Let the speculation begin.
As Saturday's NFL deadline approaches for rosters to be trimmed to 53 players, Tarvaris Jackson's future with the team is in doubt. Since the signing of Brett Favre on Aug. 18, Jackson's name has surfaced numerous times as the quarterback mostly likely to be traded from the Vikings.
Jackson could be appealing to other teams for several reasons. He is young and has starting experience and he carries a relatively low price tag for the final year of his contract. Despite carrying a $740,000 cap number for the Vikings, his base salary for 2009 is only $535,000 and that's all any new team of his would be required to pay him this year. If an extension to the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached before the start of free agency in 2010, Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. If no extension to the CBA is reached, he will be a restricted free agent, meaning his team would have the right to match any offers he might receive from other NFL clubs.
But if Jackson doesn't remain a Viking, what might his next team be?
The options are many. Pro Football Talk has mentioned Pittsburgh as a potential landing spot (although it wasn't mentioned, the Brad Childress-Mike Tomlin connection could come into play). "Charlie Batch occupies the spot on the depth chart behind Ben Roethlisberger, and Dennis Dixon might not be ready to take over the No. 2 position," the web site proclaimed. "Also, Jackson's play is somewhat similar to Roethlisberger's, in that Jackson is adept at getting out of the pocket and making throws while running laterally."
JagNation.com says Jacksonville is in the market to upgrade its backups and look for a potential challenger to David Garrad's job. "Jacksonville is looking to bolster their quarterback position as a whole. Not only are the Jaguars looking to upgrade the backup position, but they are also looking for someone who can threaten David Garrard's hold, if you want to call it that, on the starting position, and someone who could possibly develop into a future starting quarterback."
Denver has all kinds of quarterback issues since trading away Jay Cutler and being unable to have Kyle Orton play consistently in the preseason.
Green Bay, while a highly unlikely trading partner (see: Brett Favre tampering charges), could use a solid backup to Aaron Rodgers. However, even if the Vikings aren't able to garner anything in trade for Jackson and decide to release him, he would have to go through waivers. He likely wouldn't make it to Green Bay's claiming spot on the waiver wire, putting eight other teams in front of Green Bay. Despite the Packers and Vikings running very similar offenses, Jackson most likely won't make to Green Bay.
Teams like Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas City Chiefs would have first crack at him on waivers.
Scout.com's Adam Caplan believes St. Louis would be a good fit. "As for as (Jackson) to (Jacksonville), they do need a developmental QB, but (St. Louis) makes more sense because of (the Rams' West Coast offense)," Caplan wrote in a chat on VikingUpdate.com Wednesday night.
St. Louis and Green Bay are the only the teams that have been speculated that run an offense similar to the Vikings' scheme, but Caplan indicated the Jaguars' offense isn't too complicated.
As for the Vikings' other quarterbacks, there haven't been any indications that the Vikings are trying to trade Rosenfels, and he might not be as attractive to other teams because of the contract extension he signed with the Vikings. He would cost teams an average of about $2.5 million per season if he were to be traded and the Vikings would have his $1.4 million signing bonus accelerated on their salary cap this year.
If the Vikings can't trade Jackson, they could elect to keep their top three quarterbacks and place John David Booty on waivers. That move would likely result in Booty being claimed by another team and therefore not available for the Vikings' practice squad, and it wouldn't leave Jackson happy either. Last week, Jackson told Viking Update that he didn't even want to think about being the No. 3 quarterback on the team, but he also repeated his love for his current teammates.
Any way it goes down, Jackson likely won't find himself as a full-time starter in the league this year, something he believed he could attain with the Vikings before Brett Favre officially came out of retirement.
NOT HIGH ON FAVRE
Speaking of Favre (again), another former NFL played weighed in with his opinion.
"I don't think personally that Brett Favre is the answer. I think that move really came in and kind of sabotaged that locker room," former Chargers and Patriot safety Rodney Harrison told Sirius NFL Radio. "I mean, you've got two guys, young quarterbacks who were looking forward to competing for a starting job and all of a sudden you get a guy and you pay him $12 million and you anoint him. He doesn't even come in and earn the position. He just comes in and he takes over.
"So I think he needs to come in, he needs to win the respect of that locker room and the only way you go out there and do that is you go out there and make plays and you handle your business accordingly. But I don't think he's truly the answer. I don't think even with this move that Minnesota will get to the NFC Championship, let alone the Super Bowl. We'll see what happens, though."
Harrison's comments come a week after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that there was a "schism" in the Vikings' locker room, a notion that was laughable to many inside the locker room. In fact, a few players have indicated that this is the best locker room they've been around.
Buzz is all about the quarterbacks
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