It’s no secret the Minnesota Vikings have more problems than solutions at the quarterback position. Christian Ponder has shown some improvement through two plus seasons in the NFL, but there are still plenty of hurdles he must overcome and fans are beginning to question his future as the Vikings starting quarterback.
Other quarterbacks who have been drafted lately, like Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, have seen success early in their careers which has likely led to the harsh and possibly premature criticism of Ponder. Josh Freeman, another young and inconsistent quarterback, has recently voiced his displeasure with the new coaching regime in Tampa which has led many to speculate he has asked to be traded as soon as possible.
This Vikings are 0-2 with Ponder as their quarterback in 2013, and with the best running back in the game in his prime the time to win is now in Minnesota. The Vikings are just one piece away from being a perennial playoff contender, and the piece they are missing is a talented QB. Freeman has had his fair share of troubling times as well, but he provides more physical talents than Ponder even though he can struggle from the same absentmindedness as the current Vikings quarterback.
Freeman has had troubles turning the ball over as recently as last season, but in his second year in the league, in 2010, he showed the poise and talent to be an elite level quarterback with his 25 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 61 percent of his passes. Freeman has since regressed, but after hearing news of conflict between starting quarterback and head coach in Tampa over the offensive system it could simply be a change of scenery that is needed for Freeman.
Ponder is nearing his end in Minnesota already through just two games this season, and if Freeman is really demanding a trade behind closed doors the Vikings would be smart to put together a package, that possibly includes Ponder, and see if it is enough to bring in the strong armed quarterback.
With Freeman in Minnesota teams would have to respect the deep ball instead of packing seven or eight guys in the box to stop Adrian Peterson and the run game. Even if Freeman was to continue to throw interceptions throughout his career it is something the Vikings would likely also have to deal with if Ponder was still under center meaning Freeman would be an immediate upgrade.
The running game would clearly prosper from Freeman in a Vikings uniform, but so would the receiving corps that has numerous deep threats including newcomer Greg Jennings who has been carrying the pass game so far this year. Trades in-season are a very rare thing, especially when they deal with starting quarterbacks for two teams who were planning on contending for a playoff spot, but it is something the Vikings should be interested in because of the clear advantages.
While it is unlikely the Tampa Bay Buccaneers even deal Freeman during the season, this rumor of him wanting out is something the Vikings should follow up on as he would make them a better team immediately and possibly thrust them back into the playoff conversation.