The Minnesota Vikings approach free agency with a resounding theme—Christian Ponder will be the starting quarterback in 2013. However, the No. 2 spot appears to be up for grabs, with Joe Webb opening the door following his performance against the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round of the 2012 playoffs.
Webb completed 11-of-30 passes for 180 yards, including a touchdown and an interception in relief of Ponder. The player fans had been crying for all year managed a paltry 54.9 passer rating in the biggest game of his career.
Coach Leslie Frazier recently spoke to reporters and addressed the backup quarterback situation. According to Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Frazier stressed the importance of solidifying the backup role:
I still have confidence in Joe. I just feel like he had a tough situation to go into (when he started the Vikings' wild-card playoff loss with Ponder hurt). I'd like to see him compete with whatever we end up doing, whether it be a veteran guy or we draft a guy. But we definitely need to solidify that backup position so we all go into the season feeling pretty good about whoever has to step in, if something were to happen to Christian, could do a good job for us.
With free agency starting on March 12, 2013, the Vikings have several options to consider at backup quarterback. While McLeod Bethel-Thompson remains on the roster, it is unlikely he will supplant Webb in backup duties.
Former Viking Tarvaris Jackson recently signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills worth up to $4.5 million, ending any chance of the contentious quarterback rejoining the team he last played for in 2010.
The following five free-agent quarterbacks are the players Rick Spielman and the front office should pursue to back up Ponder.