In the 2014 draft, the Vikings traded back into the bottom of round one to stop the free-fall of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. It was the smartest move the franchise has made since drafting Adrian Peterson.
The wisdom of moving up for Bridgewater becomes even more clear in light of this fact from Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: None of the three quarterbacks on the team’s depth chart in 2013 currently has a job in the NFL.
All three had jobs on Friday; by Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman had been cut. And none have found new homes.
There was a thought that the Texans could be interested in Cassel, given his connection to coach Bill O’Brien and the team’s affinity for former Tom Brady backups. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans aren’t interested.
It’s not clear whether anyone is interested in Cassel, Ponder, or Freeman. With the Eagles claiming Stephen Morris on waivers, the Dolphins claiming Logan Thomas, and the Browns bringing in Austin Davis, it’s not looking good for the three guys who, only two years ago, were gainfully employed by the Vikings.
For the Vikings, the team’s past relationship with those quarterbacks and current relationship with Bridgewater underscores the reality that there are two types of NFL teams: Those with franchise quarterbacks, and those desperately trying to find franchise quarterbacks. The Vikings rolled the dice on Ponder, Cassel, and Freeman in the hopes that any of them could become the guy who makes the team a year-in, year-out contender.
With Bridgewater, they may have found him. If so, it will have been worth the wait.