Vikings Will Take Their Lumps While T. Jackson Learns
Team-By-Team Offseason Roundup
Brad Johnson, QB
Fred Smoot, CB
Jermaine Wiggins, TE
Mike Rosenthal, T
Free Agents Lost:
Jason Whittle, G
Napoleon Harris, LB
Bethel Johnson, WR
Ralph Brown, CB
Marcus Robinson, WR
Free Agents Re-Signed:
Tank Williams, S
Drew Henson, QB
Free Agents Added:
Visanthe Shiancoe, TE
Vinny Ciurciu, LB
Bobby Wade, WR
Mike Doss, S
Cortez Hankton, WR
Rd. 1 (No. 7 overall) Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
2 (44) Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
3 (72) Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno State
4 (102) Brian Robison, DE, Texas
5 (146) Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
6 (176) Rufus Alexander, LB, Oklahoma
7 (217) Tyler Thigpen, QB, Coastal Carolina
7 (233) Chandler Williams, WR, Florida International
The Minnesota Vikings, whether they'll be willing to admit it or not, are firmly entrenched in a rebuilding phase.
Coach Brad Childress went to rookie Tarvaris Jackson as his starting quarterback late last season, and the club cemented Jackson's starting status in the offseason by releasing veteran Brad Johnson. Jackson's performance last season wasn't always as bad as the numbers indicated. But he's not ready to be a quarterback with which an NFL team can win games, and the Vikings almost certainly will take their lumps next season while enduring his growing pains.
The club also released cornerback Fred Smoot, tight end Jermaine Wiggins and offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal, and linebacker Napoleon Harris exited as a free agent. The most significant addition in free agency was safety Mike Doss, a former starter for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Vikings used the seventh overall pick in the draft on Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson. They already had a 1,200-yard rusher in Chester Taylor, but the teams that went the furthest in last season's NFL playoffs demonstrated that there's plenty of room on the same roster for two capable runners. The Vikings believe that Peterson won't need to undergo surgery on the broken collarbone that he suffered last season, then aggravated during Oklahoma's bowl game. They'll ease their young quarterback's burden if they can run the ball often and effectively, but Jackson has a ways to go to be the sort of passer who can properly complement the running game and make the offense complete.
By Mark Maske |
May 22, 2007; 7:45 AM ET
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