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.


Vikings re-sign Guion to three-year deal

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Super Bowl, Brett Favre, Kevin Williams Updated: March 13, 2012 - 3:51 PM

The concurrent news that the Vikings and Bears made in the past 50 minutes or so kind of tells you where the two teams are in their process to reach the top of the NFC North and legitimately contend for a Super Bowl title.

The Bears went into the start of the new league year with an elite QB -- finally -- in Jay Cutler and a team that needed a No. 1 receiver desperately. With all eyes focused on the Bears possibly adding Vincent Jackson via free agency, Chicago pulled a much more impressive move by virtually robbing the Dolphins of Brandon Marshall for two third-round draft picks. Marshall reunites with Cutler, whom he has a great relationship with.

Meanwhile, the Vikings re-signed backup defensive tackle Letroy Guion for three years. While that move obviously falls miles short of the Marshall trade, it's a good transaction for a team that much remain patient as it rebuilds with young players.

Guion showed a lot of promise in 2010 before taking a step back in 2011. But he's still a promising 24-year-old guy who has the skill to share snaps with a declining Kevin Williams and eventually replace Williams.

When judging free agency, it's important to keep an eye on a team's window of opportunity as much as its salary cap room. When the Vikings' window of opportunity was slim, they signed Brett Favre in 2009 and gave him a pay bump to return in 2010.

The Bears are now that team that feels its time is now. Meanwhile, Marshall's arrival in the NFC North further magnifies that the Vikings' No. 1 need is, without a doubt, cornerback.

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