If The Fans Had Their Pick, Who Would Guide the 2009 Minnesota Vikings?

Michael TreeceCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

Written by me earlier at Viking Vigil.

Heading into the 2009 season, it is anyone’s guess who will be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. With a plethora of rumors and possibilities, it is almost impossible to correctly guess who the starter will be when the regular season rolls around. Tarvaris Jackson may seem like the safe pick to some, while others could argue he just would not be the answer, here are a look at some of the options:

1) Tarvaris Jackson

Tarvaris Jackson could make the case that he is fully ready to guide the Vikings deep into the playoffs. Jackson has improved his quarterback rating every season since he came into the NFL. Last year, his rating was 95.4, which is solid for any quarterback, but he started only five games. Jackson was drafted to be the future of the franchise, but his inability to win in big games, throw the deep pass, and avoid a blitz is really starting to show. Jackson would probably be able to get the Vikings to the playoffs, but after that, it is a risk for the Vikings to lay their faith in him.

2) Gus Frerotte

Gus Frerotte has made it clear that he is not happy with the way the end of the season turned out. He does have a point though. Jackson started off the season going 0-2, then Frerotte took the team to a 7-3 record. Frerotte openly criticized the decision to go with Jackson in the playoffs, by saying that he would have given the Vikings a better chance to win. Frerotte did play decently in 2008, his biggest knock would be he threw a LOT of interceptions. Frerotte ended the year by saying he would not return unless he was the unquestioned starter in 2009. While Frerotte is likely not the worst pick on this list, odds are, Frerotte has thrown his final pass in Minnesota.

3) Brett Favre (via Free Agency)

Don’t expect the Jets to trade Favre, they would have to cut Favre for him to have any chance at joining the Vikings in 2009. Favre is a long shot at being a Viking in '09, and it is likely Favre will never be a Viking at all. However, if the Jets do cut Favre, I expect the Vikings will make a serious attempt to get him. Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of this era, but he is undoubtedly declining in talent. Favre had a slightly less productive year in 2008, but he also looked like he was done for in 2006 as he was coming off back to back seasons with less than a 75 quarterback rating. I think Favre could flourish in Minnesota with running back Adrian Peterson, and receiver Bernard Berrian, but he could just as easily be a washed-up anchor for the Vikings. Favre is a pretty long shot at starting for the Vikings in 2009, but then again, so was Jared Allen last year, early in the offseason.

4) Jeff Garcia (via free agency)

While it may not seem that way, Garcia probably has a very solid chance at taking over the wheel for the Vikings next season. Garcia is an unrestricted free agent this season, and with a new coach in Tampa Bay, it is likely that he will be looking for a new team. Brad Childress also said that he was not set on the Vikings quarterbacks heading into next season, so one would expect him to either draft a quarterback, or try to pick one up in free agency. The Vikings need to win now, before Pat Williams and many other guys, are no longer on this team, and Garcia looks to be a very low risk. Garcia has posted at least a 90 quarterback rating in his last three seasons and threw twice as many touchdowns as interceptions in 2008. With the help Peterson brings and a skilled receiver Bernard Berrian, Garcia could possibly guide the Vikings to the Super Bowl. The odds Garcia becomes the next Vikings quarterback are probably around 50 percent, but the Vikings could just as easily decide to try the draft route.

5) Mark Sanchez (via the draft)

If Mark Sanchez is still on the board at pick No. 22, Viking nation could burn the Metredome to the ground if the Vikings do not take him. I realize that plenty of players will slide up and down the draft board before April, but Sanchez will likely garner a lot of attention straight into the draft. The Vikings should beware of Sanchez’s one year wonder and the fact that recent USC quarterbacks besides Carson Palmer have proven to be a little less than advertised. Sanchez however is likely to be picked in the top 10, and even if he is not picked then, should not slide past 20, but only a few years ago Aaron Rodgers slid all the way from a possible second pick, to pick No. 24. If Sanchez does slide, I’m not sure the Vikings could hesitate taking him. The odds Sanchez will start for the purple in 2009 are slim to none, probably less than Frerotte, especially since the success of Flacco and Ryan in 2008, will cause teams to think twice before passing on a talented rookie.

6) Josh Freeman (via the draft)

I had the pleasure of watching Josh Freeman in person this past year, and let me tell you, he has talent. Freeman may not be the most popular name on the board, but he likely turned Jordy Nelson into a second round pick last season and could go in the same round or even higher this season. Freeman has something the Vikings need, and that is an arm. I know they have Jackson, but he is not accurate on the deep pass. Freeman could turn out to be like Jackson, or he could turn out to be a consistent version of Daunte Cullpepper. Freeman is likely the riskiest chance the Vikings would take in 2009, but he will probably be draftable if the Vikings choose to take a quarterback in the first or second round.

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