Though all indications are that the Vikings will pursue a veteran quarterback in free agency, head coach Leslie Frazier said Wednesday at the Vikings Children's Fund charity golf tournament that the team hasn't made a concrete decision to go that route.
"We have a list and we've identified the guys that we think fit what we're looking for if we choose to go that route," Frazier said. "We haven't made a decision that we're going to go with a veteran quarterback, but we have an idea based on a list we've put together, if we went that route, who we'd target."
Frazier has made no secret of his desire to eventually have one of his young quarterbacks candidates – first-round draft choice Christian Ponder or second-year player Joe Webb – become a long-term starting solution at the position. But the Vikings are also likely to look for an insurance policy if Ponder and Webb aren't deemed ready for the starting limelight when the regular season begins.
"You're always looking for a guy that's a proven guy who's had some experience and had some success, hopefully, in our league and you think is a good fit from a leadership standpoint and can really mentor young quarterbacks and help young quarterbacks develop if you choose to go that route," Frazier said.
There are likely to be plenty of options available in free agency – and plenty of competition for the top candidates – but the most likely ones are those with starting experience who wouldn't be a distraction if they didn't start and could be a mentor and one-year bridge to Ponder or Webb if necessary.
With the lockout still firmly in place, the Vikings aren't allowed to pursue any free agents or even have contact with their agents. That can make planning a bit more difficult, but the Vikings already have a list in place that is ready to be put into action when and if they decide to pursue a veteran quarterback, which still seems like the most likely option – and more probable with each passing day coaches can't work with their young quarterbacks.
"We have an idea, just sitting down with [personnel department executives] Rick Spielman and George Paton, we've looked at available free-agent quarterbacks that should be free agents whether or not it's a six-year plan or five-year plan, and even guys that are at the end of four," Frazier said, alluding to the uncertain terms of free agency that won't be decided until the lockout ends.
And when it ends could be the most important factor.
Said Frazier: "When that time is will determine if we're going to go with a vet or whether or not we're going to go with the young guys."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Frazier: No decision on veteran QB yet
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