With free-agency unlikely to provide the Minnesota Vikings with a starting quarterback, there are two alternative routes the Vikings could take to finding a new QB – selecting a signal-caller in the NFL Draft (May 8-11) or trading for one.
While it remains likely the Vikings will use a draft pick or two on a QB in the draft, nobody knows if the Vikings plan on taking a guy that can start day one or a player deemed a developmental QB.
If they don't take a player that can immediately step in to lead the offense, they could choose to trade for a QB. ESPN's Ben Goessling says it wouldn't surprise him if the Vikings tried to wheel and deal with the New England Patriots for Tom Brady's backup Ryan Mallett.
The Vikings would have had a chance to evaluate Mallett before the 2011 draft, when they took Christian Ponder, though three years learning behind Tom Brady can do wonders for a player's stock (it certainly helped Cassel when he got his chance to prove himself in 2008). Mallett and Adrian Peterson have a friendly relationship through a mutual coaching connection, and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has done a number of deals with the Patriots. If the Patriots were open to moving him, it's possible the Vikings could take a look.
Daily Norseman recalls that Mallett had first-round potential in the 2011 draft, but concerns away from the field dropped his draft stock and he was taken by the Patriots in the third round. However, at 6-foot-6, 245-pounds, Mallett possesses a big arm that could excel in Norv Turner's offense.
Fansided.com's Josh Hill says the Vikings were actually interested in Mallett in 2011, so the possibility of a trade is more realistic than some think.
General Manager Rick Spielman has a lot of pressure to find a franchise quarterback, something he admitted he has yet to do in his career.
"I haven't got it right yet. We've worked as hard as we could to try to get that right," Spielman said the same day the Vikings fired Leslie Frazier on Dec. 30. "I wish that you could get a quarterback [easily], and it's not. It's maybe the most difficult position to fill, but we're going to do everything and use every resource we can to try to get that corrected."