The final position battle to be won — arguably by default — at the end of training camp this past summer was the other safety spot next to Harrison Smith. Heading into this offseason, that second starting safety spot is once again in flux for the Vikings.

• One reason for optimism: Smith thrived under head coach Mike Zimmer and is on the verge of becoming one of the league's very best safeties, if he isn't there already. Smith's play was a major factor in the Vikings improving to seventh in the NFL in pass defense last season, and he should only get better in 2015 now that he and his teammates are more comfortable with Zimmer's scheme. But first, the Vikings have decisions to make with Smith.

Picking up his fifth-year option for 2016 is a no-brainer, and signing him to a contract extension before the 2015 season would seem to be a wise move.

• One reason for concern: The Vikings were able to get by with Robert Blanton and then Andrew Sendejo in the starting lineup, but this remains a position that they can upgrade.

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