Vikings discussing veteran QB options

Where will the Vikings go with their quarterback situation? GM Rick Spielman discussed that, potential cap moves, more on Percy Harvin, Greg Childs, surgeries, the draft and other notes.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman admits backup quarterback Joe Webb didn't play well when called upon for the team's playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers.

Starter Christian Ponder wasn't able to play because of a deep contusion on his arm that severely limited his range of motion, and Webb wasn't able to play at a high level – completing only 11 of 30 passes for 180 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Add to those statistics the fact that Ponder didn't have a seasoned veteran starter to help him out and it all translates to the Vikings talking about the possibility of adding a veteran backup to their quarterback mix.

"We've talked about that and how important it is to have a veteran presence," Spielman said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "Those are things that we discuss, and when we get back (to Minnesota) we'll actually have our UFA meetings when we get out of the combine here next week. So, we'll get into a lot more detailed discussion on that.

Ponder was 23 years old last season, Webb turned 24 during the season, and third-string QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson was also 24.

"Like any other position, we'll look into the UFA (unrestricted free agent) market at potential backups if there's anyone out there," Spielman said. "Joe did not play very well in that Green Bay game, and he'll admit to that. But I know he's done a pretty phenomenal job coming off the bench in previous games and has played very well. So, we'll keep all our options open, but not only at the quarterback position. Everywhere."

Over his three-year career, Webb has played in 17 games, starting three. He has completed 57.9 percent of his 152 passes for 853 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. Beyond his game performances, the Vikings have three years of practice experience with him to help shape their evaluation.

"Our coaches are with him every day. They're in the meetings with him every day. We see him out at practice every day," Spielman said. "I don't think, just like when you're grading college players, that you grade just one game. You don't make a determination. I think you look at the whole big picture."

VETERAN BLOOD-LETTING?

While other teams have been releasing veterans for salary-cap or performance reasons, Spielman doesn't see the Vikings doing that anytime soon.

"I don't anticipate anything happening at this point," he said. "Now as we get through and get closer to that new league year, we'll see where that evolves. So I'm not going to ever say we're not going to do anything. We may. I don't know yet. We'll see how things progress."

The new league year starts when free agency commences March 12. The Vikings are about $12.3 million under the salary cap, but the exact figure hasn't been set yet because neither has the cap.

Despite a relatively favorable cap position, the Vikings could look to renegotiate contracts with some of their higher priced veterans – Antoine Winfield is scheduled to cost $7.25 million in cap space and Kevin Williams $7.5 million. Spielman admitted that if a player doesn't want to restructure it can lead to his release.

"Usually in general principle that's what happens," Spielman said.

NO HARVIN TALK YET

Spielman reiterated that the Vikings have "no intent" of trading Percy Harvin. The bigger news from Spielman's session with reporters was that he hasn't fielded interest in Harvin from NFL personnel at the combine.

"No one has asked me about it except reporters," Spielman said. "None. The cab driver coming in didn't say anything to me about it. The pilot when I got on the plane …"

When asked if the Vikings wouldn't entertain calls on Harvin, he went back to the catch phrase about having "no intent" to trade him.

INJURY UPDATE

Center John Sullivan (microfracture surgery on his left knee) and Jared Allen (surgery to repair a torn left labrum) are the only Vikings expected to not be ready for the Vikings offseason program, which starts the week of April 21.

"There should be no issues going forward on any of the guys that had minor things done to them being ready for the OTAs," Spielman said.

That included Adrian Peterson, who had surgery earlier this month to repair a sports hernia he dealt with during the second half of the season.

"He'll be ready. He's pretty good right now. You think Adrian wouldn't be good yet?" Spielman said with a laugh. "No, he's good. He's ready to go."

Spielman said Allen "had a great result, and he'll be ready to go when we need him."

NOTES

  • The Vikings currently have nine pick in April's draft – one each in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth rounds, along with two each in the fourth and seventh rounds. Spielman said it is always his goal to have 10 picks.

  • Spielman said "a couple" of players have now been red-dotted off the Vikings' draft board for either medical or character issues.

  • Receiver Greg Childs, who tore both patellar tendons in training camp last August, is progressing, but there were no indications on when he will be ready to practice, if ever.

    "He's working extremely hard. It's like a month-to-month thing, where he's coming. That will be yet to be determined.

    "I think Greg is a very driven individual, wants to do good and wants to show everybody that he can be good. He's attacked his rehab that way. And he's one of those guys that fit our profile of guys that loved ball and have a passion for the game, and he's shown that through his rehab."


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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    \r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Vikings general manager Rick Spielman admits backup quarterback Joe Webb didn't play well when called upon for the team's playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers. Starter Christian Ponder wasn't able to play because of a deep contusion on his arm that severely limited his range of motion, and Webb wasn't able to play at a high level – completing only 11 of 30 passes for 180 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Add to those statistics the fact that Ponder didn't have a seasoned veteran starter to help him out and it all translates to the Vikings talking about the possibility of adding a veteran backup to their quarterback mix. \"We've talked about that and how important it is to have a veteran presence,\" Spielman said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. \"Those are things that we discuss, and when we get back (to Minnesota) we'll actually have our UFA meetings when we get out of the combine here next week. So, we'll get into a lot more detailed discussion on that. Ponder was 23 years old last season, Webb turned 24 during the season, and third-string QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson was also 24. \"Like any other position, we'll look into the UFA (unrestricted free agent) market at potential backups if there's anyone out there,\" Spielman said. \"Joe did not play very well in that Green Bay game, and he'll admit to that. But I know he's done a pretty phenomenal job coming off the bench in previous games and has played very well. So, we'll keep all our options open, but not only at the quarterback position. Everywhere.\" Over his three-year career, Webb has played in 17 games, starting three. He has completed 57.9 percent of his 152 passes for 853 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. Beyond his game performances, the Vikings have three years of practice experience with him to help shape their evaluation. \"Our coaches are with him every day. They're in the meetings with him every day. We see him out at practice every day,\" Spielman said. \"I don't think, just like when you're grading college players, that you grade just one game. You don't make a determination. I think you look at the whole big picture.\" While other teams have been releasing veterans for salary-cap or performance reasons, Spielman doesn't see the Vikings doing that anytime soon. \"I don't anticipate anything happening at this point,\" he said. \"Now as we get through and get closer to that new league year, we'll see where that evolves. So I'm not going to ever say we're not going to do anything. We may. I don't know yet. We'll see how things progress.\" The new league year starts when free agency commences March 12. The Vikings are about $12.3 million under the salary cap, but the exact figure hasn't been set yet because neither has the cap. Despite a relatively favorable cap position, the Vikings could look to renegotiate contracts with some of their higher priced veterans – Antoine Winfield is scheduled to cost $7.25 million in cap space and Kevin Williams $7.5 million. Spielman admitted that if a player doesn't want to restructure it can lead to his release. \"Usually in general principle that's what happens,\" Spielman said. Spielman reiterated that the Vikings have \"no intent\" of trading Percy Harvin. The bigger news from Spielman's session with reporters was that he hasn't fielded interest in Harvin from NFL personnel at the combine. \"No one has asked me about it except reporters,\" Spielman said. \"None. The cab driver coming in didn't say anything to me about it. The pilot when I got on the plane …\" When asked if the Vikings wouldn't entertain calls on Harvin, he went back to the catch phrase about having \"no intent\" to trade him. Center John Sullivan (microfracture surgery on his left knee) and Jared Allen (surgery to repair a torn left labrum) are the only Vikings expected to not be ready for the Vikings offseason program, which starts the week of April 21. \"There should be no issues going forward on any of the guys that had minor things done to them being ready for the OTAs,\" Spielman said. That included Adrian Peterson, who had surgery earlier this month to repair a sports hernia he dealt with during the second half of the season. \"He'll be ready. He's pretty good right now. You think Adrian wouldn't be good yet?\" Spielman said with a laugh. \"No, he's good. He's ready to go.\" Spielman said Allen \"had a great result, and he'll be ready to go when we need him.\"
  • The Vikings currently have nine pick in April's draft – one each in the first, second, third, fifth and sixth rounds, along with two each in the fourth and seventh rounds. Spielman said it is always his goal to have 10 picks.
  • Spielman said \"a couple\" of players have now been red-dotted off the Vikings' draft board for either medical or character issues.
  • Receiver Greg Childs, who tore both patellar tendons in training camp last August, is progressing, but there were no indications on when he will be ready to practice, if ever. \"He's working extremely hard. It's like a month-to-month thing, where he's coming. That will be yet to be determined. \"I think Greg is a very driven individual, wants to do good and wants to show everybody that he can be good. He's attacked his rehab that way. And he's one of those guys that fit our profile of guys that loved ball and have a passion for the game, and he's shown that through his rehab.\"
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