How Many QBs Are Too Many?

The trade for Kelly Holcomb has left the Vikings again with four quarterback heading into the final cutdown Saturday. It also leaves them with an interesting dilemma -- keeping three or trying to keep all four by taking a calculated risk.

With the trade to acquire veteran quarterback Kelly Holcomb from the Eagles, the question becomes this: What will happen with the Vikings quarterback situation come Saturday?

Holcomb is expected to immediately step into the No. 2 quarterback position – the third player to take on that role in 12 months. While head coach Brad Childress says there will be a competition for that spot, indications are that the team expects Holcomb to assume that role. At the end of preseason last year, the Vikings signed Brooks Bollinger to be Brad Johnson's early-season backup if he was injured, replacing Mike McMahon. McMahon, who was familiar with the West Coast Offense that Brad Childress brought with him to the Vikings, was nothing short of dismal in the 2006 preseason and effectively forced the hand of the team. Bollinger was brought in and McMahon was history.

That may not be the case this time around. There is the belief that Tyler Thigpen would be an ideal candidate for the practice squad, but for that to happen he was would have to be released Saturday and re-signed to the practice squad. If another team with a quarterback opening – like the Falcons, the Vikings' primary competitor in getting Holcomb – thinks Thigpen could be a good "project" quarterback, he could be signed on as the No. 3 guy on the 53-man roster and deactivated each week. By exposing Thigpen to the waiver wire, the Vikings would be taking a calculated risk that he would clear and be re-signed. While it's likely he wouldn't be claimed, it might be a risk the Vikings aren't willing to take.

That was Holcomb's problem with the Eagles. After Jeff Garcia made it clear he was leaving via free agency, the Eagles signed Holcomb to compete with A.J. Feeley as the backup to Donovan McNabb. McNabb was coming off a serious injury and there were concerns that a veteran would be needed if he had a setback. Holcomb got immersed in the Eagles offense and the terminology, which is similar in most respects to the Vikings' play terminology. But when the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb in the second round of this April's draft, it shook up everything. McNabb didn't like it. As a "system" quarterback in college, it was clear Kolb wouldn't be playing as a rookie, but he was too valued to not be on the 53-man roster. That left one spot for Holcomb or Feeley.

Holcomb's arrival in Minnesota will mean one of two things – Bollinger will be among the final cuts and allowed to leave or Thigpen will be cut with the full intention of re-signing him to the practice squad. Holcomb's spot clearly is safe.

So what do the Vikings do? Release Bollinger or take a chance that Thigpen will clear waivers and the team will still have all four QBs under contract? The answer to that may well hinge on how one or both of the QBs on the bubble respond Thursday night against the Cowboys.

Viking Update Top Stories