Backing up Brad: Vikings get QB Bollinger from Jets

Updated: August 31, 2006, 10:17 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

In a trade that addressed glaring needs for both teams, the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday evening acquired backup quarterback Brooks Bollinger from the New York Jets in exchange for defensive tackle C.J. Mosley and an undisclosed draft choice.

The deal, which is contingent on the players passing physical exams with their news teams, also reduces logjams at the respective positions for the two franchises.

Minnesota has been seeking an experienced backup to serve behind starter Brad Johnson, particularly given the shaky preseason performance of five-year veteran Mike McMahon, who signed a two-year contract as a free agent this spring after the Philadelphia Eagles released him. The only other backups on the roster were second-round draft choice Tarvaris Jackson and much-traveled J.T. O'Sullivan, who has been in the league since 2002 but never appeared in a regular-season game.

The Vikings coaches like Jackson, who played at Alabama State and was a bit of a surprise selection in the second round, but did not feel he was ready yet to assume the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. The addition of Bollinger likely signals that McMahon will be released.

Bollinger, 26, is a fourth-year veteran who had a solid training camp for the Jets but who lost out in the numbers game. Jets coach Eric Mangini earlier this week named Chad Pennington as the New York starter, and it appears veteran Patrick Ramsey and second-round rookie Kellen Clemens have nailed down the other two spots on the depth chart.

First-year Vikings coach Brad Childress should be able to breathe a little easier now, having acquired an experienced backup to Johnson, who turns 38 next month. The Jets' sixth-round pick in the 2003 draft, Bollinger has played in 11 games and started nine. All nine starts came last season.

Bollinger has completed 155-of-275 passes for 1,618 yards, with seven touchdown passes, six interceptions and a passer rating of 73.0. The former Wisconsin standout, who is a very good athlete, has run for 137 yards on 36 carries.

Childress has some familiarity with Bollinger. Childress' last season as offensive coordinator at Wisconsin was 1998, when Bollinger was a freshman for the Badgers. Bollinger redshirted that year, and then led the Badgers to a second-straight Rose Bowl title in 1999.

In adding Mosley, the Vikings' sixth-round draft choice in 2005, the Jets are addressing a dire need for size and depth in the interior of their defensive line. New York lacks a true nose tackle as is transitions to a 3-4 front under Mangini and the 6-feet-2, 314-pound Mosley might fit the bill.

The former Missouri star, who was battling for a roster spot with the Vikings, appeared in 12 games as a rookie in 2005 and had 19 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and a pass deflection.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.