Vikings should focus in on Derek Anderson

First of all, let me say if Brett Favre winds up signing with the Vikings this year it will be a bad idea. I don’t think the guy can play anymore, quite frankly. He had a shoulder/arm injury last year, but who’s to say his arm will ever again be up to par? It certainly wasn’t last year. Favre looked old in 2008, and severely limited. The Jet offense was grounded, and pretty bad with Favre under center.

I had an argument on the radio last summer with a host about Favre, the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers. The host’s contention was that the Packers were crazy to walk away from Favre, whereas I said it was a good idea. Sure, the Packers didn’t make the playoffs, but I didn’t have the luxury of having that information at hand then. My main point was that, if the Packers kept Favre one more year they were banking more so on 2008, whereas if they committed to Rodgers in 2008 they were banking on the next 3-5 years at least. I’d rather have 3-5 cracks at a title than just one more. Besides, Rodgers was and is better than Favre, anyway. And Green Bay rid themselves of someone who has quickly become one of the more annoying and distracting athletes we’ve seen in quite some time.

I think the same thing applies to the Vikings this year. We know Favre wanted to go there last year, and now it appears as if a move to Minnesota is very doable – as long as both parties want it. That was hardly the case last spring and summer. But while Favre would give the Vikings a better chance to win and go deep into the playoffs than they have now, Minnesota is much better off with a younger player they can build their offense around along with their franchise back.

They supposedly have interest in Patriot Matt Cassel, which makes sense. He’s young, and he showed some game and potential last year. But I’m still not sold on Cassel as a legit quality starter in this league just yet. He threw out of the shotgun a lot last year, so some of his success as a passer can be misleading. Cassel played very well, but he’s not a great thrower. He’s not a player who should definitely be viewed as a team’s “guy” for the future.

And given his high profile situation last year, he’s also going to cost a lot, which is probably the biggest concern of all. I think a much more affordable alternative would be Derek Anderson, who I believe the Vikes should be able to pry from the Browns at a reasonable cost.

Derek Anderson could be the answer to the Vikings QB woes.

Derek Anderson could be the answer to the Vikings' QB woes.

I know Anderson was poor last year, but everything around him crumbled, so it wasn’t all his fault. You don’t account for 32 TDs in a single season with 29 passing, as Anderson did in 2007, if you don’t have some serious skills. I can think of only one QB the last 20 years who put up that kind of numbers and turned out to be a bum, and that’s Scott Mitchell. Anderson’s far from perfect, but his fit in Minnesota could be great. For one, he absolutely has to be in an offense in which the running game is the foundation, and that’s certainly the case in Minnesota with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. They won’t have to ask Anderson to do too much, which is a key because if he has to his erratic issues come to the surface. On the other hand, if the running game behind him is rolling, as it was in 2007 with a lesser player in Jamal Lewis, he can be a very effective passer. This is also a deep passing game in Minnesota, and Anderson has a gun. He may not have much touch on his passes, but he has a great deep arm, and the Vikes have a very good deep threat in Bernard Berrian. Finally, I like Anderson on a team with a good defense. With a good defense, the Vikes are rarely playing from way behind, so they can manage a QB like Anderson much easier. Anderson stands tall in the pocket and is not afraid to stare down the gun barrell, and I dig that about him.

I’m not going to blame the Vikes if they make a hard run at Cassel, but I think Anderson would be a better fit based on his skills and also his price tag. The Vikings absolutely have to get a new QB in 2009, so it had better be one of these two. If it’s Sage Rosenfels or Jeff Garcia, they’re not going to be good enough to get to the next level, and it will be yet another season of frustration for the Vikes.

Category: Fantasy Football

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14 Responses

  1. JBeau says:

    Totally agree with ya here John. They need a downfield passer and Favre isn’t the answer. He already filed his papers and would probably need surgery to correct some things and I don’t think he will do that. Vikes are a QB away from the SuperBowl in my opinion. I threw out the idea of Warner (because he loves the Dome , Boldin may leave, and the fact that the Vikes are so close to making a serious run) but it appears he is thinking Cards or retire…plus he has thrived where a team is heavy into passing and has great WRs. Maybe thats why he was a bust in NY. DA makes sense, and there is no reason to keep him around in Cleveland with Quinn taking the reigns. Regardless who they get, that person just has to manage games like you said…just like Trent did with the Ravens, and they should be strong SB contenders.

    Real quick, DA also makes sense in NY, where they need a strong armed guy to through in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands.

  2. Tom says:

    Agree on Favre. I think he should stay retired. The players in NYJ didn’t particularly like him from what I’ve read.

    Cassel came on last year. I would be hestitant to give him a big contract. The Cowboys aren’t happy giving Tony Romo $65 millions after a short time as their QB. Cassel benefits from having some great offensive players around him in NE. Would he do the same elsewhere? I’m not sure.

    As far as Anderson, he killed my WR Braylon Edwards. I thought Anderson would do well with Braylon, Winslow and Lewis. He didn’t come close.

    His 29 TD’s in 2007 were impressive. 13 of the TDs came against CIN, STL and MIA. He also threw 2 TD’s against HOU, NYJ and ARI. A lot of people accused him of strongly benefiting from a weak schedule.

    For value for the Vikings’ sake, Anderson presents better value than Cassel.

    Since I own Adrian Peterson in my keeper league, I hope he can find a QB who’ll open up things for him

  3. JBeau says:

    He killed Braylon??? Braylon probably got him benched because the guy couldn’t catch a cold. Dropped everything…dropped at least 3 sure TDs.

  4. Idiot Savant says:

    Excellent insights John…

    I also agree with J Beau…B Edwards had the most drops of any receiver in the league… Edwards was a beast in 07 and a total dog in 2008.

    Just out of curiosity…I’d be interested to know what kind of development Booty is making with the team as well. I am not a huge fan of Childress as a head coach…but he seems willing to let a young QB have a chance. Perhaps, Booty will get a look this year or the next.

  5. Tom says:

    okay – Braylon drops more than his fair share of passes.

    I actually traded away Braylon Edwards and Thomas Jones for Marques COlston and a #1 pick in my keeper league. I made the deal before Favre retired. SOmething about old RBs coming off career years.

    I worry about WRs with bad hands. TO’s hands never improved. Braylon has talent, but I’m not sure if his head is right.

  6. John Hansen says:

    I have not heard anything good about Booty, which isn’t a great sign. Childress was willing with Jackson, but only because that was his guy; he moved up to get him in the 2nd round, yet he might have been available in the 5th.

  7. PackFan says:

    It seems unlikely to me that the Vikings would go after Favre for the purpose of “sticking it” to the Packers; that move could very easily backfire in any number of ways. For one thing, Favre would have to walk back into Jets camp at some point, causing a salary cap dilema and creating an uproar with the NY media, plus a ton of bad publicity. Granted, the move could probably gain Favre his release, but the flying circus would simply move to the Twin Cities if Childress was silly enough to pursue the issue. Are the Vikes just one sore-armed 40-year old quarterback away from the Super Bowl? They might want to think about opening the ground game for #28 by getting the 8th man out of the box. Upgrading their receiving corp with a couple of guys that secondaries actually fear would go a long way towards doing that. Also, I think it’s way too early too give up on T. Jackson as their next quarterback. The guy’s extremely mobile, and with a bit of good coaching and shrewd play calling, he could very well grow into the position. I’m sure in the court of public opinion, the Vikes will need to pursue a bigger name – but with a little more seasoning, Jackson could be the real deal.

  8. John Hansen says:

    The Vikes wouldn’t be looking to stick it to the Packers at all, they would simply be looking to add a QB who gave them a better chance to win the Super Bowl, and Favre (who wanted to go to the Vikings last year) would. It may be a moot point with Favre, but Jackson’s not the guy. They swore they’d stick with him in 2008, and then benched him after two whole games. You can’t fail to show significant progress in the NFL these days after three years and expect to be considered a viable starter, which is why it’s common knowledge already that they Vikings are actively looking for a replacement.

  9. PackFan says:

    I can’t say as I disagree with you John. Minnesota will probably have a new guy under center and Derek Anderson may very well be the guy. It’s just that when it comes to quarterbacks, I just sometimes don’t understand how some NFL franchises operate. Jackson is a small school guy who was pushed into a starting role well before he was ready. Childress annoints him as the starter and then, after an 0-2 start the kid gets yanked. Jackson probably wasn’t ready to start anyway … but he was put into a position where failure was a real possibility. The Vikes spent a ton of money on free agents and their fan base expected them to win now. To me, this looks like a coaching staff that might not have handled this situation as well as they could have. Aaron Rodgers had a nice year for the Packers, but Green Bay put themselves into a position where they had time to groom him. The guy taken before Rodgers in that draft 4 years ago – Alex Smith, is an example of another guy who fell into a mind numbing situation.

  10. Mike says:

    The Vikings need a quaterback that can force defenders out of the box against AP and help them win now. You really haven’t answered my concerns about him. Like you, I am concerned that Derek Anderson could be a one-year wonder like Scott Mitchell, especially after his performance last year. I need to know that he is a fit and ready for the West Coast Offense. I also need to know how he has performed against the blitz.

  11. Mike says:

    The Plain Deal Reporter is now saying Derek Anderson is not a good match for the Vikings: “Coach Brad Childress runs an off-shoot of the West Coast offense, which demands accuracy on shorter passes.”

  12. John Hansen says:

    That’s generally true, but just because a reporter from a Cleveland paper says that it doesn’t mean Anderson wouldn’t help the Vikings. This passing game uses the deep passing game a lot, that’s why they signed Berrian for big money in 2008. It’s the same as in Philly, and McNabb accuracy on shorter passes stinks – but he throws a good deep ball, and throws it often.

  13. JK says:

    If Anderson goes to the Vikings, then he might be a steal for ff owners like myself, who drafts QBs after everyone else.

    This is why I read the Guru!

  14. JOOCE says:

    Assuming that the Vikes do acquire Rosenfels, what is your take?

    I assume that this means that they still have hope in Jackson, and will have Rosenfels push Jackson instead of Frerotte.

    But do you think that they still might bring someone else in?

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