Favre's stint in Twin Cities now leaves Vikings in tough spot

Brett Favre just won't go away. Bet you never heard that one before.

If you're a Minnesota Vikings fan, be prepared to keep hearing it. Through the draft. Through the rest of the offseason. Through the preseason and regular season, whenever they begin.

Although Favre isn't returning for a third year as the Vikings' starter (is it safe to say that out loud?), he continues to have a major impact on their quarterback situation. Because by effectively identifying him as their quarterback the past two seasons, the Vikings left themselves without a plan for the present, which they would hope would become their plan for the future.

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To put it bluntly, the Vikings are in a terrible spot.

Right now, their "best" and possibly only option is Joe Webb, the converted receiver who in brief stints as a rookie last year showed dynamic athletic skills that can make him fun to watch but likely won't take the Vikings very far for a full season. The kid needs a lot of work -- which, by the way, he's not allowed to get with the Vikings' coaches during the lockout-- and it is unrealistic to think he could make enough strides to be a reliable starter when games count.

Leslie Frazier has, like most NFL coaches, been evasive when discussing his team's quarterback picture, but among the straightest answers he has given on the topic is the one he recently provided the *St. Paul Pioneer Press*: "It's open. We hope to have a young guy and maybe a veteran guy. But it's going to be open competition."

After Webb, the Vikings could, at the moment, only look to the draft for quarterback help. But with the 12th overall pick, they don't appear to be in position to select someone who genuinely merits a choice that high. Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are likely to be long gone by then (even if there are some analysts who don't believe they should be taken in the first round). That might leave Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett available, but with the many questions surrounding either their skill (Locker) or character (Mallett) it's hard to imagine the Vikings or any team going with either one in the top 15, or the top 32 for that matter.

Provided the Vikings don't trade up (and the expectation here is they won't), look for them to address one of the other areas that need fixing, such as the offensive line.

Whenever the league allows free-agent signings and trades, the Vikings might very well find quarterback help. But by most accounts, the pickings will be slim. They would be among several teams that would likely attempt to trade for Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb, so getting him is possible but hardly a slam dunk.

They might be able to work something out with the Redskins for Donovan McNabb, although that puts them back on the recycled veteran treadmill. And if, as Mike Shanahan maintains, McNabb had so much trouble with the first non-Eagles offense he encountered, what would make the Vikings or any team think that it would be smooth sailing with the second?

The Vikings are definitely in a tough spot.

Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.

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