A team’s bye week usually gives players some time to relax and get away from the game, but this convention was shelved with the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterbacks this past week.
The first domino to fall in this crazy bye week was the acquisition of quarterback Josh Freeman in free agency. It’s clear that the Vikings didn’t sign Freeman to hold a clipboard, and this move has a direct impact on the other three quarterbacks on the roster: Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder and McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
Bethel-Thompson saw his roster spot taken by Freeman and was released by the Vikings on Tuesday afternoon. MBT, as Vikings fans like to call him, was never expected to be the team’s franchise quarterback, but had shown some flashes in preseason action.
Ponder’s tenure as the quarterback of the future has been a controversial and after signing Freeman, will be coming to an end. Vikings fans have been very critical of Ponder’s play, and for good reason: he was inconsistent and hasn’t shown any progress over the last couple seasons.
Although Cassel’s career wasn’t impacted as negatively as the two aforementioned quarterbacks, he has to feel disappointed as well. Cassel had shown the ability, albeit in a very small sample size, to run the offense. Despite a nice first start, Cassel probably won’t get a chance to be the team’s full-time starter.
I thought the Vikings’ decision to sign Freeman was questionable at first, but it makes sense for two reasons: he gives the team the opportunity to sign a potential franchise quarterback without giving up any draft picks, and It’s clear that Ponder’s tenure as the team’s quarterback had run its course.
Although Freeman’s signing may have impacted the Vikings’ other quarterbacks negatively, the move could be a very positive one for the rest of the franchise.