Thursday, March 6, 2014
Vikings: On AP, Vick and time running out
By Ben Goessling
MINNEAPOLIS -- Admit it: You scoffed at Adrian Peterson's Twitter lobbying Wednesday night for the Vikings to sign Michael Vick, didn't you?
Vick hasn't played more than 13 games in a season since he was reinstated following his prison sentence in 2009 and has completed more than 60 percent of his passes once (during his Pro Bowl season of 2010). He is not the most natural fit for Norv Turner's offense and is not a long-term solution for the Vikings at quarterback (if he can even be counted on to stay healthy enough to be a short-term one).
But before you dismiss the idea completely, ask yourself two questions: Are the Vikings in a position to rule it out? And is Peterson in a position to sit back and wait for the Vikings to develop a young quarterback without at least offering his input on a more proven option?
Peterson, as we've discussed many times, turns 29 this month. He is coming off his third surgery in as many seasons and will spend the next two seasons playing outdoors. The Vikings have only Christian Ponder under contract and are not guaranteed to get a top quarterback prospect with the No. 8 pick in the draft. There is a real possibility Matt Cassel could head elsewhere, rather than returning to the Vikings, after opting out of his 2014 contract; Cassel could reunite with Bill O'Brien, who was an assistant coach during Cassel's Patriots days, in Houston. There is nothing in place to give Peterson a sense that the Vikings have the quarterback position figured out, and that could still be the case as they head into the draft this May, possibly hoping one of the quarterback-needy teams picking in front of them decides to pass on Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel.
The possibility exists, as Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune pointed out this morning, of re-signing Josh Freeman and seeing if Turner can coax a solid season out of him. I think the Vikings and Freeman probably saw enough of each other's warts last season to prevent a reunion from happening, but the allure of Freeman -- his big arm -- remains the same and might fit in better in Turner's offense.
Then again, if those are the options the Vikings are considering, how is Vick worth dismissing?
A Peterson-Vick partnership in Minnesota could still be a remote possibility, and there are many examples of players not being the best judge of talent. But Peterson's tweet is probably more instructive as a window into how the 2012 league MVP is feeling. He is getting antsy to win. He sees potential in the possibility of putting Vick -- at age 34 no longer the whirling dervish he used to be -- in an offense with Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson. And he is looking too hard for quick-strike opportunities not to open his mouth when he feels he sees one.