In "Vikings have little choice with Jackson," Kevin Seifert writes "Either way, it's a lose-lose situation. Turn to Holcomb and Jackson's evaluation period flows undesirably into 2008. Stay with Jackson and risk a disastrous season if he does not improve."
But no matter what happens this season, there's no rule stating that Tarvaris Jackson must play in 2008. None at all. If the coaching staff benches him now, it could be his final benching.
Though the Vikings have made their 2007 season largely dependent on Tarvaris Jackson, from a draft/money perspective, they don't have that much invested in Jackson. Jackson was the 64th player selected in the 2006 draft. Let's look at Drafthistory.com for QBs drafted within ten picks of #64 in the last 20 or so drafts.
2005: Charlie Frye (#67) and Andrew Walter (#69): Each player got a chance to show his ability, and when each failed, their respective teams had no trouble cutting their losses.
2001: Marques Tuiasopopo (#59): A wasted pick, but the Raiders didn't make things worse by forcing him in there lest they prove they wasted the 59th pick.
2000: Giovanni Carmazzi (#65): I can't recall Carmazzi throwing a single NFL pass.
1998: Charlie Batch (#60): When Batch actually mustered out an OK career as a backup and occasional starter, it was more of a pleasant surprise than anything.
1995: Kordell Stewart (#60): There are probably varying opinions on Stewart: he was sort of good and sort of bad, and the Steelers gave him a long chance to be good.
1993: Billy Joe Hobert (#58): Did he ever throw a pass? I have no idea.
1990: Peter Tom Willis (#63): I once got a a football card of Peter Tom Willis. I don't know whhere that card is anymore.
1989: Anthony Dilweg (#74): Did he ever play?
1987: Cody Carlson (#64): I recall him as a competent backup and then starter on an awful team.
1986: Bubby Brister (#67) and Hugh Millen (#71): Brister had a solid career as a backup QB (never a great starter); Hugh Millen is Chris Miller's backup in Tecmo Super Bowl and that's all I know about him.
The point of looking at this list is to show that there's no reason the Vikings have to push Jackson's "evaluation period" into 2008. There are other teams that drafted QBs in a similar draft slot, and they didn't seem to feel the necessity to play him if it was clear he sucked. The Vikes could abandon the evaluation now if they wish, and it's a lost pick, but it's still only their 4th pick of 2006. And abandoning that 64th pick is a lot better option than pushing the suckitude into 2008. Stop now and it's a lost pick; push it unnecessarily because you feel you must find out if your 64th pick is good, and it's a lost two seasons.
In Les Miserables, after the uprising has been thwarted, Marius sings "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables," mourning the loss of his revolutionary friends. If the Tarvaris Revolution is thwarted, let us not singly mournful revolutionary hymns, and let us not perpetuate the problem by attempting to revive and continue the Revolution; let us move on and marry Cosette and have a nice happy life having sex with her (alright, at this point the metaphor has gone a little too far).
And if you now define me as another fickle Viking fan abandoning another struggling quarterback, C'est la vie.