The Minnesota Vikings made excellent progress in 2012, going 10-6 and making the playoffs. They enter the offseason firmly committed to Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback for next season, but Joe Webb’s lackluster performance in their Wild Card round loss to the Green Bay Packers when Ponder was out has shone a spotlight on the need for a better backup signal caller.
While adding someone to compete with Ponder could be a good thing, the organization has remained steadfast in the idea that Ponder is in no danger of losing his starting job heading into next season. That may limit the number of free agent quarterbacks that will have any interest in coming to Minnesota, but it would not take much to be an upgrade over Webb in terms of ability as a traditional quarterback.
Could a former first-round pick with some starting experience be a fit?
Brady Quinn played in 10 games, starting eight, for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012, and threw for 1,141 yards with two touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those are clearly lackluster numbers, but it’s not like the Chiefs had a lot of great options in the passing game outside of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. But the Chiefs are also Quinn’s third NFL team since being a first-round pick (22nd overall) of the Cleveland Browns in 2007, and it’s possible he does not get another chance to even compete for a starting job.
The New York Jets have already been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Quinn, but it’s no guarantee he’d even make the team with the cluster of quarterbacks already in place. The Vikings can offer him a clear path to a roster spot, and he is in not in a position to be choosy if any team shows interest and offers a stable situation.
It’s an easy punch line to cite how the Vikings have a lot of players who played collegiately at Notre Dame, but Quinn did play with both center John Sullivan and tight end John Carlson in South Bend, which may make Minnesota an appealing destination for him.
With the Vikings looking for a quarterback that will be content to be a backup and Quinn likely looking to simply keep his career going, there is an obvious fit there. The Vikings are in a position of strength if they do choose to target Quinn when free agency gets going next week, and they can just move on to other options if a deal can’t be reached.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.