Monday, September 25, 2006

A Tricky Situation

Personally, I thought Brad Johnson’s contract was a non issue. Something writer’s had drummed up during training camp and had gone away. I guess not. To be honest, I’m not sure what the Vikings should do here. Brad Johnson is not the starting quarterback of the future. He might not even be the starting quarterback next year. And if that’s the case, I think the Vikings should save their money.

And I thought that was the case, prior to the announcement on Friday that Tarvaris Jackson was going to miss a month of the season undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee. I figured Tarvaris was on Daunte’s career path, only without all the fumbled snaps. That all changed with the injury—that month of practice was important for Tarvaris’ development. How much, we won’t know for awhile, but knee surgery for a mobile quarterback trying to make the jump from 1-AA could be the kind of setback where the Vikings’ don’t feel comfortable with him under center next year.

All of which brings us back to Brad Johnson and his contract extension. If this is his last year starting for the Vikings, then upgrading his contract is probably a mistake. If they need him for next year too, then they should invest the money and make sure he’s happy. If he’s going to back up Tarvaris next year, then it isn’t worth it. It’s the kind of decision you can’t make without knowing how quickly Tarvaris rebounds from the surgery, but one that likely can’t wait that long.

And that’s why, as much as it pains me, I think the Vikings should make sure they take care of BJ. My guess is they’ll need him under center next year because of Tarvaris’ setback. They might end up moving him back to the second string next year, but, provided he doesn’t require a massive contract upgrade to be happy, I think the Vikings’ should make sure he is.

[I would also like to say that wins for quarterbacks are even more meaningless than they are for starting pitchers in baseball. If the Vikings had won on Sunday, Brad Johnson would have had about as much to do with it as I did. You’d think that Trent Dilfer’s Super Bowl ring would have put that stat to rest, but I guess some people are still clinging to it. Yes, there is a difference between a quarterback that loses games and the Dilfers/Johnsons of the world. Not losing the game does not, however, mean that the quarterback had ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE WIN. So let’s stop pretending it matters that Brad Johnson is 9-3 with the Vikings, because it doesn’t.]


Pacifist Viking said...

While I disagree with your statement about the QB having nothing to do with wins, I actually think the Vikes shouldn't give a raise to a 38 year old QB whose team is averaging 17 points per game. And if Johnson is really the kind of guy who is going to let his play suffer because of that, then is he really the QB we want to pay a lot of money to? At 38 years old, shouldn't he be happy he's a starter and making any money? And if he wants more money, he can start putting the ball in the endzone.

TBird41 said...

I might have taken it a bit too far, but I'm trying to get across the point that Brad Johnson's winning percentage really is a stupid way to measure his effectiveness at quarterback, considering the Vikings have been winning games with defense, special teams and the running game.

Not throwing picks and completing open passes is important to the Vikings' winning, but is nowhere near as important as the Vikings' defense and running games dominating, and I wish people would remember that, rather than try to give BJ the credit b/c he's a "winner" or some such. If our defense was as porous as it was in 2004 and the beginning of 2005, his record would be a lot worse.