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News » Minnesota Vikings Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01


Minnesota Vikings Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01


Minnesota Vikings Strategy and Personnel 2009-03-01
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY


Coach Brad Childress and other members of the organization returned from the NFL Scouting Combine and went right back to work at Winter Park. Among the decisions that had to be made were whether to make an attempt to bring back free agent center Matt Birk, tight end Jim Kleinsasser and safety Darren Sharper. Kleinsasser was re-signed on the first day of free agency.

The quarterback position was another area of focus, and the Vikings obtained Sage Rosenfels from Houston. Tarvaris Jackson has yet to prove he's worthy of being a starter in the NFL and Rosenfels will challenge Jackson for the job.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Right offensive tackle: Ryan Cook was the primary starter but found himself benched because of inconsistent play and penalties. Artis Hicks served as Cook's replacement but a triceps injury sidelined him. It's unlikely Cook or Hicks will be the starter in 2009. The versatile Hicks is considered more valuable as a backup.

2. Cornerback: The Vikings clearly would like to add some depth at this spot. Antoine Winfield will be entering his 11th season, and the jury remains out on Cedric Griffin as a starter.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--DT Kenderick Allen spent the season on injured reserve after injuring his right wrist during the Vikings' preseason opener. It would not be surprising if he does not return.

--C Matt Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, likely will be allowed to sign elsewhere after 11 seasons with the franchise. John Sullivan, a sixth-round pick in 2008, could be Birk's replacement.

--S Michael Boulware spent the year on injured reserve after suffering a broken wrist during the preseason. Could return in a special-teams role in 2009.

--LB Heath Farwell, a valuable member of the special teams, missed the season after tearing his right ACL in the preseason opener. The Vikings' struggles on special teams in 2008 should increase Farwell's value.

--LB Napoleon Harris signed early in the regular season after middle linebacker E.J. Henderson was lost because of a foot injury. Harris, who had been let go by Kansas City before joining the Vikings, likely will be allowed to leave.

--OT Marcus Johnson, the lone remaining member of the Vikings' 2005 draft class, was a non-factor in 2008 and almost certainly won't be back.

--DT Jimmy Kennedy signed late in the season as insurance in case Kevin and Pat Williams were suspended by NFL for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. Kennedy could look for more security elsewhere.

--CB Benny Sapp served as the nickel back after Charles Gordon suffered season-ending injury in early November. Vikings could look to upgrade at this backup corner spot.

--S Darren Sharper has been starter since joining the Vikings in 2005 but likely will be allowed to leave. Tyrell Johnson, a second-round pick in 2008, would be the leading candidate to replace Sharper.

--LB Dontarrious Thomas signed during season to add depth after Henderson was injured. The Vikings probably won't try to bring him back.

--DT Ellis Wyms proved to be a valuable backup to 3-technique Kevin Williams. He has expressed a desire to return.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

--DE Otis Grigsby (not tendered as RFA) was impressive in training camp but did little during the season.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--DT Fred Evans (tendered at $1.01M with seventh-round pick as compensation) was the primary backup to Pat Williams at nose tackle. Evans is considered to be an ascending player.

--FB Naufahu Tahi (tendered at $1.01M with no compensation) took over as starting fullback in 2008. The Vikings likely will bring him back but also could look elsewhere for an upgrade at the position.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--CB Charles Gordon: Potential RFA; $535,000/1 yr plus incentives.

--TE Jim Kleinsasser: UFA; $9M/3 yrs, guarantee unknown.

--DE Jayme Mitchell: Potential RFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--QB Sage Rosenfels (trade Texans).

PLAYERS LOST

--QB Gus Frerotte (released).

--RB Maurice Hicks (released).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 1, 2009

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Bryant McKinnie Name: Bryant McKinnie
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Position: OT
Age: 28
Experience: 7 years
College: Miami (FL)
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