Is a QB slide opening up for Vikings?

Two teams that had quarterback needs added veterans in the past couple days. Does that open up the possibility that more of the top quarterbacks will be options for the Vikings at No. 8?

Could the Vikings be ending up with a quarterback after all?

After a couple of moves made by teams in front of them, the allure of a quarterback might take a back seat to another position.

It's been a busy week in Houston and Oakland. Both teams have been linked to taking quarterbacks in the first round of the draft – Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater being connected to interest from the Texans with the No. 1 overall pick and the Raiders being tied into significant interest in Johnny Manziel.

Both of those situations may now be in a state of change. In Houston, Schaub had been the starter, while never viewed as elite. He was a quarterback who led the team to the playoffs and had them as a preseason favorite to make a playoff run in 2013 after being the AFC's top seed in 2012. The epic collapse last season – Houston started the season 2-0 and didn't win another game all year – was laid squarely on the shoulders of Schaub, who threw an interception for a touchdown in four straight games before being yanked from the lineup. Houston had backups T.J. Yates and Case Keenum – both of whom have earned experience as starters.

When the Texans signed recently released Tennessee/Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $7.5 million contract, it sent a message that new coach Bill O'Brien wanted a veteran QB with a pedigree in hopes of replicating what Kansas City did last year with Alex Smith. Houston wants to be the third straight team to draft first and make the playoffs later that same year, joining the Chiefs and Colts.

While signing Fitzpatrick doesn't solve the Texans QB issues, it makes it more likely that the team could pass on a quarterback early and have Fitzpatrick mentor a second- or third-round pick. Jadeveon Clowney is a player of interest to them since the team has lost three of its top four defensive linemen in free agency and J.J. Watt can't do it by himself.

Meanwhile, Oakland, which already has a young scrambling-style quarterback in Terrelle Pryor, got Schaub, who head coach Dennis Allen said could be their QB for three or four years. Whether he's just blowing smoke – NFL types do that always, but especially this time of year – or not, a case could be made that the young QB Allen and the Raiders want to groom is Pryor, not Manziel.

While the trade between the Texans and Raiders may not take either of them out of the market for a QB in the first five picks of the draft, it would appear that it has opened the door to that possibility.


  • A lot of sports fans had their brackets busted Saturday, but Adrian Peterson remains alive and well despite being in the bottom third of those 11 million who submitted brackets to the ESPN Tournament Challenge, where, along with luminaries like President Obama and Dick Vitale, he puts his bracket out for everyone to see. Peterson had Duke going to the Elite Eight (as did many), but he still has seven of his Elite Eight and all of his Final Four picks (Florida, Arizona, Michigan State and Louisville). He has Florida beating Arizona in the finals. He's not high on the leader boards now, but he has the potential to make some noise in the next couple of weeks if his bracket doesn't implode.

  • The Vikings had a private workout with San Jose State quarterback David Fales Saturday. Fales projects to be a mid-round pick.

  • Former Viking A.J. Jefferson began serving a 90-day sentence for domestic assault Thursday for choking his girlfriend in a dispute over text messages. Jefferson pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge earlier this month and was sentenced to 90 days in the Hennepin County Jail and one year of probation. Jefferson was released on Nov. 25, 2013 – the day after his arrest.

  • ESPN's Todd McShay believes the Vikings have the most interest in Teddy Bridgewater among the QB Class of 2014.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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