Do Not Trade TJack!
Back in 2006, the Eagles picked up a journeyman back-up quarter back from the Jets. The Eagles then drafted a quarterback in the 1st round, which presented the Eagle's with very same problem that the Vikings face today. Chilly then made the trade with the Eagles to bring Kelly Holcomb to Minnesota to back up TJack, the anointed 2nd year starter. As it turned out, TJack wasn't ready and Kelly wasn't even close to being an answer. Due to our impatience, we prefer to look at TJack performance in his second year as a failure instead of what it really was ... TJack was a very raw project ... nothing more than a mass of clay to be modeled from scratch. To be direct, TJack's performance was not much different than McNabb in his first year ... in fact it exceeded McNabb's numbers ... and that wasn't good enough.
Now, if we were to keep Sage as the #2 backup to Farve, he will without doubt be quite content. After all, this would be his ninth (9) year as a career backup. His history is now well chronicled. On the surface, he would appear to be the safe bet for Chilly ... and that, ladies and gentlemen is exactly what is now gnawing at me to my core. In his only start, Sage ended up with an ankle which brings up issues with his durability too. As far as his performance, let's not forget that it took two (2) fourth down conversions to secure that first touchdown, which says more about Chilly's perception of his team rather than any part of Sage's performance. Sage can talk the talk, and he's certainly happy with his now guaranteed money, but this only serves his purpose ... not ours. The thing about guaranteed money is that it is a sunk cost ... in that it can never be recouped ... and in my book, that was the cost of doing business. Said another way, that was the cost to bring Bret Farve to Minnesota. In other words, guaranteed money should not even come into the equation as this only serves to blind us to making the right decision. As for a trade, trading Sage makes much more sense than TJack. It is clear that there are numerous teams that could use Sage's undeniable talents. Trading Sage also helps him realize his ultimate dream, which is to be a full time starter in this league, if that is in fact what he really wanted. In other words, it's time to cut that senseless line of propaganda loose. As for politics, it is certainly easier for another team to give up a #4 draft pick for Sage than it would be to secure fair market compensation for TJack, even if that meant having to eat some Viking coin (the price to secure Farve). This is a business and being allowed to compete for a position doesn't guarantee anybody anything.
JD Booty is interesting in that he has practice squad eligibility. The problem here is that JD will never make it through waivers. If Thigpen didn't make it through waivers, there is no way JD will. JD was the teams project, and that shouldn't change. His position on the team is well chronicled and is best suited for both his, and this teams developments, where he is the best choice as the emergency quarterback rather than either TJack or Sage. The prime question is directed at JD's untested up-side or potential ... will JD be a better player than Sage? Only time and patience will tell, but the odds are well stacked against Sage.
As for TJack he looks surly, moody, and completely unhappy. This tells me that he's pissed off royally and is very very hungry and that is exactly the type of guy that I want directing my team. Give me a guy full of piss and vinegar and I'll show you a champion. There is allot to be said for dissatisfaction and hunger as that is what has forged masterpieces within this league. Less Harvin's tendencies, there is no other quarterback that knows our system and our play makers tendencies better than TJack. He has without doubt continuously improved over time, and has shown no signs that his ability to excel has leveled off. Has he had bad games ... yes ... however, show me a quarterback that hasn't. As for his first pre-season game, what I saw was a deep pass that just missed Syd for a big gainer and a bunch of dropped balls that appeared to hit their target. TJack is not a career backup and was never groomed for that. This kid has kept his nose clean and has carried the company line; hook, line and sinker. He still remains an athlete that has more than a significant upside, which in my book, means a minimum #1 draft pick as compensation. He also played with a weak right side tackle, which meant having happy feet for his own well being, instead of lying within that pocket like Farve will this year. As it stands today, TJack will not be a free agent in 2010, which is significant. From what I've seen, there is a significant amount of change coming, and that means unrest and little faith in an expedient resolution on either side. At this juncture, any betting man would put money on a bunch of 5th year players being denied free agency, which means the team holding TJack's rights is like holding onto gold. This doesn't mean that he's not going to get his Viking money ... all it means is a significant playing card for the owners and maybe issues related to timing.
For what these pin heads are talking about giving for TJack as compensation, if I had the money, I'd lay down the coin for his rights no questions asked right here and right now.
Does it surprise anyone that the entire world wants us to just give up on TJack? Would you believe that there are Viking fans that are actually listening to this garbage, as if it were somehow real? Let's not forget that there are 31 other teams out there, with their fans, and their commentators, and their sports writers, and their media outlets that would absolutely love to gut the Minnesota Vikings and their franchise. Dumping TJack is exactly what they want to see. Hey, these people don't live in Minnesota ... or do they? There is hatred for this organization and there is nothing they'd like better than to stick it in an twist that knife. Wake up and smell the toast!
The question that we should be asking is which quarterback do you see as being the quarterback that just won the Super Bowl for the Minnesota Vikings. If you said Sage, tell me, what is his motive after losing his starting job for the Nth time, or on the other hand, could it be TJack, the kid that broils inside, because this organization put him through hell and back ... because it was for his own good. Let me be the first to say, I've been through hell and back myself, and the people that I most respected in my life are not the ones that made it easy on me ... it was the very same people that put me though my paces ... day after day, as they expected excellence.
What does Farve bring to bear on this argument? Sage's history indicates that he's studied under some of the most brilliant offensive minds in the history of the NFL, but he's still a back up. What does that tell you? On the other hand, TJack's only glaring fault at this juncture is in his failure to either see or anticipate the open receiver under crunch time. Let's remember that TJack studied under Brad Johnson that could no longer do it. His second year featured backups that could barely tie their shoes let alone teach TJack what it takes. TJack also studied under Ferrotte, a fire hardened competitor, and the result was a masterpiece in Arizona and let me be the first to tell you, Philly was on the ropes in the playoffs, even after TJack's interception. If it wasn't for Westbrook's miraculous run off that screen we just may have secured a spot in last years Super Bowl. So now, let me ask you ... could there be any greater teacher, by example, of how to dissect a defense and anticipate its weaknesses other than Bret Farve? Who would best benefit from working with this legend? To me, the answer is clear. For an organization to walk away from TJack, and his potential, at this juncture is equivalent to shooting yourself in the leg using an unregistered concealed hand gun in a New York night club. Who would be that stupid? Oh, sorry!
Both Rodgers and Sanchez are players that have followed Farve and both appear to have the full potential of being hall of fame quarterbacks. Time will tell. Coincidence ... Maybe, but I'll certainly be keenly interested in what follows Bret in Minnesota.
Is TJack still on that learning curve ... the answer is absolutely ... it's the ones that are not on that curve that you need to worry about.
The Viking Ghost