Vikings continue search for QB face of the franchise - KMSP-TV

Vikings continue search for QB face of the franchise

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I'll admit it. I'm sort of excited for Josh Freeman to make his debut against the Giants tonight. It is more excitement that the brass at Winter Park has finally admitted (although not through words) that the Christian Ponder experiment was a colossal failure.

Freeman makes his Vikings debut tonight as the Vikings head to New York to battle the winless Giants and in the process marks the 21st player to don a Minnesota Vikings jersey and take a snap under center since 1990. That number again is 21, which isn't exactly stability at the most important position on a team. After being forced to walk the plank in Tampa, Freeman, a career 58.2 percent passer replaces Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, both 59.2 percent career passers. So what exactly does that mean?

Garbage in…garbage out. It's the Vikings way.

From a historic perspective, the Vikings haven't exactly hit when it comes to drafting the quarterback position. The most important position on the football field has in recently been filled with has been or never were guys leaving the long term vision extremely cloudy.

Vikings Franchise QB's:

1961: Fran Tarkenton: Of his 18 NFL seasons, spent 13 of them with the Vikings with just over 33,000 yards through the air along with 239 touchdowns and 194 interceptions.

1977: Tommy Kramer: Played 13 seasons in Minnesota throwing for 24,775 yards, 159 touchdowns and throwing 157 interceptions in 128 games with the Vikings.

1999: Daunte Culpepper: In his 7 seasons in Minnesota, Culpepper finished with 20,162 yards, 135 touchdowns and just 86 interceptions. His best season came in 2004 when he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention:

Brad Johnson should be in the conversation. He won a Super Bowl with the Bucs, but while in purple for nine seasons passed for a little over 11,000 yards. It's tough to consider him a franchise guy when he was injured, and finished with only 65 career touchdowns.

Starting Quarterbacks since 1990:

1990: Rich Gannon (12); Wade Wilson (4)

1991: Rich Gannon (11); Wade Wilson (5)

1992: Rich Gannon (12); Sean Salisbury (4)

1993: Jim McMahon (12); Sean Salisbury (4)

1994: Warren Moon (15); Sean Salisbury (1)

1995: Warren Moon (16)

1996: Warren Moon (8); Brad Johnson (8)

1997: Brad Johnson (13); Randall Cunningham (3)

1998: Randall Cunningham (14); Brad Johnson (2)

1999: Jeff George (10); Randall Cunningham (6)

2000: Daunte Culpepper (16)

2001: Daunte Culpepper (11); Todd Bauman (3); Spergon Wynn (2)

2002: Daunte Culpepper (16)

2003: Daunte Culpepper (14); Gus Frerotte (2)

2004: Daunte Culpepper (16)

2005: Daunte Culpepper (7); Brad Johnson (9)

2006: Brad Johnson (14); Tarvaris Jackson (2)

2007: Tarvaris Jackson (12); Kelly Holcomb (3); Brooks Bollinger (1)

2008: Gus Frerotte (11); Tarvaris Jackson (5)

2009: Brett Favre (16)

2010: Brett Favre (13); Tarvaris Jackson (1); Joe Webb (2)

2011: Donovan McNabb (6); Christian Ponder (10)

2012: Christian Ponder (16)

2013: Christian Ponder (3); Matt Cassel (2); Josh Freeman (1)

Meddling in QB Mediocrity:

If the franchise is ever going to emerge from the depths of quarterback hell, they are going to need to draft a franchise guy and while that may seem simple on the surface, consider that over 52 years, they have drafted 20 quarterbacks and hit on three players who fit the franchise description.

From a statistical perspective, only Brett Favre (2009), Culpepper (2004), and Randall Cunningham (1998) have eclipsed a quarterback ranking of more than 100.

What's more, of teams that have won the Super Bowl since 1990, only two (Baltimore-Trent Dilfer) and Tampa Bay (Johnson) were considered care takers and not faces of the franchise.

While Freeman will not be the answer either, the start against the winless Giants if nothing else gives the team another new face. Fans should expect the same results.

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