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Bleacher Report – Vikings

With Smith off the table, here are five under-the-radar QB candidates for the Vikings

By Matthew Coller

What we learned on Tuesday evening was that teams won’t be waiting until the beginning of the new league year to resolve their quarterback situations. The Kansas City Star (and many other outlets) are reporting that Washington has agreed to trade for Chiefs QB Alex Smith.

The Kansas City starting quarterback was on the list of QBs the Minnesota Vikings might chase if they part ways with Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford, who are all set to hit free agency.

We know about the most obvious candidate for the job, Washington’s Kirk Cousins. But if his price tag is too high (it will likely reach $30 million per year) and the Vikings aren’t interested in franchise tagging Keenum or signing Bridgewater or Bradford to a significant deal because of injury concerns, who is left on the market? Let’s have a look…

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills

Dec 24, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws a pass before a game against the Miami Dolphins at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

All of the Bills’ actions have pointed toward a plan to move on from Taylor. They re-worked his contract last offseason, traded his top wide receiver, put him in an offensive system that didn’t fit and benched him last season for fifth-round pick Nate Peterman midway through the year.

Taylor isn’t a top tier quarterback, but he’s better than the numbers he posted last season (2,799 yards, 14 touchdowns, four interceptions, 89.2 rating). In 2015, with a mostly healthy Sammy Watkins and West Coast offensive coordinator Greg Roman, he managed a 99.4 rating. Taylor has also run for 1,575 yards over the past three seasons.

Taylor’s contract carries an $18 million cap next season.

The full cost of the Smith deal – a third-round pick and a player – sets the market for a Taylor trade.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

After five years of Tannehill in Miami, the Dolphins may be ready to move on. He was lost to injury for the year in 2017, but in 2016 the former first-round pick posted his highest career rating at 93.5 and highest yards per attempt at 7.7 yards per throw.

Things haven’t exactly been easy in Miami for Tannehill. He’s twice led the NFL in yards lost due to sacks and the Dolphins have struggled to find a true top receiver.

Tannehill is under contract through 2020, but can be released with no penalty after 2019. He carries a cap hit of $19.8 million next season and $21.1 million in 2019.

Josh McCown, New York Jets

Believe it or not, McCown actually had a strong season with the rebuilding Jets. He completed 67.3% of his passes, threw 18 touchdowns, nine interceptions, averaged 7.3 yards per attempt and posted a rating of 94.3. At 39, it’s hard to think that he’s got any more than one or two years left in the tank, but McCown has shown in his later years that he can play.

As a free agent, McCown would likely be looking for a one-year deal with a mid-pack salary if he were the slated starter. But a win-now Vikings team probably wouldn’t bring him in as their only QB.

AJ McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals

The Cleveland Browns reportedly tried to trade for the former Alabama quarterback last season. He is currently in a dispute with the Bengals over his free agent status. If he wins an arbitration case, McCarron could hit the free agent market. The Bengals will be arguing that he should be a restricted free agent.

In his only regular season experience, McCarron won two of three games in 2015, throwing six touchdowns, two interceptions and posting a 97.1 rating.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Jan 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) in action during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings might not have any experience with talking quarterbacks out of retirement (extreme sarcasm alert), but Palmer could be a great option if he were so inclined to unretire. Over the last two seasons, the Cardinals haven’t put very good teams around the 38-year-old quarterback, whereas the Vikings could offer him one last kick at the Super Bowl can.

Palmer has another year left on his contract, so the Vikings would have to work out a trade with Arizona.

The post With Smith off the table, here are five under-the-radar QB candidates for the Vikings appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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