.

PFF tracks “big-time throws,” which would be into tight windows or deep down field. Only 4.0 percent of his throws were “big-time throws,” which ranked 20th in the NFL. On passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air, he went 11-for-41 with two touchdowns, two interceptions.

Keenum excelled at avoiding the rush. He was sacked only 22 times this season. He also got a lot of help from receivers and running backs after the catch, ranking seventh lowest in air yards per completion.

Speaking of help, Stefon Diggs ranked No. 1 in completion percentage and QB rating on throws qualified as “contested catches.”

In the playoffs, Keenum finished with the second lowest rating of any QB in the postseason. Only Tyrod Taylor was lower. While the sample size is very small in the playoffs, his performance could play into a long-term decision.

Sam Bradford 

The Vikings couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the season than the one Sam Bradford had. He torched the New Orleans Saints for 346 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. The former No. 1 overall pick appeared that he was in for a big year with improved pass protection and a better running game.

But the former Ram and Eagle suffered a knee injury and never recovered. He played in only one more game after drubbing the Saints and was force to exit at halftime.

Overall, Bradford finished his Vikings career with 23 touchdowns, five interceptions, a 71.8 completion percentage and 101.1 quarterback rating. By far, those numbers were the best of his career. Bradford had a tremendous chemistry with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, especially on deep passes. On throws that traveled more than 20 yards in 2016, Bradford went 18-of-40 with four touchdowns, zero interceptions.

The only concern about Bradford was his consistent struggles on third down. He managed only 5.9 yards per attempt on all third downs in 2016, ranking at the bottom of the league. That number was consistent with his career mark.

Over a 27-game stretch from Week 4 of 2015 to Week 1 of 2017, Bradford averaged 269 yards per game, threw 39 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and posted a 97.1 quarterback rating.

Teddy Bridgewater

Despite injury concerns, the Vikings have reason to turn to Teddy Bridgewater

Returning from a severe knee injury, Teddy Bridgewater only found his way into one game this season, throwing two passes at the end of a win over Cincinnati. Both passes were dropped by his intended receiver.

It’s hard to know whether Bridgewater will be the same quarterback that he was in 2014 and 2015, but his performances were better than some of the fantasy stats would suggest. The former first-round pick was among the best in the NFL on third downs in 2015 with 8.0 yards per attempt and very accurate on short and intermediate throws, completing  65.6 percent of his throws between 1-20 yards. Also, against the blitz, he managed a 105.2 rating.

While he didn’t throw many touchdowns, Bridgewater led scoring drives. The VIkings scored on the seventh highest percentage of total drives in the NFL (this year they were ninth).

Bridgewater played under an entirely different offense than Case Keenum and Sam Bradford, which makes the numbers hard to compare, but when he did get an opportunity to run spread formations, the ex-Louisville star was terrific. On 72 throws with four or more receivers, Bridgewater completed 73.6 percent and had a 100.5 rating.

The options

— The Vikings are facing a tough decision with Case Keenum. They could let him walk, sign him to a long-term deal or franchise tag him.

All of the numbers combined leave us with the conclusion that Keenum was a very effective quarterback within OC Pat Shurmur’s West Coast system. But he was assisted greatly by his supporting cast and was not asked to hit passes that he wasn’t capable of completing.

The biggest question is whether his numbers will be sustainable. For example, he was good against the blitz and under pressure this season, but his history in previous stops did not suggest that was one of his best skills. Last year, Keenum had a 37.4 rating under pressure and 69.8 against the blitz.

Because he’s the most recent QB, he feels like the easiest to predict, but that might not be the case. Consider a quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had good numbers for a stretch, then ultimately faded. Fitzpatrick threw 31 TDs and won 10 games just two years ago, then put up a 74.3 rating over his next 14 starts. There are also examples of players emerging in their late-20s or early 30s like Jake Delhomme. The ex-Panther got his first shot at 28 and eventually led Carolina to a Super Bowl appearance.

The possibility of regression may scare the Vikings away. The possibility of letting a win-now year slip away in 2018 could also make Minnesota’s front office wary, especially after Keenum’s postseason struggles.

However, if the organization believes he can put them on the doorstep of the Super Bowl again, there’s no reason to move on.

— — Bradford’s history with injuries makes him too risky to invest long term or trust as the undisputed No. 1 QB. The Vikings could try to bring him back to compete for a job, but there’s likely to be better opportunities on the free agent market.

— — Mike Zimmer always wanted Teddy Bridgewater to be his starting quarterback, so there’s a possibility he could push for Teddy to return to Minnesota to be his QB1. Of course, the Vikings would have to be certain they had a backup who could step into the starting role if needed.

The Vikings would know better than anyone else how Bridgewater’s knee has looked in practice and whether he has bounced back to 2015 form. If they let him walk without a fight, it will either be because they’ve locked into Keenum or they don’t believe in his knee.

 

— — Kirk Cousins is a free agent. Over the last three seasons, he’s tossed 81 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and put up a 97.5 quarterback rating. This season Washington lost its offensive line to injury and Cousins’ sack total went from 23 in 2016 to 41 this year.

The Vikings must consider the best and worst of Kirk Cousins

The biggest concern about Cousins is the price and term. Judging by contracts in the $125 million range handed out to Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford, the Vikings would likely have to go all-in. And the worry would be that he isn’t skilled enough to get the Vikings over the hump come playoff time.

Minnesota would offer more support for Cousins on the defensive side than Washington has. Under Jay Gruden, they have finished 28th, 28th and 21st in yards allowed.

— — Drew Brees is an extreme long shot, but he is a free agent. Even at 39, he’s coming off a year in which he led the NFL in completion percentage and yards per attempt. If he leaves New Orleans, the Vikings could be a destination he considers.

— — Tyrod Taylor got very little support in Buffalo this year as the Bills let both of his top receivers go. They also lost their starting left tackle to injury and ultimately fired their offensive coordinator. Taylor is under contract with an $18 million cap hit next season. If the Bills are going to draft a QB to start in 2018, it could make Taylor available for trade.

With Alex Smith off the table, here are five under-the-radar QB candidates for the Vikings

While he’s a dynamic athlete, the results aren’t all that great for Taylor. He doesn’t throw many INTs, but he only has an 89.4 rating the last two years and has been sacked 88 times. He also suffered multiple concussions in 2017.

— — Eli Manning is likely to stay in New York after the Giants picked him over head coach Ben McAdoo. If he’s on the trade market, the two-time Super Bowl winner becomes intriguing, but there’s huge risk involved. He’s under contract through the end of 2019 and coming off a very poor year in which he averaged 6.1 yards per attempt.

— —  Colin Kaepernick would be an option if the NFL could move on from punishing him over kneeling during the anthem. The Vikings’ supporting cast looks a lot like the one that Kaepernick took to the Super Bowl in 2012. He’s still younger than Case Keenum and had a three year stretch where he went 25-14 as a starter. Still it appears that no one will be willing to sign him.

— — Drafting a quarterback is an option, but starting a first-year QB would be tough on a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Top prospects like Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are likely to be off the board. If Louisville’s Lamar Jackson somehow fell to the end of the first, it’s possible the Vikings would take him, but that scenario seems far fetched.

The bottom line

The Vikings are facing a franchise-altering offseason at the quarterback position. Every option has risk involved. The most likely scenario appears to be that the Vikings would bring back Teddy Bridgewater on a reasonable contract rather than go all-in on Keenum. But, especially considering the Vikings’ history of finding veteran QBs, almost anything could play out over the next few months.

  • Corn Bread

    “On passes that traveled more than 20 yards in the air, he went 11-for-41 with two touchdowns, two interceptions.” The stat that displays Keenum’s lack Of arm strength.

    “Speaking of help, Stefon Diggs ranked No. 1 in completion percentage and QB rating on throws qualified as “contested catches.” The analysis that articulates Keenum’s lack of accuracy.

    It’s a decent list of potential QBs, both stater and backup. Mine is similar (I avoid using Kaepernicks name online but he’s definitely one on the list). The only difference is – Keenum’s not on my list, I’ve seen enough of him.

    • Drediock

      Kaepernick brings too much of a circus with him (which he brought entirely upon himself) And would end up being too much of a distraction

      I cant blame any coach, GM or owner for not wanting him.

      Well. the Raiders of old might. But the Raiders are hardly the Raiders of old anymore.

      • Corn Bread

        When I mention Kaepernick with the Vikings, it’s not as starter, I’m looking at him for an inexpensive backup to Smith or Cousins

        • cka2nd

          Kudos for even considering Kaepernick. I see him as more of a complement to Bridgewater or Bradford, although I could certainly see him and Smith coexisting for a year or two.

  • Ron Mitchell

    Only Teddy has the stuff of greatness, and a good indicator is performance under pressure and conversions of long third downs. I think they sign him to a long term deal with lower guarantee. This might have been one of two reasons for being put behind Bradford on the depth chart: 1) Bradford had by far more game action than Bridgewater has over the past couple seasons, and had full practice in the off-season and preseason- all of which trumped Bridgewater’s several weeks as the backup, 2) The Vikes let Bridgewater heal more fully and continue to evaluate him, his work ethic is lengendary- it was reported the injury was so bad he may never play again, he’s a sensational teammate and his stats in crunch time illustrate his determination and leadership. If he has his health he has the “it” factor with the only real issue being his deep ball, which was said to looking better before he got hurt. GO TEDDY!

    • Hooji Bugadingo

      “Only greatness”? Ha Ha Ha! His “greatness” was put deactive two games. Not the great huh. Ha Ha Ha.

      • Daxquartermain

        Ted heads always ignore logic and cherry pick stats that mak him not look as bad as his overall stats. CK scored 1 touchdown on Sunday and TB scored 0 against Seattle.

        • cka2nd

          You’re all wrong. Bridgewater probably gets a two-year prove it deal comparable to what the Browns gave RGIII. His deactivation after all of that time off was totally understandable, especially with a just-as-healthy Bradford in the wings, and utterly meaningless long-term. And Keenum led a balanced offense behind a competent if not outstanding offensive line, while Teddy led an unbalanced offense with a mediocre receiving corps and a terrible OL against a passing defense that gave up 10 less TD’s for the season than Philly did this year. And had us in the game at the very end, which Case – along with a deeply disappointing defense – didn’t.

          No offense against Keenum, but we’ve seen the best he’s got and he’ll be a lot more expensive than Bridgewater with less potential upside.

  • Theguds

    I wonder if Coller will follow Teddy to where ever he ends up next year.

    • Gordon Guffey

      Most likely wishful thinking on our part ~ LOL

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  • Louis

    Foles may be available.

    • cka2nd

      You know, at the right price and pairing him with either Smith, Bradford or Bridgewater, that might actually be a not terrible idea. I doubt even a Super Bowl win would get him a guaranteed starter’s deal, even on the Jets or Browns.

  • Michael Williams

    They’ll franchise tag Keenum — because Zimmer likes his “big balls” and they have the salary cap space — and they’ll let other teams roll the dice on Bradford’s knees. They want to bring Bridgewater back, but he will get a big enough offer elsewhere that he’ll be gone. The rookie Sloter is still under contract and will be the backup. They protected him by keeping him on the active roster, so they like what they’re seeing from him.

    • Theguds

      Not what I hear… I hear Zim is quite fond of Bradford’s throwing prowess. It’s going 1SB and 2CK.

      • Michael Williams

        Keenum will get starting money and a starting job somewhere else before he’d come back to be a backup again.

      • Theguds

        That seems to be the obvious assumption and could be most likely. But looking at most of the teams that need a QB, they seem to be in the running for a top QB prospect in the draft. And there are 4 or 5 possible really good QBs coming out.

        Did Case really stand out enough to GMs where they think he’s going to be the guy to turn the franchise around? I don’t think he did. He’ll go where the money is, but I’m not too sure teams are going to come a knocking. Maybe he can the guy that fills in until they think their rookie is ready to go.. It’ll be interesting.

        Vikes should make him the highest paid back-up and if Sammy’s knees give out, he’ll get another opportunity.

    • Hooji Bugadingo

      Time for bridge to burned. Ha Ha Ha!

    • cka2nd

      No way they tag Keenum. That’s way too much money for way too many question marks.

  • Theguds

    What’s Teddy’s “big time throw” percentage? What was Teddy’s stat for throws beyond 20 yards? What was TB’s percentage 1-10 yards, 10-15, 15-20? What does 1-20 tell us? And how many attempts for each? How many times was teddy Blitzed and how many times was Keenum blitzed?

    Why not use the same stats for each player and then put together a table? And then write your article based on that?

    And notice Bradford and Keenum have similar third and long yardage, does that point to their third down play or to Shurmur’s scheme?

    • Drediock

      Shills gotta shill
      Thats why

    • Corn Bread

      “Bridgewater played under an entirely different offense than Case Keenum and Sam Bradford, which makes the numbers hard to compare, but when he did get an opportunity to run spread formations, the ex-Louisville star was terrific. On 72 throws with four or more receivers, Bridgewater completed 73.6 percent and had a 100.5 rating.“

      Read the article next time
      You cannot really compare because the offenses they played in were very different. Teddy had a very weak O-line and still found ways to make plays. Keenum is a perennial back-up.

      • Theguds

        Well I think its quite obvious I read the article as my questions were provoked from his exact stat lines. And because you and Coller say we can’t compare Teddy’s numbers, then it must be so, right?

        Why is it wrong to present a specific data set? A data set that should be exactly the same for all three QBs. Using the excuse that the systems were different is irrelevant unless you’re trying to hide something.

        For instance, Coller presents data on completion/attempt data on throws made beyond 20 yards, why would you show Case’s and Bradford’s numbers and then omit that stat from Teddy’s data set? Well we know why, because we all watched the 2014 and 2015 seasons and the vertical passing game was non-existent. And when they did go long, TB made a number really inaccurate throws. Most notably the one to Mike Wallace where there was a blown coverage and he was wide open- I believe in end zone.

        It seems by your standards its okay for Coller to highlight in previous article that 61% of Case’s throws were throws any QB could make(PFF), or his “big time throw” percentage of 4%. And your then also okay with Coller omitting TB’s “big time throw” percentage or TBs percentage of throws that any QB could make(PFF).

        I absolutely love the following statement by Coller and it ABSOLUTELY indicative of his bias. According to Coller, “but when he did get an opportunity to run spread formations, the ex-Louisville star was terrific. On 72 throws with four or more receivers, Bridgewater completed 73.6 percent and had a 100.5 rating.”

        Coller has gone way out of way to point out the easy short passing game that Case had been in a command of…

        WE ALL WATCHED 2014 AND 2015!!!!! The offense was essentially a “dink and dunk” offense in 2014 and 2015. And the “terrific” play by Teddy in spread formations were by and large dink and dunk throws. Which is fine, but if you’re going diminish one player because of that fact, and then use the adjective “terrific” for another player under the same circumstances then you are biased and lacking objectivity. And that is just down right TERRIBLE reporting.

        TIme and time again he highlights Case’s ball placement and how poor it is, when TB was coming of IR was the topic of conversation and the question of who should be starting was fresh, did he ever highlight TB’s inaccuracy downfield? Of course he didn’t.

      • Gordon Guffey

        May I ask where you found these stats ~ ??? I ask because I dont know and such a link could be a big help to me in the future when I’m trying to decode one of Coller or Judds reports ~ LOL ~

        • Corn Bread

          Those stats are in the article. I really just copied and pasted the paragraph. ; )

          • Gordon Guffey

            Thanks anyway Corn Bread ~ There are some cool sites out there that keep track of things like this ~ I need to find one outside of PPF because they sometimes take things a just group them together and throw crap out there ~

            I need to find one of these good sites ((( like I said outside of PPF ))) cause I sometimes speak out of memory and I have been known to be wrong once in my life ~ Dont believe me just ask my ex wife I’m sure she would be happy to point it out to anyone who would ask ~ LOL ~ Thankfully I found a good one who has stuck with me the last 36 years ~ Even watches the Vikings with me ~ Now whats the odds of that living here in the mid to lower 48 states of that happening ~

            Late man ~

          • cka2nd

            Hi Gordon. http://www.pro-football-reference.com is my go-to site for basic stats, historical stats and, the next day, boxscores. A source for higher end stuff like you’re asking about here would be nice, though.

          • Gordon Guffey

            Thank you cka2nd ~ I put it in my favorites ~ !!!!!

          • cka2nd

            You’re welcome.

          • Christopher H

            I heard PFF did no justice for Xavier Rhodes and then decided a rank Trae Waynes within the top 50 corners lol. Yes wainstead show tremendous ability to stop and help support the Run but it was terrible with man coverage. Which means he needs to be moved to free safety and just use as a cover corner and to Blitz when he’s told to the reason why I said that is then you can still do man-to-man for at least two receivers with a little support in the backfield depending on the play.

      • Mason

        Its irrelevant. Of course you can compare stats. It’s simple… you compile them and then you compare them.

        “terrific”? That offense was a “dink and dunk” offense, even when they were in spread formation. Apparently its “terrific” when TB throws a short pass, but what is it called when Case throws a short pass?

        • Corn Bread

          I didn’t write the article Mason, Coller did. Your questions are really for him.

  • Drediock

    Keenum to me is the obvious first choice. If not him then I’d expect a strong run at Cousins. Whomever they pick I’d say Bradford is the backup. With his injury history regardless of his prowess I dont think any GM is insane enough to offer him a starters role or starters money. Which means if he wants to play. Its probably going be as a back up.
    If the former listed doesn’t happen I wouldn’t be surprised if Zim pushes to keep Teddy and make him the starter
    I’m not sure Speilman is going to go for that though. Not unless they manage to keep a high end back up like Bradord.
    Fact of the matter is the facts state that Teddy certainly wasn’t nearly as good as Coller suggests with him in last full season having a QB rating in the 20’s. That’s bottom third in QB rating.

    That would be an awful huge roll of the dice with a team that is set to contend for a while
    For the love of God dont sign Manning. He isnt nearly as good as his hype.

    • cka2nd

      Spielman is not going to repeat the biggest mistake of Dennis Green’s career by signing Case Keenum, as Green did Randall Cuningham, to a long-term contract after Keenum, like Cunningham in the 1998 playoffs, showed off his well-known worst qualities in the playoffs.

      Bradford could get an incentive-laden contract to start for a team that’s drafted a raw stud QB or one with a youngster they’re not quite certain of (Nate Peterman in Buffalo, say). For some reason, Arizona keeps popping into my mind for Sam.

      Cousins might just suck up to much of the cap space we need to go after Andrew Norwell to shore up the OL, which needs a major upgrade in talent at both guard spots if Berger goes ahead and retires.

  • Talltales08

    Anyone got Brett Favre’s number?

    • cka2nd

      Damn, I wish Disqus still showed “Down” votes.

  • Talltales08

    I wish all 3 qb’s well, just not back in Viking land. Bradford and Bridgewater because of health issues and Keenum because of expected price and a few lingering question marks. Don’t trade for Smith, Brees would be a dream, but wishful thinking.

  • Gordon Guffey

    Colin Kaepernick would be an option if the NFL could move on from punishing him over kneeling during the anthem.

    Never going to happen ~ Get over it Coller ~ You were wrong earier this season when you started pushing this total BS idea and your wrong now ~ Want to bet on it hit me up in a PM ~

    Anyone else on that is report might have a chances ~ It will be up to who they pick as their next OC ~ And no Teddy is tied to Norv Turner not Zimmer ~ Even though Zimmer loves the kid he isn’t going to hire his next OC to cuddle him ~ Doesn’t mean Teddy want be back ~ None of us know that to be true or false ~

    That being said if the team and doctors are comfortable with his knee I could see him back ~ But no one is going to sign him as a starter money ~ To much risk right now ~ I look for a one or two year Keenum kind of deal at best to prove he is healthy enough and that he can stay healthy ~ This injury when way beyond the knee injury Cook had happen ~ Even out did Bradford’s knee injuries ~

    That said its going to be fun to see how this all plays out ~ How many of us will be happy and how many of us will be sad ~ Well thats left to be seen ~ But let the fireworks begin ~

    • Hooji Bugadingo

      Take shovel push snowflake out lokerroom. Maybe use bakkho.

      • Gordon Guffey

        Say what ~ Speak English please ~ LOL Smiley Face 🙂

  • Gordon Guffey

    In some great Viking news ~ I dont know about you but I know this was just what the doctor ordered for me ~

    Vikings’ Dalvin Cook jogging again on his road to recovery
    https://www.twincities.com/2018/01/22/vikings-dalvin-cook-jogging-again-on-his-road-to-recovery/

  • WolvesFan1

    I like Keenum, but honestly I think Alex Smith is the best option since it would be for one year. They could franchise him or give him a long term contract if they reach the SB. I don’t like the idea of giving Keenum a long term contract or franchising him. I don’t blame him for the loss, but he didn’t play particularly well, missed some open passes, 3 turnovers, etc.

    • SM

      I totally agree that Smith is one of the best options at this point. I have seen the ceiling on Case and he ain’t worth $15-$20 mill.

      They can take the necessary time to assess Sloter as backup.

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    • Gordon Guffey

      I could live with Smith if it didn’t cost the Vikings a draft pick ~ Already gave up a 1st and a 4th for Bradford and it was that fist round pick the Eagles used to pick the kid that stripped Case on that sack ~

  • a n onymous

    G.O.A.T. meets ugly duckling.

    What quarterback recently said, “I’ve always felt a connection to Minnesota…”.
    What quarterback has gone fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter in Minnesota?
    What quarterback has even milked cows on a Minnesota farm?

    Why, he’s more Minnesotan than most Minnesotans!

    Yes, folks, the obvious candidate for the Vikings next quarterback is none other than…Tom Brady.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000909352/article/tom-brady-pumped-to-go-to-minnesota-for-super-bowl

    • Gordon Guffey

      Now that was funny ~ LOL ~ Thank you for the laugh ~ Really ~

  • Dark Ages

    Did Teddy ever throw for more than 1 TD in a game (rarely)? If he had thrown for 1 TD per game I think the Vikes would have been 16-0. I would do anything to get Drew B. and then have Teddy or another young guy as backup. Teddy is a super young man but I think he gets way over rated by Vikings fans and after that injury hanging the whole season on him would be way too risky. I like Keenum as a great guy also but he cannot hit the big time throws and will not win a Superbowl. I personally think Bradford could be great if he stayed healthy but I would not bet on that either. Really none of the 3 QBs on squad are going to take Vikings to the Superbowl but Drew B could … and I think they have cap room to sign him.

    • cka2nd

      Teddy threw for two TD’s in four of his 13 games played in 2014 and one of his 16 starts in 2015; however, he also threw for four touchdowns in one of those 2015 games. See his career gamelogs at pro-football-reference.com.

      Brees would be ideal, but unfortunately the Saints defense got good again so Sean Payton is not getting fired and Brees will be back in the black and gold. Crap.

      Smith and Bridgewater or Bridgewater and Kaepernick or Bridgewater and Taylor all make some degree of sense. Substitute Bradford for Teddy with CK or TT and that still makes sense. If Zimmer can stand to cut the cord to Teddy completely, Cousins is an expensive option and A.J. McCarron a cheaper, riskier one to join Smith, Joseph, Griffen, Rhodes and Co. for their four to five year run at the Super Bowl. I do think that if their knees hold up, a big if, obviously, either Sam or Teddy could take us to the Super Bowl and win it.

      • Dark Ages

        Thanks for link. Teddy threw 28 TDs in 30 games. Which I think means he threw 0 TDs in like 9 games. His OL line stunk. I would cheer for him but I would not place any bets. I think Bradford is underrated but of course injury prone. Winning a SB always requires a lot of things to go right. Of the 3 QBs now I would bet on Bradford and hope his staying healthy was one thing that goes right.

        • cka2nd

          Nice to see someone who can put Bridgewater’s “28 TD’s in 30 games” in context.

          Yeah, I use PRF all of the time.

  • Josh Aho

    I think you let Bradford walk. His age, injuries and cost are too high for the risk-reward factor. Between Keenum and Bridgewater, I’ll take Bridgewater. He’s calmer mentally, which is a major factor in pressure (GUMP), and he’s motivated after all that has happened. He’s also younger by 5 years (only 25). Keenum had a nice year, but Shurmur is now gone. And Keenum, just my guess, probably hit his ceiling this season. Athletes don’t just figure it all out at 30, which is what Keenum will be in Feb. Also remember that Bridgewater led MN to what should have been a playoff victory against SEA in terrible outdoor weather. And that was under pressure at the end of the game…against a great SEA defense. If Blair Walsh doesn’t botch that FG, MN moves on. The Minneapolis Miracle this year was beyond awesome, and I’ll always remember it, but it never should have come down to that. Keenum should have put that game away long before that happened. Keenum had one good half against NO and one good drive against PHI. The rest of his playoff performance was sketchy, okay and maybe just good. His last two games of the season against GB and CHI were not world beaters either. MN should have dominated those two games.

    • Gordon Guffey

      I cant fuss if the Vikings keep Bridgewater ~ But we will have to agree to disagree on your reasons for doing so ~

      • cka2nd

        Josh Aho makes an excellent point about Keenum having one good half and one good drive over two playoff games. That’s the story of Keenum’s 2017, and this was the best year of his career, by far. I don’t think Keenum will be the second coming of Rich Gannon, and I don’t trust him to be even the second coming of Jake Delhomme. I think he can be an OK starter for a rebuilding team or one with a young, raw QB on the roster, or even a team trying for that last playoff run with an aging roster, but a team that is one or two good guards and a QB away from being a five-year Super Bowl contender? Nope.

        • Gordon Guffey

          The same can be said about all the Vikings QB’s for one reason or another ~ People put faith in Teddy knee and thank that the end of the story and that he is good for another 10 year ~ They do that without taking a look at whats happen to Bradford ~ Case closed ~ I can’t fuss about what you believe about Case because this was his first good roster with his first good HC ~ So there are no stats to go on ~ We are just guessing here ~ Bradford is the only QB on the roster who has shown he is good at everything ~ Most of all the deep ball offenses use to force the defense to play on their deals ~ He is also the best throwing into tight coverage by far ~ But like Teddy you cant put a season on the chance he might be able to stay healthy ~

          I dont believe there is a answer at QB on the roster unless by some miracle the Sloter kid does his best impression of Kurt Warner ~ Yeah like thats going to happen ~ QB and a really good 3 Tech DT are my biggest offseason worries ~ QB more so ~ I dont see this team getting back to 11~5 let alone 13~3 if they don’t do something big in the offseason be it FA or somehow moving way up in the draft and I dont believe they do either because of cost ~ And I would be ling if I said I knew the fix ~ I dont unless they can find a way to bring back 2 of the 3 on the 2017 roster and left them fight it out for the starting job ~

          • cka2nd

            I’ve made it clear that I am not for putting ALL of my faith in either Teddy’s or Sam’s knees, but I do think one or the other could be paired with a veteran QB and, between them or after a competition between them, take us to the promised land. Some analogous situations from football history that I might compare my idea to are Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall with the Colts, Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen with the Redskins and – and this is WAY before my time, and before yours, too, I’m guessing – Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin with the Rams. Keenum could conceivably fit in such a pairing, too, but he’ll simply cost way more than either Bradford or Bridgewater next season, and, in my opinion, has less upside than either of them.

            As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this team reminds me of the mid-80’s Giants, so I’m not worried about losing ground in our record unless something crazy happens, like losing our starting QB and starting RB within weeks of each other. 😉 We’re in good shape vis-à-vis the salary cap and should be able to retain all of the young talent with contracts coming up in the near future, all or most of the young benchwarmers and special teamers that we want to keep, and even one or two of the near-retirees who want to come back. But I agree that crossing over the River Jordan WILL require some big moves in free agency and the draft. Luckily, there is a superb and young fee agent guard available in the former, and a whole plethora of talented interior offensive linemen in the latter, almost all of whom should still be available with the 30th pick in the draft.

          • Gordon Guffey

            I can only hope your right cka2nd ~ I can only hope your right ~

  • Gordon Guffey

    I saw this somewhere and thought it funny enough to pass on ~ Hope I remembered it correctly ~ It went something like this ~

    To bad we can’t take Bradford’s one good knee and Bridgewater’s one good knee and put them in one to make a complete healthy quarterback body~

    Or something like that ~

    • Mason

      Zim thinks Bradford is over his knee problem(Pro Football Talk). Prepare for Sammie B 2018!! Twiddle, twiddle GG!

    • cka2nd

      There’s got to be a few science fiction stories where they could do that…

  • Corey Hyde

    This is not going to be the popular opinion….BUT if the Vikings are going to take a win now mentality which they should, being that they have signed all these guys up for about 3-4 years. Then the only guy that stays is Bradford, he’s the only pure passer of the 3. Keenum is going to cost more than he’s worth and it sounds like Teddy wants a shot at a starting job and he would lose out to Bradford if put in that scenario. We can get Sam on short term deal and make Sloter our backup or sign another adequate backup. If your goal is the SB Bradford is the guy…….or Brees but we know that is pipe dream.

    • cka2nd

      Neither Bradford nor Bridgewater can count on getting a starting job. I’d re-sign either one and pair him with a young’ish, experienced starter like Kaepernick or Taylor, or Bridgewater with Smith. And you’re right, Keenum will get too much somewhere else.

  • brian199511

    Kaepernick is a terrible idea and in the draft the Vikings can pick up Luke Falk on the second day and have a guy way underdrafted who broke every QB Pac 12 record there is with a bad coach and bad teams. Get one of the guys leaving and have Falk and Sloter in the bullpen.

    • cka2nd

      And possibly not have anyone ready to take this team to a Super Bowl while it’s in its prime. Using a high draft pick on a QB would be a huge waste.

      As I said above, Bridgewater and Kaepernick make all kinds of sense.

      • brian199511

        Kaepernick has been sh*t for five years. What planet are you from? Bridgewater walks with a f’ing limp, how is that starting NFL QB material? The guy can’t even dance. Incredibly bad suggestions.

        • cka2nd

          16 TD’s with four interceptions and a passer rating of 90.2 on a horrible team is a lot better than sh*t. And if you have the opinion that Bridgewater is done and can never come back, I respectfully disagree.

          • brian199511

            Differing opinions is what makes this interesting. I hope you are right about Teddy but it doesn’t look good. Kaep really hasn’t been good for years. NFL teams will sign felons if it helps the team and no one wants the guy. I don’t believe, as Kaep wants us to believe, it is political. He just isn’t very good.

  • Silverwheaton

    I wouldn’t be so quick to write Bradford off. He didn’t suffer a knee injury as you continue to claim. It was a cleanup from years past. The schedule in 2018 is loaded. So let me ask this…what we’re Keenum’s stats and record against playoff teams? Assuming Shurmur wasn’t responsible for his overachieving his record this year versus next – playoffs are out of the question. If it’s not Bradford maybe a trade for Smith. Forget Bridgewater and Keenum.

    • cka2nd

      I agree about Bradford, although his knee is still a major concern. Smith could very possibly be a cap casualty, I would think, given his contract and KC’s commitment to Mahomes. Bridgewater could still have a future, and Minny still makes the most sense, but with a two-year, low-guarantee, high-incentives deal for now.

  • gagu

    Kaepernick as as a starter or a non-starter is a non-starter. He is poison. To suggest that it’s some kind of collective punishment by the NFL GM´s is inane. Collier, you are smarter than that. My dog is smarter than that. Krap has doubled down on his BS since he left. He clearly does not want and /or expect to play again, which is a logical conclusion. I bleed purple, but that would completely change if he were to sign with the team. Matt, you have little sense for the depth of antipathy toward the guy among many fans. Speaking only in financial terms, Kaepernick will be the root cause of the NFL and associates losing billions over the course of time. The individual owners know that signing him would multiply their share of those losses. It won´t happen. It shouldn´t happen.

    • cka2nd

      One year on the f***ing blacklist is enough! Bridgewater and Kaepernick make a ton of sense because it could be an open competition and because Kaep has more upside than Taylor. Smith and Bridgwater also works, although Teddy would have to understand that he’d be the presumptive back-up for at least the year, and I’m not sure if Smith is looking for only a one- or two-year deal.

      “I bleed purple, but that would completely change if he [Kaepernick] were to sign with the team.”

      Making you a bigger “snowflake” than every college SJW around.

      • gagu

        Cut the snowflake crap. It´s beneath you. If the Vikes were to sign Kaepernick, which they won’t, I wouldn’t cry and run for a safe space, I´d move on. I wouldn’t be offended, I’d be disgusted. I’ve stayed away from getting into Krap discussions primarily because of the nonsense like this that comes with it. I´m not aware of ever having a beef with you, cka, and from I know about you on this board, I admit to respecting your comments prior to this crap. As much as I disagree with your opinion on this, I´m okay with it. Not expecting you to care one way or the other, but that´s the truth. I stand by everything I wrote. As a retired cop, it´s also a personal thing. My past career is a personal thing as well. In over 500 posts, I don’t remember ever mentioning it. “Pigsocks” is not my friend. And he his POS actions and the aftereffects of them have absolutely affected my love for the NFL. I bleed blue much more than I bleed purple. I had to reitre after 18 years with severe PTSD. A job that I excelled at. I worked the inner city. One of the many aspects of what messed up my head for life was the anger and frustration of watching so many good, innocent blacks being victimized by thugs, race hustlers, phony politicians, and clueless, bleeding heart whites that think pandering and sniping at overwhelmingly honest and good cops will assuage their misguided guilt. Anyway, I´ve been through enough hell. I´m good with the Vikes because the only player that protested was The Jet, and his protest was to stay in the locker room during the anthem. No problem. He didn´t make a show of it. A private protest that worked for him. I’m pretty sure we differ on the issue of employees bringing unrelated protests publicly to work. IMO, it isn’t a free speech issue. Not while on the job, for sure. Working cops all over the country have been punished to different degrees for fairly mild comments made on their Facebook page on their personal time. Football players insult the public at work and Goodell didn’t have the stones to stop it at the start. As I said, there are many, many fans that are ticked off. I could go on and on and on. Anyway, if you still think I’m a snowflake, whatever. My guess is that we are simpatico on most things, at least sportswise. If you dislike me, sobeit. But how about keeping it private. I’m not looking for a fight, much less a computer fight. Being that this story is now old hat and your the only one who will get a notification that I wrote this, it’s almost a PM. I’ll probably delete it before long. Sorry for running on so long. The snowflake comment pushed me to get some things off my chest. I would have taken a different road if I thought you were an asshole.

        • cka2nd

          gagu, thank you for your reasonable and respectful response. I may still use the term “snowflake” with other posters and as a general put down – Lord knows it’s been thrown at me in ignorance a few times, and slathered on people who sometimes deserve it, but often do not – but rest assured that I won’t be aiming it at you in the future.

          To be fair to Kaepernick, he was not the person who initially brought his taking a knee during the anthem to the press’ attention. His was initially a privately and respectfully-done protest done in public, but not shouted out to the world. Please look it up if you doubt me.

          My guess is that we are probably not too simpatico politically speaking – I’m so far to the left, I make Teddy Kennedy look like Jesse Helms, and being a long-time labor guy, I don’t think workers should surrender all of their free speech rights on the job – but we probably are when it comes to how one should carry oneself on-line and in-person, though all of us may stumble more than once (“ahem, cough, cough”). My sincerest apology for causing you any offense.

          By the way, I’m actually not all that old, but I’m a bit of a Luddite, so I have neither the tools nor the know-how to PM anyone, and I aim on keeping it that way.

          • gagu

            Thanks for the kind response, CK. We’re on the opposite side of the political fence, but I think we both respect, value, enjoy, and are open to open discussion. I read several older posts and confirmed the general sense I had that you are a commentator worthy of close attention. Intelligent, insightful opinions backed by facts.
            The thing that stands out most to me is that you don´t frame everything in black and white. You sort of think aloud sometimes, presenting opposite arguments before coming to a conclusion that doesn’t have to be hardline 100% final say. I didn’t explain that very well, but it’s a high compliment. In short, the points you make lead to think deeper about my opinions.
            My “snowflake” reaction really didn’t offend me other than I was surprised to be called one. It was a first. LOL. I’ve used the word , too, in repartee. On the whole, your original comment was not out of line. We both know people that go on the attack with low blows for the sake of attack, and I bet our lists would closely coincide. Coming back at trolls and assholes with snarky put downs is a good thing. Life on the friggin internet. LOL.
            Anyway, I was leery about putting myself out there with my response. I’m glad now that I did. I cleared the air with a writer that I respect. It’s all good.
            BTW: I got a kick out of the Luddite comment. I can relate. I’ve been in Chile for 18 years, another thing I don’t often share, and I still don’t speak anything close to fluent Spanish. My only phone is Skype, and I haven’t been able to use that in a couple months. For me, figuring out how to work a cell phone is like trying to align a Rubik´s Cube. Aide from my wife or kids handing me their phone because an in-law wants to say hi, I’m telephone free. I’m in a rare situation where I can get away with it. It’s a nuisance that I’m free of. Less is more.

          • cka2nd

            Yeah, I’m betting you’re not the first person I’ve called a “snowflake” who (a) had never been called it, while (b) having used it, themselves. It’s, my way of being snarky and letting out my own aggression (“Life on the friggin internet” is sooo right), of pointing out hypocrisy when I see it (“How dare you be hyper-offended by that statue while I’m being hyper-offended by your kneeling during the national anthem!”), and of educating folks that all sides can be…idiots, douche bags, snowflakes, take your pick, if not over the same issues than to the same degree about other issues.

            I learnt a long time ago that there are tons of shades of gray in human behavior. I may have very strong principles, and I may think that those are generally correct, but that doesn’t mean other folks’ principles are 100% wrong. I loathe libertarians on economics, but appreciate them on free speech, the drug war and bedroom politics. I subscribed to The American Conservative originally because of their opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and because their stances on some economic policies accorded with my own. I stand with Pat Buchannan on “free trade” agreements, for instance, because I am a proletarian internationalist, while he is an American economic nationalist. But there’s always one article or column in every issue that makes me want to throw the damn thing against a wall. You should check out their website. Of course, I also read Workers Vanguard and 1917, the journal of the International Bolshevik Tendency…

          • gagu

            I agree with you on strong personal principles, CKA. Blindly and/or heatedly following labels and ideologies is a weakness in the end, IMO, I’m not a fan of extremists of any shade. You nailed it with the gray area comment. I was surrounded by them every day at work. A good cop has to be a good politician. You try to come up with win/win solutions, but if you bring true justice it sometimes results in lose/lose decisions where no one is happy. It’s a microcosm of DC. Ideologue politicians are not unlike cops who take punitive action against any violator they come across. On the flip side, politicians who always base they’re votes based on getting re-elected are like cops who act or fail to act based on whichever decision is safest. That said, on the whole, cops are very good people with good intentions. Extraordinary people. There is also a small element of extraordinary assholes. In general, every issue is full of gray areas. Anyway, I don’t trust extremes, though extreme times can call for extreme measures.
            I’m a libertarian in the “live and let live” sense. I´m definitely conservative. Society has to continuously progress, but traditions and customs have to be respected. My opinion is that things have been way out of control. I loved Reagan. To me, he is on a level of his own. But I also was a great fan of Scoop Jackson. He struck a good balance for me. Jackson more than anyone else who comes to mind was a guy who would have been good president in any era.
            Thanks for the tip on The American Conservative. I gave it a scan and it looks good. I’ll look closer at a later time.
            It has been a worthwhile back and forth, better a discussion. Strange things come out of starting QB debates. LOL.

          • cka2nd

            Eeek! Hate (not hated, still hate) Reagan and Thatcher, union-busting sagga, fragga, growl, growl, huzza, wuzza, huff, huff %#*@#! Not a fan of Henry “Scoop” Jackson, either, patron political saint of the neo-conservatives, as he was. But, then, I was on the other side of the Cold War from the lot of them, you probably included for the most part. Don’t even get me started on “Saint” Jimmy Carter when it comes to Afghanistan and Cambodia, for that matter (I’ll grant that his post-presidency international election-monitoring has been irreproachable).

            I have no problem examining and critiquing traditions and customs, but throwing them overboard thoughtlessly drives me nuts, especially when it means we lose a good thing that MORE people could have shared in. “Nothing’s too good for the working class,” as some of my old comrades used to say. Okay, I’ll let you go. It’s been a real pleasure.

          • gagu

            A pleasure here, as well, cka. Take care.

    • Christopher H

      Kaepernick though would Excel at a West Coast style, pass option or run option replay with a few plays where it should be read option and as a backup I would say that would be the strongest thing possible. and we have did where he has a speed to stretch the field

  • William Penn

    Next OC will decide on QB to fit his scheme. Not much reason to speculate now, as we need to know who the OC will be and what scheme he will run. Once that hire is made (and they need to make it in the next 2-3 weeks), then we will get a better sense of which QBs fit. My thoughts on the incumbents:

    1. Keenum: I like Case and his story and everything he did for the Vikings this year. But for a team built around a stout defense, we cannot afford to have a QB who takes incredible risks like Case does — pretty much every game. A lot of his risks worked out this year, but they resulted in limited YAC and sometimes set up our WRs to get slammed. Case has earned and will get decent starter money ($20M+), but I don’t think he is worth that. I would only sign him for $15M-$17.5M, and only if he would accept battling to be the starter.

    2. Bradford: Sam’s smarts and arm talents are superior, but who would be willing to be squarely on Sam as their starter? I wouldn’t. If Sam is willing to accept an incetive-laden contract, then I’d sign him for sure and let him compete for the starting job. If he wants guaranteed starter dollars, then I’d let him walk. BTW, I don’t think any GM will be desperate enough to give Sam guaranteed starter dollars, but we’ll see.

    3. Teddy: I like Teddy a lot, but he is a huge enigma as well. He was definitely on the rise before getting injured, but he was not an elite QB at that point. As a result, it is hard to see any team giving him elite QB money given all the questions that are unanswered. The Vikings have seen him in practice for months, so I think they have the best sense of where he stands in terms of recovery. My hope: sign Teddy cheap (possibly using the leverage they might have with the deferred final year of his contract), and let him compete openly with Bradford and Sloter for the starting job.

    I think Sam will stay here for a reasonable amount if we hire an OC he likes and he is given a fair shot at starting. I’m not sure Zimmer is on board with Sam, but he is definitely the best QB when healthy of the group. I would think Sam would care more about wining than $, since he has already made an incredible amount of $ for such an undecorated QB. You would think he would now want to prove that he is great, so why not sign for with the Viking under an incentive-laden contract. But it all comes down to whether we have an OC he likes.

    The one good thing we have going for us is that the NYGs are stupidly sticking with Eli (hooray!). With Eli on the roster and a high draft pick that they will likely use on a QB, it would make little sense for either Keenum or Sam to follow Shurmur.

    Anyway, all this conversation is rubbish until we hire an OC, IMO.

  • Christopher H

    Two people I would love to have is Bridgewater on a prove-it deal meaning weary sign him but give all the back money or majority of the money on the 3rd or 4th year option with the first two years maybe being a million dollars a piece. this would give us the option to cuddle without taking any big hits if he does not perform in the first two years. secondly we need to pick up Josh Allen if he falls down to the twenties he has high potential for throwing he had a weak oline has Mobility and has a strong arm. Just as a back up plan but obviously a trend, where up to three quarterbacks come off in the first round meaning he probably slip into the second or third. at which point if you’re able to address your main issue in the first round which would be o line or D line and then address another issue and the second round and come up with a quarterback that has high potential / ceiling for the third round I have no problem with that and the one way to do that is by using your fifth and sixth round to trade up in that third round. but I get the feeling he’ll get picked up sooner before that because he was at a college that’s low ranking like how Carson Wentz came out.





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