Vikings Ready For An Uncertain Offseason
Regardless of the looming labor showdown, the Vikings are prepared for whatever the offseason may bring. In a year clouded with uncertainty, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman told reporters that his team is going about business as usual.
“Our job is to just go through our normal procedures, our normal time line on making sure we have everything in place regardless of what’s going to happen in the future,” Spielman said on Tuesday. “If something gets done or if something doesn’t get done for a while, we’re ready on that (free agency) side. I know there’s no change in the draft procedures or when the draft is going to be, so we’re doing our normal process and normal procedures on that side (draft) as well.”
Free agency, offseason workouts, and minicamps most likely will not happen as regularly scheduled, but one certainty is the draft. The Vikings have the 12th selection in April’s draft, and Spielman said that the quarterback position was the team’s “biggest question” heading into next season. Currently, the Vikings plan on developing second-year player Joe Webb, but beyond that, anything is possible. The team may draft a quarterback of the future, find a signal caller in free agency (when it finally arrives), or explore trade options.
The team has other decisions to ponder as well. With 19 potential restricted and unrestricted free agents, the Vikings’ 2011 roster could look drastically different.
Atop the Vikings’ list of priorities is re-signing linebacker Chad Greenway and wide receiver Sidney Rice. Spielman and the Vikings have until February 24 to decide whether or not to use a franchise tag on any of its players and until March 3 to work out any long-term deals.
If an agreement between players and clubs is not worked out before the March deadline, the current collective bargaining agreement expires and football as we know ventures into stagnant, uncharted waters.