Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight: Five Teams That Need an Upgrade at QB

Ryan CardarellaCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2009

Several solid NFL teams keep bringing a knife to a proverbial gunfight, handicapping themselves with quarterbacks that will eventually break their fans hearts. Here are five such clubs that would be deadly with an upgrade at the game’s most crucial position.


Minnesota Vikings

There is so much to like about this team. They have the most dynamic and dominant offensive force in football today with Adrian Peterson, and the best rushing defense in the league.

Unfortunately, they also have Gus Frerotte and Tarvaris Jackson trying to win games behind center.

Quarterback has been their Achilles' heel since Daunte Culpepper’s knee exploded in Carolina, and they can’t be considered a true contender until they find a franchise guy. Enter Matt Cassel.

He was brilliant at times for New England this season, but has no future there with the dreamiest signal-caller in the league slated to come back next year. Cassel won’t put up the same numbers without Randy Moss and Wes Welker in Minnesota, but he proved he is a solid young quarterback who would be capable of taking some pressure off of the Vikings run game.


Cleveland Browns

The Browns may have the most dysfunctional quarterbacking situation in the league. They have a guy they just paid big money that can’t play (Derek Anderson) and another guy they are paying big money that just got punched out by one of his own teammates (Brady Quinn).

Meaning, they still don’t have a quarterback they can truly move forward with.

My solution? Wait for it...Michael Vick!

Just imagine the irony of Michael Vick returning to lead the Dogg Pound. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s head would literally explode. And let’s not forget what he brings to the table as a franchise quarterback as well, assuming he has stayed in shape in the joint.

Adding the most mobile quarterback in NFL history to elude the savage defenses in the AFC North could bring this team back to respectability. Remember, they went 10-6 just a year ago and are teeming with offensive firepower. And who knows, maybe reinvigorating the Cleveland franchise could repair Vick’s image and help him salvage his career.

That, or pairing him with the combustible personalities of Kellen “Soulja Boy” Winslow and Braylon Edwards could be a colossal disaster. Sounds like fun though, doesn’t it?


Chicago Bears

Somebody please give Brian Urlacher a hug. Having to watch the likes of Rex Grossman, Jim Miller, Kyle Orton, and Chad Hutchinson attempt to quarterback an otherwise solid team has to be disheartening for the all-pro linebacker, as the Bears have been hellbent on ignoring the position for years.

Give that defense a playmaker to put some points on the board and the Bears could return to the Super Bowl. Hometown boy Donovan McNabb would look mighty fine in blue and orange, and he could be available depending on how the playoffs shake out.

McNabb has been on a roller-coaster ride in Philly of late, even getting benched earlier this season so in favor of the hapless Kevin Kolb. Let the fickle Eagles fans chase McNabb off and snag Mr. Chunky Soup from the Eagles. And put “Neckbeard” Kyle Orton on the bench where he belongs.


Carolina Panthers

Jake Delhomme is coming off of one of the worst, team-killing playoff performances in NFL history, as he tossed five picks and lost a fumble last night against the opportunistic Arizona Cardinals. So why am I going to argue that they should replace him with a guy who once threw six picks in a playoff game?

I still believe Brett Favre has one more bullet in his chamber once he gets his bicep fixed up, and pairing him with a receiver like Steve Smith and that bruising running game makes for one explosive offense.

Yes, Favre is even more turnover-prone than Delhomme, but people forget how efficient he can be with a great running game.

And make no mistake, a healthy Favre is still an upgrade over Delhomme. Plus, Carolina loves their Cajun quarterbacks. Let Favre gun for one more shot at the Super Bowl in Charlotte.


Tennessee Titans

I understand they just captured the No. 1 seed in the AFC and that there are no imminent plans to get rid of Kerry Collins, who was a steady hand for them this season.

But I just don’t see them lifting the Lombardi trophy with Collins or supposed franchise guy and reputed crybaby Vince Young running the show. Tennessee is a weapon short on offense, and an upgrade behind center would put them over the top.

The Titans have few other weaknesses, with one of the strongest running games in the league paired with a playmaking defense. This positions them well to trade some draft picks and gamble the future for a shot at the title in the present.

Give Cincinnati or St. Louis a call and check in on Carson Palmer and Marc Bulger. Especially Palmer. The Bengals have holes to fill all over the field and are in the midst of another rebuilding phase.

Dangle a few high draft picks and gamble on Palmer returning to his position’s elite once he escapes from one of the most unstable franchises in the league.