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Neither Spielman nor Frazier has written off the possibility that Webb will remain the team’s back-up next season. But the Vikings have made it clear they plan to open up the competition, unnerved by how inaccurate and overwhelmed Webb seemed when called upon as the emergency starter during the team’s playoff loss in Green Bay.
So that means Webb will not only face a challenge from last year’s No. 3, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, but that the Vikings will likely bring a veteran in to help solidify things.
Again, any outsider who signs with the Vikings will have to unselfishly accept a second-fiddle role behind Ponder.
So with that said, the list of quarterback UFAs with previous starting experience includes Tyler Thigpen, Rex Grossman, Derek Anderson, Jason Campbell and Matt Leinart.
Three of the Vikings’ top four linebackers from last season — Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley and Marvin Mitchell — are all set to become free agents. So which direction will the Vikings turn to provide Pro Bowler Chad Greenway added support?
Brinkley and Henderson each enjoyed solid 2012 seasons and grew into their heightened roles. But neither flourished when serving as the middle linebacker in nickel packages either.
Ideally, the Vikings would love to add a three-down inside linebacker with admirable coverage skills. But they may ultimately have to wait until April’s draft to fulfill that wish.
Free agent options could include Daryl Smith and Brad Jones. But only if the price is reasonable and the fit in the defense seems perfect.
Overall, familiarity with the likes of Henderson, Brinkley and, to an extent, Mitchell also will be a significant factor.
|Chicago Cubs - M. Garza||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - W. Rodriguez|
|Detroit - M. Scherzer||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - C. Kluber|
|NY Yankees - P. Hughes||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - M. Gonzalez|
|Tampa Bay - A. Cobb||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - R. Ortiz|
|Cincinnati - M. Leake||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - J. Niese|
|Philadelphia - T. Cloyd||6:10 PM|
|Miami - J. Fernandez|
|Minnesota - M. Pelfrey||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - T. Hudson|
|Oakland - D. Straily||7:05 PM|
|Texas - Y. Darvish|
|Los Angeles - Z. Greinke||7:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - H. Burgos|
|Boston - F. Doubront||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - J. Quintana|
|Kansas City - W. Davis||7:10 PM|
|Houston - B. Norris|
|Arizona - I. Kennedy||7:40 PM|
|Colorado - J. Chacin|
|Seattle - A. Harang||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - J. Williams|
|St. Louis - A. Wainwright||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - E. Volquez|
|Washington - S. Strasburg||9:15 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Cain|
|Los Angeles||9:00 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|