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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

There are key statements within Coach Mike Zimmer's words & his tone.  One statement is in reference to "The PLAN" & the other is in the statement "When Teddy is ready ... he will play".  

In regard to "The Plan", Mike Zimmer now realizes that he overlooked an opportunity of inserting Kyle Sloter under center when we had a substantial lead very early in the season against the Tampa Bay Buc's but at the time ... really ... we were all swimming in elation overlooking "The Plan".  In this instance, we would have had a better idea of what we had having Sloter face NFL competition with a cushion.  Always keep in mind that "The Plan" is in reference of executing the future so that we can act ... rather than having to react.

The funny thing about this pending discussion in regard to Teddy versus Case is that none of it will not come down to some poll.  Like the poll that now gets you into the college football dance.  In other words, it won't come down to what anyone might think.  What truly matters in this situation comes down to what Coach Mike Zimmer thinks & what will be the best decision for this franchise.  

As of opening day 2017, Case Keenum was guaranteed payment on his $2 million contract which was originally based on watching Sam Bradford production from the bench.  That didn't happen.  There is nothing else at the end of Case's rainbow except that he now knows that he's now due some enormous payment for his 2017 production ... which will come in the form of the franchise tag ... ala Cousins ... or a long term deal with some other franchise, or a long term deal with this franchise.  Of course the elephant in the room is that the latter will not occur without a complete investigation into Teddy's ability to continue his career at a high level ... which we are about to find out sooner rather than later.

What makes this all interesting is that if Sam Bradford is out of this franchises future picture as being too risky a proposition for a long term deal, the Franchise Tag could be applied to Case leaving the rather low cost tolling option available for Teddy, if his knee needs more time to strengthen.

It's almost certain that Teddy was told that his tolling option would not be picked up if he agreed to accept the 6 week 2017 PUP list however that tolling option is actually there for his benefit ... to keep him in football with a solid franchise that supports him & allow his knee the chance of becoming football ready in the time that he needs.  What most don't realize is that if Teddy's knee is not actually ready for the challenge yet, the Vikings could toll Teddy's 4th year of his rookie contract into his 5th year and then pick up his 5th year option as he was drafted in the first round & apply it to his 6th year.  In other words, Teddy would get his security in being able to see that lucrative 5th year rather than have his career trashed being cast adrift on a lesser team that really doesn't care to protect his interests (either you can play or you're going to be fed to the Lions).   Of course this is all mute if Teddy's ready to roll by tearing up the league.       

At this juncture, it is clear everyone outside of this franchise wants Coach Mike Zimmer to ride the hot hand but there is a definite problem with not taking action.  This action was revealed in Coach Zimmer's statement that he would make a decision on the starting quarterback on Wednesday also announcing that he already made his decision.  You see, in regard to "The Plan", with a big lead playing the Redskins on Sunday, the coach could have put Teddy behind center to get his feet wet but two back to back interceptions thrashed that thought to hell.  It's firmly believed that in that moment Coach Mike Zimmer's hand was forced.

Now Coach Mike Zimmer is being goaded in every possible direction ... to stay with the hot hand & to not upset the boat, which is exactly the wrong decision.  Let's not forget that there are many more Cowboy's, Steeler's, Patriot's & Packer's fans than there will ever be on the deck of that lonely Viking ship.  Said another way, there are 31 other franchises that want this Viking ship to sink. So now, it's in Mike Zimmer's interest to find a win-win for everyone involved.
 So let's look at it from a practical sense.

If Case was to sit the bench the remainder of the year, he'd be a hero because he had a remarkable season running a remarkable team where the reins would be pulled from his hands ... of no fault of his own.  Economically he'd be looking at a 1 year Franchise Tag or some sort of long term deal if he became a free agent.  Case would also be one of the most respected athletes that walked that locker room & probably the most beloved.  In short Case wins regardless of weather Teddy succeeds or falters.  

If Teddy Starts this Sunday he'll do one or more of three things, as his destiny, and each will be a win-win for Teddy: 

In Option 1, Teddy will get the opportunity to tear up the league ... like Randy Moss once said & be the greatest human interest story of the 2017 NFL season.
In Option 2, Teddy will have his fragile knee torn up where he will then have to retire from football forever.  How could this possibly be a win-win situation for Teddy?   Well, of course nobody wants to see this.  Be certain that Teddy won't want to endure this but at some point in his life he had to answer this question.  Would you be willing to endure another knee injury & possibly the loss of your leg at the chance of having another chance to lead this team at quarterback?  Last Sunday, you got to see the answer to that question.  You also might note that Sam Bradford did it twice too before Teddy so it's out there.  In Teddy's ledger, not having that opportunity just might be worse than having to face a thousand deaths.  Would you rather jump on that hand grenade or live with the wrong woman for most of your adult life?  
In Option 3, Teddy is in then out.  He will clearly need more time to build his kneed back to an NFL caliber knee where he tolls & gets that 5th year option as a minimum.  

So what decision might be a lose-lose decision for Coach Mike Zimmer.  Without security for Case Keenum a bird-in-the-hand might be better than two in the bush.  Everybody loses if Case has to be the next Brett Favre or Blair Walsh.  Sure Case just may have had a bad quarter but if he's willing to do this to keep Teddy off the field then he might be able to do something much more significant at the worst possible moment.

For Case, if Option 2 or 3 happens, everything changes as a long term option with this franchise becomes apparent.  It's really odd in that for Case Keenum to win he really does have to be Teddy's greatest fan as Teddy is going to make his family much more secure in his future.

In Zimmer's words there lies an unspoken commitment.  You see he had to look into Teddy's eyes.  It may have been when Teddy was lying on that field.  It may have been in the hospital or in the locker room.  No words may have ever been uttered where all there was was body language & eye contact but on every occasion there was a reaffirmation of that commitment which goes something like this ... when you're ready, you will play.   
Yes, I carefully watched Teddy practice on that field this past Sunday.  What I saw was a man that could drop long-distant-dimes in stride.  Oh yeah!  He's ready.  His knee ...... ????

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: November 14, 2017