Seven topics for the Vikings offseason

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER and MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: January 9, 2013 - 6:10 AM
The Vikings, after a somewhat surprising 10-6 regular season and a playoff berth, now look ahead to the offseason. Here are seven topics to keep your eye on:

PERCY HARVIN

Harvin hasn't spoken publicly since November, before he was moved to injured reserve because of a sprained left ankle. He then quickly vanished from Winter Park. So it's hard to know exactly what the receiver is thinking about his future in Minnesota. And despite coach Leslie Frazier's assertions Tuesday that Harvin is co-existing peacefully within the team, there are still few details on what caused the receiver to angrily request a trade last June. The Vikings also have been vague explaining the full story behind the decision to end Harvin's season Dec. 5 -- with four regular-season games left and no medical information indicating his ankle injury would require surgery. To be clear, Harvin is not considered a divisive force by teammates. He's just a moody guy whom the Vikings have learned to give space to when needed. Now the receiver, the coaching staff and the front office must try to get on the same page with what they want. Best-case scenario: Harvin is awarded a long-term contract extension and all is hunky-dory. But if a serious disconnect remains, don't be surprised if the Vikings are receptive to trade talks.

Thirty-somethings

Eight players now under contract for next season will be 30 or older, including soon-to-turn 30-year-olds Chad Greenway, Brian Robison and Fred Evans. The two oldest players -- cornerback Antoine Winfield and defensive tackle Kevin Williams -- will be 36 and 33, respectively. Winfield is scheduled to make $7.2 million in Year 15, while Williams is due $8 million in his 11th season. And although the Vikings are in the midst of a youth movement, Frazier wants both graybeards back because of their level of play and their leadership. "The intangible in this is a big deal when you're trying to get the locker room the way you want it," Frazier said. "To have star players with the demeanor and the leadership qualities that they both possess helped our football team in 2012. ... That's something that we're going to talk about when we have our personnel meetings with [General Manager] Rick [Spielman]. ... I want them to remain Minnesota Vikings. They are great, great players and great people as well."

 

DRAFT NEEDS

The Vikings own the No. 23 pick in the first round and should have seven other selections, but are unlikely to pick up any compensatory picks in March. The needs are obvious. A playmaking outside receiver is a must. And if the Vikings don't go the free agency route, here are a few intriguing possibilities in Round 1: Baylor's Terrance Williams, Southern Cal's Robert Woods, Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins and Tennessee's Justin Hunter. The Vikings also will aim to bolster their depth in the linebacking corps, search for additional help at defensive tackle and continue to stockpile quality secondary players.

 

IN-HOUSE FREE AGENTS

The most notable names on the list: fullback Jerome Felton, right tackle Phil Loadholt, middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, safety Jamarca Sanford, outside linebacker Erin Henderson and receiver Jerome Simpson. Felton, a surprise Pro Bowler this season, has made it clear he doesn't want to test the open market, 100 percent happy here and wants to stick around. The Vikings should get something done there before March. Loadholt is the next most likely player to be locked up before free agency begins. Sanford is also a favorite among teammates and coaches. The other three might be allowed to at least hit the market in March. Other unrestricted free agents are receiver Devin Aromashodu, linebacker Marvin Mitchell, and offensive linemen Joe Berger and Geoff Schwartz.

QUARTERBACKS

Christian Ponder's role will not change. Period. "He's our starter [for 2013]," Frazier said Tuesday while praising the way Ponder helped the Vikings finish 4-0 to reach 10 wins and the playoffs. Ironically, the arm injury that kept Ponder out of Saturday night's playoff loss at Green Bay could very well cost backup Joe Webb his job. Thrust into an incredibly difficult test on the road, Webb failed miserably. Three days later, Frazier sympathized with Webb but clearly left the door ajar to make changes behind Ponder. "[Webb will] be a guy that will compete for the No. 2 spot again next year, barring something that we may end up doing in our personnel meetings," Frazier said. "But we'll discuss Joe's position and everyone's position in our personnel meetings and then we'll make a decision what's best." It sure sounds like a change is coming behind Ponder.

ADRIAN PETERSON

After facing an endless line of questioning last week about finishing 9 yards shy of breaking the NFL single-season rushing record, Peterson has set a new goal. He plans to obliterate Eric Dickerson's record in 2013, now aiming for -- wait for it -- 2,500 rushing yards. It's an outlandish goal. But only if you're thinking logically without understanding the mental powers of Adrian Peterson. Which is why teammates hear the 2,500-yard target and nod. "I think it's doable," Felton said. At this point, if Peterson said he could fix the budget deficit or repair the ozone, he'd have an undoubting legion of followers. In truth, chasing 1,800 yards next fall might be a more reasonable objective. Most importantly, those questions from 365 days ago on whether Peterson would ever be the same after major knee surgery have been answered.

 

COACHING STAFF

Coaching staffs rarely stay completely intact from year to year, but Frazier said his hope is to keep this group together for 2013. That's understandable considering the seven-win improvement from 2011 to 2012. "Our coaches did a great job," Frazier said. "Barring someone getting a promotion, I'm hoping all our guys are back. They did a terrific job." Meanwhile, Frazier confirmed that two of his assistants -- linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach Mike Singletary and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer -- will interview for the Bears' vacant head coaching position. Singletary played his Hall of Fame career in Chicago and was San Francisco's head coach from the final nine games of 2008 to the 15th game in 2010. Priefer, whose NFL coaching career began in 2002 in Jacksonville, coordinated one of the league's best special teams units this season.

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Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 28 4th Qtr 3:30
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 114 FINAL
New Orleans 88
Utah 86 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Atlanta 104 FINAL
Houston 97
San Antonio 93 FINAL
Dallas 99
Indiana 73 FINAL
Denver 76
Milwaukee 52 3rd Qtr
LA Clippers 50
Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
Buffalo 1
Philadelphia 7 FINAL
Toronto 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Montreal 4
Washington 4 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Florida 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Chicago 2 FINAL(SO)
Columbus 3
Nashville 6 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 5
Calgary 1 2nd Prd 2:49
Vancouver 2
St. Louis 0 2nd Prd 15:36
San Jose 0
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
UMBC 66 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 77
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
UCLA 44 FINAL
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 83 FINAL
Drake 54
Wake Forest 50 FINAL
Florida 63
High Point 80 FINAL
James Madison 71
Texas Southern 71 FINAL
Michigan State 64
New Hampshire 60 FINAL
Sacred Heart 73
Northeastern 78 FINAL
Santa Clara 72
Huston-Tillotson 56 FINAL
Texas State 90
Purdue 63 FINAL
Notre Dame 94
Prairie View 44 FINAL
Sam Houston St 61
Xavier 88 FINAL
Auburn 89
Bluffton 53 FINAL
Akron 92
NJIT 84 FINAL
Central Conn St 76
Hofstra 77 FINAL
Columbia 82
Boston Univ 62 FINAL
Dayton 78
Iona 81 FINAL
George Mason 86
Valparaiso 75 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 72
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
Kansas State 71
Morgan State 69 FINAL
Manhattan 73
Saint Josephs 75 FINAL
Marist 58
East Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 66
Richmond 65 FINAL
Pepperdine 63
La Salle 67 FINAL
Towson 53
Incarnate Word 110 FINAL
UMKC 104
CS-Bakersfield 59 FINAL
Idaho State 50
Iowa 44 FINAL
Northern Iowa 56
Milwaukee 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 61
Long Beach State 68 FINAL
Texas 78
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
TCU 88
SE Missouri St 67 FINAL
Arkansas 85
Lehigh 77 3rd OT 2:45
Arizona State 78
New Mexico 69 FINAL
New Mexico St 67
Oklahoma 67 FINAL
Washington 69
Utah Valley U 61 FINAL
Weber State 73
Jacksonville St 60 FINAL
Northern Colorado 69
St Edwards 55 FINAL
Grand Canyon 81
NC State 63 2nd Half 4:45
West Virginia 71
TX A&M-CC 56 2nd Half 6:12
CS-Northridge 52
Cal Poly 42 2nd Half 7:31
Gonzaga 49
Fresno State 56 2nd Half 3:00
Pacific 62
Montana State 49 2nd Half 7:32
Portland 76
Ball State 38 2nd Half 13:14
San Diego St 50
South Dakota St 49 2nd Half 8:51
Utah State 40
Stanford 20 1st Half 6:18
BYU 28
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 7 3rd Qtr 12:02
Bowling Green 20
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
FIU 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
UCF 57 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
UMKC 51
Louisiana Tech 52 FINAL
Utah 67
Southern Utah 51 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
Hawaii 85 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 76
San Jose St 62 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
San Diego State 54
Norfolk State 36 FINAL
East Carolina 65
Saint Peters 49 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 59
Arizona 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 72
Northwestern 92 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 44
Oral Roberts 52 FINAL
Wisconsin 70
Florida Atlantic 44 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
La Salle 76 FINAL
Georgia State 68
(16) Oregon State 73 FINAL
Nevada 50
Sacred Heart 72 FINAL
Villanova 49
Delaware 59 FINAL
Cincinnati 67
Troy 75 FINAL
Tennessee St 71
Saint Louis 68 FINAL
Utah Valley U 66
Washington 74 FINAL
UC-Riverside 71
Pacific 43 FINAL
Long Beach St 53
Old Dominion 69 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 63
Austin Peay 62 FINAL
Montana 83
Lewis-Clark State 40 2nd Half 2:53
Idaho 73
(21) Miss State 46 2nd Half 17:38
Illinois-Chicago 18
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
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