A. Get the maximum amount of production out of the offense.
Being completely honest even the most staunch Tarvaris Jackson supports cannot argue that under his direction the Minnesota Viking passing offense has not fulfilled it potential.
I stand fully aware that several people will blame Sidney Rice's injury, Doug Bevell's play calling, or Brad Childress's quick hook for halting Jackson's progression, and all of those arguments have at least some merit. However, a closer examination of the Jackson's late season surge shows that his progression did not continue as planned.
Notice during the New York Giant and Philadelphia Eagle games Jackson started furiously, driving the team up and down the field at seemingly his will. However, as the pressure of the games mounted Jackson's production fell. (Remember it took a last second field goal for the Vikings to beat the Giants, and that was after Bernard Berrian scored a 54-yard touchdown on a play where the cornerback literally fell over his own feet while back peddling). In the playoff game against the Eagles Jackson was horrible against the blitz again, and especially in the second half.
The Vikings were unable to win a game after a valiant defensive effort, and a productive ground game by Adrian Peterson.
If Brett Favre faced a back up defense, he would easily pick them apart, against the blitz he is able to quickly identify hot reads and get the ball out of his hands quickly. Yes, Favre does throw his fair share of interceptions.
However, unlike his last two performances (in Green Bay and New York) in Minnesota Favre will not be the #1 option that responsibility falls on the broad shoulders of Adrian Peterson. The additions of Percy Harvin and Phil Loadholt should provide more explosiveness in the passing game, as well as better drive blocking in the run game ultimately making Peterson even more dangerous.
If the Vikings are to reach their potential this season, it will be Brett Favre not Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback.
B. Provide aging veterans like Winfield and Pat Williams and legitimate shot at the Superbowl.
Pat Williams is 37 years old; Antoine Winfield just recently turned 32. It is atypical for players of their respective ages to still be counted on as key cogs for their team's defensive strategies. However, Williams and Winfield remain valued assets to the Minnesota Viking defense, a defense that rated sixth overall and first against the run. These performances continue to be wasted without productive quarterback play and at this point Tarvaris Jackson has yet to prove he can provide that.
The Vikings have yet to address follow up plans for Winfield or Williams and are hedging their money on a title run now. The addition of Favre, the trade for Jared Allen and the investments at Wide Receiver (Harvin and Berrian) were not done in efforts to rebuild the roster, but were instead done to fuel a deep playoff run. At this point, Tarvaris Jackson does not give Williams and Winfield a shot at winning a championship this year.
C. Restore the fan base's belief in Childress coaching abilities.
Brad Childress is not stupid (regardless of the plays he chooses to call on third down and long which usually end up being three-yard dump passes to Chester Taylor or running back draws). He knows that Ziggy Wilf invested a significant amount of money into building a championship caliber roster and he has it now.
Childress must now prove that he can coach that talent to an NFL championship. He was forced to put his future in the hands of Gus Frerrote and Jackson last year but does not seem as willing to gamble with essential the same players this year (seriously look at Frerrote's and Rosenfels stats… they are shockingly similar).
Childress knew if he was going to have a CHANCE at getting resigned he had to bring in a quarterback who could win. Although the media tends to believe that Childress believed that player would be Rosenfels I get a different vibe about what Childress was thinking. If all goes to plan Minnesota fans should have renewed faith in him. Childress has provided Minnesota with a legitimate Superbowl caliber quarterback without giving away a single future draft pick.
If the Vikings win a playoff game that shrewd move will not be forgotten. Keeping all of this in mind the writing is on the wall that Tarvaris Jackson is no longer in the Vikings plans.
Tarvaris Jackson's Thinking Regarding His alleged Trade Demand Conditioned On the Brett Favre Signing
As a first year law student I have learned one invaluable trait. The ability to put myself in another person's shoes and progress through their line of thinking (obviously opposing counsel needs to know how to do this in order to provide a proper offense of defense).
When reports of Jackson's trade demand came out I kept thinking... WHY? Why would Tarvaris Jackson demand a trade? Doesn't he realize that to NFL teams it will make it appear as if he would rather quit than battle for a reserve role with the team? After progressing through his though process however I find that Jackson might be making the best move for HIS career if he does indeed make trade demands once the Favre signing is made official.
Tarvaris Jackson is in the last year of his deal. Considering this economy most people would not be too considered if their contract wasn't yet extended. Especially, when you're coming off a season in which you were benched, re-ordained starter, and seemingly benched again.
However, the circumstances have now changed. Tarvaris Jackson IS NOT a quitter. When the Vikings brought in Sage Rosenfels he kept his mouth shut, cranked up his workout schedule, and was determined to earn the starting job. He was not angry the Vikings brought in Rosenfels. He understood that the NFL is a business and the Vikings were making an investment to insure that someone (other than John David Booty) had a contract to play quarterback for the Vikings after this season.
However, being in the last year of his contract he realizes that if Favre is signed he won't be competing for any playing time. He'll spend the whole year holding a clipboard without a chance to show other teams what he has.
By that time he'll have to compete for any available jobs (and I'm not talking about starting jobs) with a new list of Free Agent Qbs. Teams needing quarterbacks will assuredly be slow to sign anyone before the NFL draft. Especially with Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow , and Sam Bradford available.
Jackson likely thinks (and rightfully so) that his best chance of having a future in the NFL is to get into a training camp this year, make some ground, and improve his possibilities for 2010. Interestingly enough, the Vikings are one of those teams that could take a quarterback early in the 2010 draft.
Rosenfels would provide a great bridge at little cost while the young quarterback learns the ropes. Jackson's thinking is that if he is not in the Vikings long-term plans (which he probably is not), he may as well leave now and give himself a shot at having a future in the league. I think the Vikings should give him the chance.