The Minnesota Vikings have signed former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel to compete for their starting quarterback position along with third year pro Christian Ponder. While it’s admirable that the Vikings are attempting to improve their roster on offense – which desperately needs to be done after the Percy Harvin trade – it is unfortunate that they chose to go this route.
The problem with this signing is exactly what the problem has been in Minnesota since Brett Favre left: Adrian Peterson does not have time for a quarterback to develop (Ponder), nor to play with a quarterback who simply cannot get the job done (Cassel). Peterson has been one of the greatest running backs the NFL has ever seen since entering the league. As he is in the second half of his career, it would be a shame if it ended without a Super Bowl ring.
Unfortunately for Vikings fans, that will probably end up being the case. With so many powerhouse teams going into the next year or two, the Vikings just will not be able to compete with them. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and maybe a couple more are teams would easily knock the Vikings to the turf if they happened to meet in the playoffs.
Now, if the Vikings had a quarterback that could command an offense and take pressure off their All-Pro running back, I might retract that previous statement. They have a few good pieces in place on defense with Pro Bowlers Jared Allen and Chad Greenway, who have proven their abilities to command the defense. But when it comes to their offense, they go as Peterson goes.
This is a disheartening situation to be in as a fan of pro football in general, because I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Peterson play. Some of the things I have witnessed him do on a football field haven’t been done by anybody since another freak athlete, Bo Jackson. I feel honored to be able to tell my kids, when they’re old enough to understand, that I got the privilege to watch one of the greatest running backs of all time play his entire career out. And so far, it has been an astounding career. Where the feeling of honor stops however, is when I will have to tell them that he never won on the biggest stage of all.