Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFillippo has said he’ll have as much say in the team’s decision-making process at quarterback as the team wants him to have. The Vikings clearly want him to have plenty.
“He’ll have a major part of the decision-making process,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said of the next offensive coordinator, before they interviewed DeFilippo. “He’ll be heavily involved in that. The way that we structure everything is that everybody has a part in that process — myself, coach [Mike] Zimmer, our scouting department and all of our coaches.”
Last week, DeFillippo made it clear that the process of picking the next quarterback had begun, in earnest.
“Right now we’re going to get it fixed, I know that,” DeFilippo said. “It’s just a matter of choosing the right person to fit our culture and what we’re trying to do offensively. There’s no doubt that Rick Spielman, coach [Mike] Zimmer and myself will put our heads together and make the best decision that we think is the best for the Minnesota Vikings. That is the approach we’re going to take, and we’re in the middle of that process right now.”
One decision already has been made: Case Keenum won’t be the recipient of the franchise tag. That’s not a surprise, given the magnitude of the tag (up to $24 million for 2018), the cost of doing a long-term deal based on the tag ($54 million guaranteed over the first two years, for starters), and the perceived market for Keenum’s services. With the Jaguars signing Blake Bortles to a three-year, $54 million deal, some league insiders believe that’s the potential template for Keenum, whether he signs with the Vikings or another team.
The Vikings are prepared for the possibility that another team will offer more than they will, if the Vikings decide to try to re-sign the man they signed to a one-year, $2 million deal in 2017. If the Vikings ultimately choose Keenum.
The blessing for the Vikings is that they currently enjoy a wide range of options, from Keenum to Sam Bradford to Teddy Bridgewater to Kirk Cousins to A.J. McCarron to drafting a rookie to making a Brett Favre-style all-in play for Drew Brees, who still hasn’t re-signed with the Saints. The curse for the Vikings is that they eventually have to choose one path, at the exclusive of all others. And if they choose wrong, they’ll never hear the end of it.
DeFilippo is the man at the center of the choosing, since he’s the one who will be building the offense around the next quarterback. Whoever it may be.