If Vikings let George go, team could look bleak

It’s probably a good thing Randy Moss is only 22 years old.
The Vikings receiver, who caught nine passes for more than 200 yards in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, might have to wait a while for his first Super Bowl appearance.
If he stays with Minnesota.
Why the pessimism? Take a look at who’s going to be throwing those deep balls to Moss.

ù Option 1: Jeff George. The veteran quarterback did something last season Vikings fans haven’t seen in a while: consistently make great throws.
Minnesota (and coach Dennis Green) will prove its inability to recognize a good offensive fit if George signs with another team. Is Jeff George one of the best quarterbacks in the league? Probably not. Has he shown he knows how to effectively run the Vikings offense? Definitely.
But it’s rumored that Green and Co. are ready to let George take off. And things look considerably less bright in the ranks behind George. Which brings us to …

ù Option 2: Randall Cunningham. The 36-year-old Cunningham has taken enough shots lately, so we’ll try to be brief. He owes a largeportion of his ’98-99 campaign to Cris Carter and Randy Moss.
Before you talk about Cunningham’s great deep touch, let’s take a look at some film from last year.
See how Moss is coming back to the ball, reaching over a defender who should be looking for the ball? Yeah, great touch.
Things won’t be a complete mess if Cunningham takes over again. He knows how to utilize his running backs and tight ends in the passing game.
But you can’t nickel and dime ’em into submission.
Eventually, he’s going to have to chuck it deep (dog). As he proved the first six games of the season, with a 2-4 record as a starter, Cunningham is not in any position to relive his 15-1 season.
Which of course leaves …
ù Option 3: Daunte Culpepper. It’s tough to critique a quarterback who never played for the Vikings.
So, here’s what we know about Culpepper. He had an insane completion percentage his senior year at Central Florida.
That’s just super.
It’s not to say Culpepper is going to be horrible. Other young quarterbacks (Think: Shaun King, Peyton Manning, not Vinny Testaverde) have made contributions early in their careers. Is Culpepper in that category?
Who knows? You might as well try and figure out how many home runs Tom Brunansky would have hit if he stayed with the Twins.
It’s an unknown.
What’s known is this: George has the credentials to start next year for the Vikings and in any other solar system he’d be signed to a multiyear deal.
If the Vikings are going to even think about winning the NFC Central next year, they have to think about resigning George.
As it stands, Moss better pack his bags if he plans on getting to a Super Bowl.

Jim Schortemeyer is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]