Vikings' quarterback options shrinking?

The Vikings haven't fully committed to Tarvaris Jackson as their starting quarterback in 2009, but two of the more attractive possibilities from around the league likely will be staying put.

When training camp opened last July, all the chatter surrounded who the Vikings' starting quarterback would be. Six months later, the question remains the same.

Unfortunately for Vikings fans, two of the hottest prospects for potential short-term franchise quarterbacks are off the market. It is hard to imagine that – win or lose – the Cardinals will part ways with Kurt Warner after leading them to a franchise-first Super Bowl.

The Eagles made the point much simpler. In an attempt to end speculation about the future of head coach Andy Reid and QB Donovan McNabb, team president Joe Banner said both Reid and McNabb will be back in 2009.

Following his benching in November, there was wide speculation that McNabb was done in Philadelphia. However, replacement QB Kevin Kolb was so brutal that McNabb kept his starting job. Getting the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game likely saved his job – whether he signs a restructured deal or not. Prior to Monday, most people in Minnesota didn't know who Banner was – much less that he wielded power enough to say McNabb was off the market.

Whether the Vikings are willing to start the 2009 season with Tarvaris Jackson as their starting QB is still very much up in the air. But. The two top candidates to be his replacement would appear to be off the board.

If nothing else, Plan B would seem to be in place. Why? Plan A is off the table.


  • There is word out of St. Louis that owner Chip Rosenbloom preferred Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier over Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, but he was overruled by general manager Billy Devaney. Whether the right decision was made or not, if Spagnuolo goes at some point, so does Devaney.

  • In an interesting turn of events, the Green Bay Packers have announced that, thanks to the hiring of Dom Capers as the team's new defensive coordinator, the team will change to a 3-4 defense in 2009. Green Bay has been known for its 4-3 defense since the days of Lombardi, so the switch will be something to follow during free agency – there is no way such a move can be made simply through the draft.

  • Scott Linehan, the former head coach of the Rams and offensive coordinator of the Vikings, turned down an offensive coordinator job with the 49ers, apparently in hopes of getting a similar gig with Tampa Bay. While he remains the frontrunner for the job, the Bucs are said to be talking to be talking with former Cowboys head coach and Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

  • Depending on how the Jim Caldwell era of the Colts emerges, there could be a big change coming in Indianapolis, where Frazier cut his teeth before coming to the Vikings. The word at the Senior Bowl is that Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks is about to be fired. He is in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, but rumor has it that he is not there representing the Colts.

  • Good news came out of Pittsburgh Monday when it was announced that Willis McGahee, who sustained a critically bad injury in Sunday's loss to the Steelers, will make a full recovery. That being said, don't expect to see McGahee playing for the Ravens next year. His tumultuous relationship with the team may have been punctuated by his "near-miss" to disability. Once given a clean bill of health, expect to see him sent packing.

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