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The rarely-used Transition Tag could come into play with Vikings’ QB situation

You may remember the Transition Tag from such NFL mishaps as Steve Hutchinson and Nate Burleson.

The days of the “poison pill” are gone, but the Transition Tag still exists and the Minnesota Vikings could use it on Case Keenum.

For those who don’t recall the Vikings stealing Hutchinson from Seattle, the Transition Tag allows a team to match any offer.

The advantage for the Vikings using the transition tag would be saving cap space. If there are no offers to be matched, Keenum’s price on the transition tag would be a one-year contract equal to the average salary of the top ten players in the league at the player’s position, or a twenty percent salary increase, whichever is greater. The franchise tag is the average of the top five players’ salaries at the position.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Confora recently made the argument for the Vikings to use the transition tag on Keenum. He wrote:

“This is the quintessential use of a transition tag. Keenum is an anomaly, having a breakout season so late in his career. And he just lost his offensive coordinator/play caller, and the Vikings have no QB under contract who has thrown an NFL pass. No way I am getting to March 6 without still being tethered to an NFL passer, and no way am I considering Minnesota’s other options (Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater) for the spot. Save a few million bucks with the lower transition tag and rent Keenum for another year at $21 million (a touch more than what guys like Brock Osweiler and Mike Glennon earned last season) and see if the market speaks. Give Keenum, after such a career year, the chance to talk to other teams and see what else is out there; if someone offers something nuts, he walks. And if they don’t, it may help facilitate a 2-3 year bridge contract by July 15 that offers some stability. It’s too risky, to me, to wait til mid March and enter the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes – and with this defense and potential run game, a $30M quarterback might not be what Mike Zimmer needs, anyway.”

The Vikings are definitely considering Bridgewater, especially if they can bring him back by tolling his contract. Otherwise they may work out a short-term deal The transition tag could allow them a few extra dollars to work with to keep Bridgewater if his contract does not carry over to next season.

  • cka2nd

    I might transition tag Keenum, but only in the hope of trading him since I’m not convinced he’s got another 2017 in him.

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    • Gordon Guffey

      I’m not convinced any of the QB’s from lost year’s roster have what Case did in 2017 in them ~ Its going to be fun to watch and see how this all plays out ~ The good part is we want have long to wait to find out ~

    • Sn Mr

      Totally agree, TT and get a 2nd round pick.

    • Mr.Ripper

      Totally disagree! Keenum is a scrambler and has one hell of an accurate arm. Vikings would be stupid to get rid of him. Clearly it was the coaching staff who did not adjust fast enough to the Eagles. The Vikings also need to work on getting the plays out faster.

      • DDJR

        Accurate? You mean when Adam jumps 10 feet in the air to bail him out 2-3 times a game? Hes ok, his progressions are pretty choppy if you watch the film he misses wide open people off release a handful of times a game and either checks it down or just flat out doesnt see the deep undercut routes. Hes not terrible by any means but hes not worth 20 mill a year. Atleast Cousins has averaged over 4k and 25 tds over a 3 year body of work last year he practically had zero talent. He could make the offense possible top 5 with the talent we have at the other skill spots.

        • Andrew Stead

          Yes and yes. He also shows a glaring lack of situational awareness. There are times to take risks and times not to. He’s an excellent back-up who played over his head for 2017. There is nothing to suggest that’s who he now is, or that a similarly skilled player wouldn’t also have looked as good in that situation.

          • Drediock

            PFF would dissagree with you

          • TeslaQuake

            PFF is an equation that is an indication of success, but that equation is missing a lot of factors that are hard to measure. That is why PFF showed Rhodes as one of the worst cornerbacks early in the season.

          • Drediock

            PFF Is agree is not a be all end all source of info. I diubt there will ever be a perfect eay ro measure players and teams. However. It’s respected because it does take many hard to take measures into account. Certainly more then most other sources that go by pure numbers alone.
            I’ll have to look at his numbers when I get home as I am on a jobsite this moment. But maybe Rhodes wasn’t playing as well as other corners early?
            Rankings change through the season. If you look at another post of mine about line play I say up front that the most recent numbers I could find for this year’s lline was week 5.
            I do try to use the most recent info I can find. Hindsight is a often 20/20

      • cka2nd

        Keenum does NOT have “one hell of an accurate arm.” I think that the two biggest factors in the Vikings’ loss to the Eagles were that they out-coached us and that our players had no reserves to dig into after the previous week’s amazing win. The letdown effect of such a win has been documented in NFL history.

        • linus

          Agreed. The Eagles might have been the better team (especially on their home field), but there is absolutely NO WAY they were 31 points better. I’m sure that both the players and the coaches suffered a letdown from the crazy win the week before, though they would never admit it.

          • Drediock


        • Drediock

          Depends on how you define accurate
          Short and intermediate he was ranked top 10 by PFF

          Like Teddy though that fell off with the deep ball. though I beleive Teddys deep ball numbers were worse

      • MC

        Accurate, you’re hilarious

  • Gordon Guffey

    Coller wrote ~
    The Vikings are definitely considering Bridgewater, especially if they can bring him back by tolling his contract.

    This is coming from where ~ I check just about every website that might have Viking related news and I have seen this no where ~ In fact I haven’t seen anything about any of the QB’s and this includes FA such as Kirk Cousins ~ Last I heard of Teddy was Spielman said he would let Teddy’s agent and the NFL work out of his contract could be tolled over ~ And the only reason he even said anything about any of the QB’s is because he was asked about Teddy’s contract and tolling it ~ Dont get me wrong I would love to have some idea where the Vikings might stand on any of the QB’s from lost years roster ~

    I do agree that the transition tag is the way to go with any of the 3 QB’s from lost years roster ~ It makes the most scene ~

  • Mr.Ripper

    Keenum has everything that the Vikings need except a little more height. With John D. from the Eagles who used to be a QB coach, I think that he could further develop Keenum and blow the doors off the SB next year. Why would you break up a well oiled offense? Keep Teddy as a backup and dump Sammy. Even though I like Sam he is too much of an injury risk, and draft a young buck. Clearly it was the coaching staff who F’ed up our SB chance this year, not our players. Our coaching staff needs to step it up and learn to adjust faster!

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  • fritzdahmus

    Do it. I don’t know anything about the CBA or how NFL contracts are structured or can be structured.

    I say this so the trolling a*&holes out there don’t jump down my throat as just a guy who wants to play Madden Football with real NFL rosters. There – my qualifier has been said.

    Having said that – Keep Keenum and Bradford……get rid of Bridgewater (young enough for a player or draft pick?? Doesn’t matter…). But don’t do anything until you have too. But let the end result be at least – Keenum in and Bridgewater traded. We know Bradford and Keenum can play NFL QB. Start with that. See where it goes.

    • Andrew Stead

      I don’t know anything about trucks. I would like a king cab 4×4 that cruises at 120 mph, has the torque to pull a 40′ boat, gets better fuel mileage than a civic, and is impervious to traffic violations.

      • fritzdahmus

        There are a lot of things you don’t know. Turn your hat around to the front, put the bong down, turn off the video game, and try to read this.

        I got my idea from an ESPN article that suggested Franchise tagging Keenum. They suggested the savings could be used to put money towards Bradford and holding Bridgewater one more year under some CBA rule.

        Now you have control of all 3.

        Dip Shit.

        • Andrew Stead

          ah, the ad hominem attack; it’s always persuasive and classy.

          If you’d care to present how the Vikings possibly control the rights to all 3 QBs, that would be an interesting read. I look forward to seeing the dates and amounts.

          • fritzdahmus

            Listen Andrew, you obviously love to dish out the ad hominem attacks…I’ve seen your posts. But I see now you want to argue the subject matter versus attack the person with your brand of cleverness. I see your posts here….that’s all you do. These comment sections are not an open invitation to be a smart-ass.

            You want a suggested scenario where all 3 could be under Viking control….google it. I read it on

            Or, I guess I will spell it out. All I did was repeat it (didn’t reference it right away…thought most saw it on It has to do with saving some money using the franchise tag, tolling Bridgewater, and signing Bradford as damaged goods and let him compete for a job and raise his value (then being worth something).

            It’s just a recycled thought dick head…..go back to beating up your wife.

    • TBIloveyou2018

      Wish you were GM.

  • David Prestin

    Didn’t the team that loses a transition tagged player to another team get a draft pick in return from the team that signs him?

    • Jake Johnson

      Okay, so it looks like the Transition tag allows a “first-refusal right” of any other team’s offer. Obviously, they would keep Keenum if they matched another offer. The bad news, if they don’t match the offer, they lose the player and receive no compensation whatsoever, including draft picks. That’s the balance of a lower average salary, I would guess.

      • David Prestin

        Thx for the clarification.

  • requisition2000

    I hope they bring back Bridgewater and let him compete for the starting spot. It would be insanity to bring in a guy like Cousins or even Keenum, whose upsides are just a little higher than Teddy’s floor.

    The Vikings need to find a way to get a grip on Teddy’s health.

    National writers have no idea what they are talking about, sometimes. Yeah, the transition tag is interesting. But lines like “no way I’m bringing back Bridgewater” make a writer lose credibility. It’s obvious to anyone who follows the team that Bridgewater was the real deal.

    • Drediock

      questons surrounding Teddy remain the same and one could even use the same question we place on Case to Teddy.
      Can he do it again or was that season a fluke?
      Can Teddy answer the same questions about his ability that was the big question surrounding him after the 2015 season which was and still is “can he take the next step, and improve his down field accuracy?
      Can he stay healthy? Remember. Very few fully recover from the type of injury he had so that is still a HUGE question mark.
      We all love Teddy. But none of those questions can we answer with any degree of certainty even if he stayed healthy it was all based on potential. Not yet realized. and the garbage pile is heaped really really high with ex QBs that everyone thought had great potential that was never realized.

      My opinion is Cousins is just too out of the park expensive for his quality level. He’d be the highest paid QB in the league. But while pretty good. he is far from the best QB. And the general consensus is he makes really really poor decisions when under pressure critical moments which lead to turnovers.
      Sorry. Im not willing to pay elite money for anything less then elite play.

      Bradford we know cant be trusted its not a matter of if he will get hurt again but when. I was willing ot give him the benifit of the doubt but that now is pretty much a proven

      which leaves Case and Teddy.
      Keeping them both is the best option if possible. Case will command more then Teddy because of Case’s last year success and Teddys knee.
      Let them duke it out

  • Drediock

    Transition is something else I mentioned about 2-3 weeks ago as an option. Though Ive pushed more for the franchise tag as that guarantees he doesn’t go elsewhere.

    Sorry but unless you can positively guarantee that Cousins is the second coming of Brady, or Rodgers. Im not willing put the rest of the team at the risk of downgrading other positions to make him the highest paid QB in the league because most analysts rate him as fair to very good at best and nobody gives him an elite rating the top money deserves.
    Sorry Coller but when you take everything into account this year and int the next couple. our own players, free agent needs and the draft. The numbers just dont add up. Someplace else on the rest of the team will suffer because of it.

  • TeslaQuake

    This is such a weird situation for a team that was in the NFC Championship. It is nothing new for veteran Vikings fans who have seen a fair share of QB’s come and go.

    Teddy looked like he was going to make a big step and had a devastating injury. Even if he is physically healed it will be hard to know if he is mentally over it until he plays a few games. He also had issues with deep throws due to arm strength in the past. Arm strength can be overcome, but it is hard to say where he is until he is making throws in a game time situation. Teddy will likely be the best for the money, but this seems like a big risk for a team that is so close to making the Super Bowl.

    Keenum played well last year, but there were weaknesses that seem to be ignored because we had wins. He was relatively accurate (especially on short and mid range throws), but when he wasn’t it was really bad. He doesn’t have great arm strength, but seems to be sufficient. He has some issues with situational awareness. He would make high risk throws at times when it didn’t make sense. Sometimes it worked out, and sometimes it wouldn’t. He also has no history of playing this well, so it is hard to say if it will repeat. With some improvements on the offensive line he might do well, but he will carry a high cost based on his position and recency bias. His risk is really based on his market value.

    Bradford is probably the best pure thrower on the team. His risk is health, like Teddy, but his injury is much more recent and there seems to be a lot less information on the cause, and if he will get better. The knee injury seemed to come out of nowhere, and lasted most of the season. His risk seems really high to me based on his current and history of knee issues. Again a big risk for a team that has a Super Bowl ready roster.

    Cousins is a average to above average QB. He has a lot of yards, but also throws a lot. He has pretty good stats, but it is hard to say if he is worth the money or not. I think he could be successful here, but if we don’t win the Super Bowl next year, his price could set our team back in the future because of upcoming contracts.


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