For a potential playoff team, it’s a little early to be talking about a future quarterback replacement. For the Minnesota Vikings, however, I think there is an obvious upgrade at the position that could be available this offseason at a relatively low price.
After two seasons in the league, Christian Ponder has shown flashes of how good he is capable of being, but he’s been far too inconsistent to lock down a starting job with the Vikings long term. I think almost unquestionably, he will be the starting quarterback going into next year, but I also believe that Jets QB Tim Tebow would be a great fit in Minnesota.
Don’t kill me just yet, Vikings fans. Hear me out. Take a look at what ESPN’s Adam Schefter had to say in a recent e-mail inquiry regarding Ponder and his future with the team:
“He’s got four games to prove that they don’t need to look for another quarterback to challenge him … If Ponder struggles down the stretch, this team is going to be left in a situation where it has to look for a challenger to Ponder for next season. The problem this offseason is that there won’t be a lot of quarterbacks to choose from. We’ve already trotted out a couple teams that could be looking for one [Jags] — and that doesn’t include the Chiefs, Jets, Cardinals and others — and there just aren’t that many starting-caliber quarterbacks in the draft or in free agency. So even if the Vikings have doubts about Ponder, they might be forced to stick with him.”
Or maybe they won’t be.
The Jets obviously have no plans of using Tim Tebow. The acquisition they made this offseason was clearly a ploy to get all of the national attention turned to them so Rex Ryan could guarantee another Super Bowl appearance or whatever he was up to. Maybe that, or maybe they were just trying to ignite a fire in their own failed first round quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has been to two AFC Title games, but nobody who isn’t kidding themselves knows that he was certainly not the catalyst for those Title game runs.
Enter Tebow, who is one of the more intriguing playmakers in the league. If you’ve ever read my opinions of Tebow in the past, you know how highly I think of him. I believe he was worth a first round pick, and I believe he still has first round talent as well as the ability to lead a team to the Super Bowl.
Is he a conventional quarterback? No. Does he have a great throwing motion? No. Does he sometimes look like he has no idea what’s going on out on the field? Sure. But think about what he brings to the table. There are very few players in the NFL who bring to the table the kind of playmaking ability that Tim Tebow does.
Tebow is only effective with the ball in his hands on every play. You can see what a creative offense can do for his skillset, as was evidenced during the six game winning streak in Denver where Tebow was allowed to run a no-huddle, fast-paced offense run with an option look. You can see the kind of success that Robert Griffin III is having with the Washington Redskins running out of a pistol formation. Obviously, Tebow is not as fast as Griffin or even a Colin Kaepernick, but he can be just as effective in that kind of an offense if you run it with two of the best playmakers in the NFL.
This is where it gets fun.
Put Tim Tebow in the pistol/option offense with Adrian Peterson and his former Florida Teammate Percy Harvin. Then go to the draft and add another couple of playmakers at the receiver position and you have the makings of something special. I’ve seen how Tebow is capable of tossing the ball around the field, and while his accuracy and anticipation needs to improve, he is one of the best at improvising in the NFL. He knows how to make something out of nothing, and he is absolutely great in the short passing game.
I’m not saying Tebow would be an MVP if he goes to Minnesota, I’m merely saying it’s an option worth looking into. Minnesota is a low profile organization with some very good pieces in place, namely an improved defense and a couple of MVP candidates at the offensive skill positions. Adding Tebow to the mix, a guy who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes but creates plenty of opportunities for those around him, and you could have a winning combination.
There will be plenty of speculation as to where Tebow will land this offseason if the Jets decide to unload him, and I think Minnesota is as good a destination as any.