In a move that surprised no one and delighted many, the Vikings cut Brad Johnson last night, allowing him to chase his dream of once again being the backup quarterback that saves a team's season. After watching him this year, however, I just can't see him repeating his 2005 performance.
That being said, Brad has given the Vikings some good years during his two stints as the Vikings' starting quarterback. Until this year, when he posted a 72.0, his lowest QB rating as a starter was 84.5, mostly due to his accuracy, completing an average of 62% of his passes over his five years. Were it not for a season ending injury in 1998, he might have been a career Viking. What goes around, comes around, however, as without Daunte's injury, he would have not have gotten a second chance to run the Vikings.
His second stint ended as poorly as his first. While he avoided injury, Johnson's arm no longer had the zip necessary for an NFL quarterback, losing his job twice--once to Brooks Bollinger, and then, after regaining it due to Bollinger's injury, succumbing to the Tarvaris Revolution. He feuded with the coaching staff, agitated in the press for an extension and a raise and was not on speaking terms with his head coach. By the end of the season, all parties agreed it was time for him to move on.
With the end of his career in Purple, Johnson will most likely be remember for always being at the right place at the right time. Whether it was throwing the pass that Randy Moss tipped to himself in the 1998 opener against Tampa Bay, catching his own pass for a touchdown, or leading the offense to their only points at the end of the game against the Giants when the Vikings returned a punt, kickoff and interception for touchdowns, he usually capitalized on his opportunities. If he gets another shot at leading a team, don't be surprised to see them suceed, even if it isn't actually because of him.