Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


LB D'Qwell Jackson's decision looming; Vikings not in the running

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: March 5, 2014 - 11:21 AM

Free agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is expected to make his decision within the next 48 hours and the Vikings aren’t one of his four teams, according to an NFL source.

The Vikings had discussions with the former Browns linebacker after the two sides mutually agreed to part ways last week, but it never materalized into a visit. Jackson, 30, has met with three teams already -- the Titans, Broncos and Dolphins. He’s currently meeting with his final team, the Colts.

It’s not an impressive free agent class for linebackers, as Mark Craig pointed out earlier this morning. Along with Chad Greenway, the Vikings have three young linebackers to work with in Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti. The team also has two free agents at the position: Desmond Bishop and Marvin Mitchell.

Bishop was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL he suffered in Week 6 against the Panthers. He played just four games after missed the entire 2012 season with the Packers due to a hamstring injury. Bishop has only played a full season once in career in 2009 with Green Bay, but he didn’t start.

Mitchell spent two seasons with the Vikings and had 51 tackles in 27 games. He made a career high 10 starts this season but wasn’t used much in former head coach Leslie Frazier’s defensive scheme.

Unless they want to bring in a veteran to complement some of their young linebackers, the draft might be the best bet. The Vikings will get an opportunity with work with Cole, Hodges and Mauti during their mini-camp in April right before the draft.

Either way, Jackson won’t be in purple next season.

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