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.
Turns out the big winner of the Donovan McNabb-Vikings experiment is ... Sage Rosenfels.
Rosenfels, who returned to Minnesota in early December last year, a few days after the Vikings put McNabb on waivers, has now carved out a niche as a reliable veteran back-up quarterback. With free agency opening Tuesday, the Vikings took no chances in letting Rosenfels get away and have now agreed to a new contract.
Details of the new deal have yet to surface.
Still, it puts the 34-year-old Rosenfels in position to head to training camp this summer as the Vikings' No. 3 signal caller behind Christian Ponder and Joe Webb.The Vikings believe Rosenfels' presence will be a plus and he should provide leadership that will help steady Ponder and Webb.
Rosenfels has spent 11 seasons in the NFL but hasn't thrown a pass since December 2008 when with the Houston Texans.
Rosenfels' first stint with the Vikings began in 2009 when he was brought to Winter Park to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the starting quarterback job. But eventually Brett Favre later rode into town and altered the script dramatically. Rosenfels never played in '09 and left to join the Giants for the 2010 season.
He was with Miami early last season but was eventually waived with the Vikings swooping in to land him as their No. 3 quarterback after McNabb's exit.
Kenechi Udeze, the Vikings' first-round pick in 2004, has joined the Seahawks as a coaching intern, reuniting him with Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, his college coach at Southern Cal.
Udeze, whose NFL career was cut short because of leukemia, last played in 2007. He has been working as an assistant strength coach at the University of Washington.
Udeze, 28, was limited to just 51 games as an NFL player. All reports indicate his health is doing well and his coaching career is beginning to blossom. The former defensive end will work with Seattle's defensive line. He'll also see some familiar faces in Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice, current Seahawks and former teammates of Udeze's.
A day after waiving Donovan McNabb, the Vikings have found themselves a familiar replacement to fill out their depth chart at quarterback. This afternoon, the team's waiver claim for Sage Rosenfels was processed. Just like that, they again have themselves a fill-in to handle scout team snaps for the rest of the season.
Rosenfels was waived by the Dolphins on Thursday. He had been signed by Miami in early October but was placed on their reserve/non-football injury list as he continued recovering from a blood infection he had contracted while dealing with strep throat during training camp with the Giants late in the summer.
Now, he will return to Minnesota, where he was a third-stringer behind Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson during the 2009 season. The Vikings traded for Rosenfels early in '09. They sent a fourth-round pick to Houston, intending to hold a competition for the starting quarterback between Rosenfels and Jackson. Then, the Vikings landed Favre and Rosenfels quickly found himself as the No. 3 signal caller.
That's how he will return to the Twin Cities for the final 29 days of this season, sharing practice snaps with starter Christian Ponder and back-up Joe Webb.
Rosenfels, whose 33 and in his 11th NFL season, was making $1.5 million this season from Miami. So the Vikings will pick up the final four weeks of that salary. The team is also still on the hook to pay McNabb, who went unclaimed on waivers Friday. McNabb was making $5.05 million this season.
A snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for next Sunday’s game at Mall of America Field against the Raiders.
As the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s Week 11 game with Oakland at Mall of America Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.
|Vikings (3702)||People (1)|
|AFC (89)||Bears (455)|
|Ex-Vikings (45)||Football on TV (53)|
|Lions (354)||NFC (1358)|
|NFL draft (255)||NFL post-season (28)|
|Packers (508)||Super Bowl (266)|
|Vikings coaches (83)||Vikings defense (255)|
|Vikings fans (116)||Vikings injury report (291)|
|Vikings management (31)||Vikings off the field (281)|
|Vikings offense (366)||Vikings quarterbacks (257)|
|Vikings road games (77)||Vikings rookies (36)|
|Vikings roster moves (40)||Vikings special teams (37)|
|Vikings training camp (132)||Injury report (344)|
|Off the field (137)||On the road (81)|
|Quarterbacks (325)||Rookies (77)|
|Roster moves (17)||Vikings draft (267)|
|Vikings trade talk (2)||Vikings players (805)|
|Adrian Peterson (960)||Anthony Herrera (161)|
|Antoine Winfield (410)||Ben Leber (97)|
|Bernard Berrian (213)||Bobby Wade (16)|
|Brad Childress (639)||Brett Favre (808)|
|Brian Robison (170)||Bryant McKinnie (106)|
|Cedric Griffin (194)||Chad Greenway (202)|
|Chester Taylor (79)||Chris Kluwe (118)|
|Darrell Bevell (120)||E.J. Henderson (183)|
|Heath Farwell (50)||Jared Allen (408)|
|John Sullivan (206)||Kevin Williams (228)|
|Leslie Frazier (936)||Madieu Williams (78)|
|Pat Williams (154)||Percy Harvin (679)|
|Phil Loadholt (164)||Ray Edwards (173)|
|Ryan Longwell (145)||Sage Rosenfels (102)|
|Sidney Rice (273)||Steve Hutchinson (191)|
|Tarvaris Jackson (171)||Tyrell Johnson (151)|
|Visanthe Shiancoe (216)||Brad Childress (643)|
|Darrell Bevell (121)||Leslie Frazier (945)|