Even as the Vikings were introducing Sage Rosenfels as their newest quarterback on Friday afternoon, they weren't dismissing the possibilities of adding another quarterback.
In fact, the Vikings routinely go to training camp with four quarterbacks, but in this case head coach Brad Childress wasn't ruling out the possibility that another player could be brought in that would take over the starting spot. After Kerry Collins re-signed with the Tennessee Titans and Kurt Warner appears to be ever-so-slowly moving toward a deal with either Arizona Cardinals or San Francisco 49ers, it would seem the only chance for a player to usurp the starting role from Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson would have to come via the trade route.
The Patriots will likely look to trade Matt Cassel, who received the franchise tag for $14.651 million, if they are convinced Tom Brady will be fully healthy for minicamps. The Browns might still look to move Derek Anderson if the new coaching regime is comfortable enough with Brady Quinn as its starter. And the Eagles might still consider a trade of Donovan McNabb if they are willing to put their trust in Kevin Kolb or some unknown option.
All of those possibilities seem unlikely for the Vikings, but Childress declined the opportunity to shut down that talk.
At Rosenfels' press conference, Childress was asked if he could rule out going after a "top-tier" quarterback in free agency. Childress responded by simply asking, "Top-tier in your mind?"
When the question was rephrased and asked if he expected the quarterback competition to be between only Rosenfels and Jackson, Childress said, "Don't know. I'm not clairvoyant."
A league source with knowledge of the Vikings' quarterback plans told Viking Update at the Senior Bowl that he expected the team to sign two quarterbacks this offseason.
Eight days ago at the NFL Scouting Combine, Childress said he expected Jackson and Frerotte to compete for the starting quarterback job. Then things heated up with the Rosenfels trade talks.
"I always tell you guys, this is a fluid situation. Things are always changing," Childress said Friday at Rosenfels' introduction. "That's why it's hard for me to answer questions about the future. I mean, who knows what's happened when I go back upstairs.
"It's never ending and you're always trying to get yourself better. So I felt this would make us a little bit better, in terms of competition."
Childress said he has talked with Jackson about the situation, and he expected to meet with him in person yesterday.
"He's going to be in to see me later today. He's in town. I spoke to him a couple times in the last week," he said.
Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman indicated that part of the issue is that the Vikings haven't been able to acquire a franchise quarterback in the last three years. Since they let Daunte Culpepper go at the beginning of the Childress era, Brad Johnson, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb, Gus Frerotte and Jackson have all had an opportunity to claim the job. Jackson has been the only quarterback constant on the roster since 2006.
"The quarterback is such a unique position and that position is hard, unless you're going to be picking in the top 10 every year where you have an opportunity to go get maybe a potential future starter for you. And there's been some success stories with guys in the later rounds," Spielman said. "We feel we got a good young quarterback in John David (Booty) last year in the fifth round, but anytime you can stockpile that position and add to that depth and create competition I think just makes you that much better."
The only chance the Vikings had to be in the top 10 and draft a "franchise quarterback" was in 2007, and their investment in running back Adrian Peterson can hardly be questioned with the seventh pick in that draft.
At some point, the Vikings might have to do something dramatic – trade up in the first round of the draft or make a big trade for a quarterback.
"When there's a specific player that you feel that strong about, regardless of if it's in free agency or it's through a trade or in the draft, then you go ahead and try to make everything work to get that player here," Spielman said.
"An example last year was we thought it was a unique opportunity to get a Jared Allen. We gave up a first and our two thirds to go get him. But how many times do you have an opportunity to get a 25-year-old pass rusher in the prime of his career? So those opportunities don't come every year and like I said, if there is, whatever position comes out there that something comes available that fits what we do, that fits the type of players that we try to bring in here and is a unique player, where it's hard to get a player like that at a specific skill, then you've got to go out and do what you have to do."
Another QB on the horizon?
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