Feb 12, 2009
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.
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.