Give it up, Minnesota Vikings. The Joe Webb experiment has failed.
He’s a wide receiver. He’s a quarterback. He’s a wide receiver. He’s a quarterback. He’s a wide receiver. It’s a merry-go-round of monotony and disappointment, and we want the ride to be over.
While the Vikings ponder their next move with Webb, it’s hard to understand why the obvious decision to sever ties with the athletic-yet-incapable quarterback hasn’t been made yet. Is GM Rick Spielman waiting for a trade partner to present themselves? Are they hoping that Webb will suddenly flip a switch in Year 4? Maybe the Vikings are thinking a switch back to wide receiver will do the trick?
Let’s delve deeper into each of those potential answers.
At this point, there’s no trade market for Webb. While he’s an intriguing read-option quarterback, the passing part of the position continues to elude him. That much was obvious when the Vikings thrust him into the starting lineup in the 2012 Wild Card Round against the Green Bay Packers after spending the entire season with a clipboard in his hands. It wasn’t completely his fault, but the Vikings’ failure to properly adjust their game plan to his strengths not only made him look bad, but it also gave other NFL teams no reason to think he’s worth trading for.
His face-plant against the Packers didn’t showcase his skills, but instead provided more support for the belief that Webb isn’t an NFL-caliber quarterback. What team would be willing to dish out a draft pick for him after that disaster?
So the Vikings could also be hoping that a light clicks on for Webb this season. To that, I say, “too late.”
Webb has had three seasons with the Vikings to work, learn and grow as an NFL quarterback. In that time, he has failed to prove that he’s up to the task – at least as a passer. If it hasn’t happened by the third year, it’s time to move on to the next young quarterback in line.
Over his three years in Minnesota, Webb has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 853 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions, culminating in a 66.6 passer rating. If the passer rating isn’t enough to convince you that it’s not working out, just watch his playoff performance against the Packers. Webb completed 36.7 percent of his throws for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception while taking three sacks. I admit that the Vikings appeared unprepared to roll with Webb, but he must be held accountable as well for his pitiful performance.
The whole “switch to wide receiver” thing isn’t even worth digging into. The Vikings tried a position switch for Webb already, and it wasn’t pretty. He doesn’t have the hands to play wide receiver in the NFL, so it would just be another way to waste his athleticism.
That brings me to my final point. Seeing as there’s no logical reason for holding on to Webb, the Vikings need to just part ways with the failed project. He obviously didn’t work out as a reliable No. 2 quarterback, and shouldn’t be a part of their plan moving forward. With Matt Cassel in place now, Webb is expendable.
And so the waiting game begins.