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Greg's Best Guess - Vol. 1 Issue 4

There's just under 230 days until the next Minnesota Vikings regular season begins, but many fans are already very curious about next year's starting quarterback for the team. This, of course, comes with good reason as none of the quarterbacks on the 2017 edition of the Vikes are currently under contract for 2018. Here's who I believe has the best chance of lining up under center for the purple next season.

 

The Internal Candidates

Case Keenum (2017 stats: 3,547 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT)

Greg's Take: It would have been really hard NOT to see Keenum re-signed for the long-term had the Vikings won the Super Bowl. The reality is, though, he showed a dangerous, gunslinger mentality in both playoff games. It potentially almost cost Minnesota versus the Saints, and certainly played a part in the loss at the Eagles. It was a magical ride that Keenum provided this season, especially considering he was though of as a 3rd string quarterback coming in, and I think he will find himself playing for another team next year, but I don't think it's likely he returns as the starter for the Vikings in 2018.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 20%

 

Sam Bradford (2017 stats: 382 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT)

Greg's Take: The fear is the 2016 healthy version of Sam Bradford is a 'once-in-a-blue-moon' type of year for the 30-year-old who was once again sidelined with a knee injury for most of 2017. The Vikings can't risk bringing Bradford back, and certainly not for the $18-million he earned this past year. Like Keenum, Bradford will resurface elsewhere in 2018, but it won't be in Minneapolis.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 5%

 

Teddy Bridgewater

Greg's Take: Only the Vikings have any inkling of which Teddy Bridgewater they currently have. Is it the one who was trending updward into his 3rd season before the knee injury - or - is he still recovering to some degree and may not ever be the same ever again? Only time will tell, but what the Vikings do with Bridgewater this offseason is going to be very indicative. Head Coach Mike Zimmer still seems to be a big fan of #5 - and that certainly bodes well for Teddy's future. I expect the Vikings to re-sign Bridgewater to a modest 2-3 year deal and he will be competing with someone else for the starting role when training camp rolls around.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 35%

 

Kyle Sloter

Greg's Take: The fact Minnesota had Sloter as one of its 53-actives for much of this year says something. Most teams don't go out of their way to protect a 3rd/4th string QB from getting swiped off the practice squad, but the Vikes evidently feel there's enough there to warrant such a move. If the Vikings aren't willing to spend anytihing on a QB in free agency, or elsewhere, then it could be Bridgewater and Sloter as the top two options heading into 2018. I think Sloter returns in his primary role as a backup next year.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 5%

 

The Free Agents

Drew Brees (2017 stats: 4,334 yards, 23 TD, 8 INT)

Greg's Take: It will be a shock to the football world if Brees does not return to the Saints in 2018, but until a new deal is in place, Brees is an option. The Vikings also have a history of spinning successful seasons with veteran QBs (Brett Favre, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Warren Moon), so Brees can't be completely ruled out. The biggest negatives are his age (39) and salary ($24-million in 2017), but there's no question that if Brees was brought in the Vikings would be a heavy favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIII.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 15%

 

Kirk Cousins (2017 stats: 4,093 yards, 27 TD, 13 INT)

Greg's Take: Cousins is an upgrade over the 4 guys currently on the Vikings roster, but he's going to come at a very hefty price tag (expected to earn $25-million-plus next year). I don't believe what he brings to the table physically/financially outweighs enough when compared to what the Vikings currently have in physical/financial terms with their current QBs. In short, don't expect the #8 Bradford jerseys to show up at US Bank Stadium next year with tape over the name and 'Cousins' branded on the back.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 5%

 

Jimmy Garoppolo (2017 stats: 1,560 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT)

Greg's Take: Like Brees, it will be a shock if Jimmy isn't suiting up for the 49ers next year, but he is scheduled to become a free agent on March 1st, so let the dream live on for now. It's a small sample size, but Garoppolo is going to get paid by a franchise this offseason after leading San Francisco to five straight wins to end this past season. It's a risk-reward that is probably too similiar to Mr. Bridgewater's for the Vikings to even consider Jimmy G. as an option.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 0%

 

Jay Cutler (2017 stats: 2,666 yards, 19 TD, 14 INT)

Greg's Take: Just kidding.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 0%

 

The Complicated One

Alex Smith (2017 stats: 4,042 yards, 26 TD, 5 INT)

Greg's Take: This takes a little bit more imagination as Smith is under contract for $17-million next season, but the Chiefs drafted a QB 10th overall a year ago, and after falling in the first round of the playoffs yet again, perhaps Kansas City is willing to make a reasonable trade and move on from Smith. He's still only 33-years old, and depending on the Vikes new offensive coordinator, his style of play could pair very well with a Zimmer-led defense.

Chance as 2018 Vikings Starter: 10%