Let the word go forth, from this time and place, that the torch will not be passed at the quarterback position from now until the end of August.
In what was merely an agate-type reference in most news agencies Friday, the Vikings signed former Sacramento State University quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to a futures contract. Not exactly earth-shaking news, but, in terms of the 2012 Vikings and the numerous changes that are being anticipated by outsiders and insiders alike, it might have significance.
Considering that Christian Ponder and Joe Webb are going nowhere and Sage Rosenfels is the personal favorite of the new general manager – Rick Spielman has acquired Rosenfels three times in their respective professional careers – unless Bethel-Thompson does a professional face-plant over the next few months or one of the four gets unexpectedly injured, the Vikings may well be done making roster moves at quarterback (assuming they re-sign Rosenfels, a free agent) until the final cuts prior to the regular season.
Anyone who knows their Vikings history knows that, if you were making a checklist of positions that needed to be addressed in the offseason, one that always been at or near the top of that list was at quarterback.
Pop quiz, kids. When was the last time there weren't questions about the position?
The year was 2005. The Vikings had Daunte Culpepper coming off one of the greatest years of all time for an NFL quarterback. For those with shorter memories, allow a refresher course. Culpepper posted the greatest single season – no question, make book on it – in franchise history. Brett Favre and Fran Tarkenton be damned. The numbers speak louder than either of you can (and do). Pepp completed 379 of 548 passes for 4,717 yards with 39 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a passer rating of 110.9. And he was second on team in rushing with 406 rushing yards. And he led the Vikings to a victory the only time they played Green Bay in a postseason game. And he did it against Brett. And he did it at Lambeau.
Backing up Culpepper was former Vikings starter Brad Johnson, who had been traded to Washington, found his way to Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl ring. It was as good as times were at the Vikings QB position.
Then the Vikings called a controlled QB draw that worked to perfection. Culpepper wasn't touched for 25 yards. When he was, it was by a defensive back that had to hit him in the knees to prevent a touchdown and, as history showed us, Culpepper's career as a productive game-changer rolled off on a gurney in Charlotte. Since then, the Vikings have been reading Tarot cards to find answers at quarterback.
With all the questions the Vikings have about filling out a roster that will head to Mankato in late July, they may have completed their quarterback search on Jan. 13. That may be a record.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.
Vikings' quarterback position might be set
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