It's possible that the Vikings' starting defensive ends on opening day 2004 will be Chuck Wiley and Nick Rogers.
What about Kenny Mixon, you ask?
Mixon's status became cloudy this week when a jury found him guilty of drunken-driving, possessing an open container of alcohol and driving without a license. It was Mixon's second DUI conviction and third alcohol-related incident in 16 months.
Mixon faces up to a year in jail and a possible four-game suspension from the NFL. His sentencing is April 1. The league won't take any action until after Mixon is sentenced.
Mixon probably won't have to serve a year. If he doesn't appeal, he is expected to conclude his jail time — possibly 90 days — before the start of training camp.
Mixon was solid at left end last season. Wiley was the primary starter at right end, while undersized Lance Johnstone was a situational pass rusher.
Rogers will be moved from linebacker to right end, where he played in college. Wiley and Billy Lyon are backups, although the Vikings will look for defensive ends in the draft and during the second wave of free agency following the June 1 roster cuts.
NEEDS/DRAFT PRIORITIES: The Vikings addressed two of their biggest needs in free agency by signing Antoine Winfield as a shutdown left cornerback and Marcus Robinson as a No. 2 receiver. Here are their new needs for the draft: Right defensive end: The Vikings don't bring enough pressure off the edge. DT Kevin Williams (10.5 sacks) had an outstanding rookie season and needs help from the outside. A dominant RDE is needed; Outside linebacker: The Vikings would like to find a fast, athletic weakside linebacker. That would allow them to move Chris Claiborne to the strong side. Nick Rogers, who finished last season as a starting outside linebacker, has been moved back to his more natural position at right defensive end. Defensive tackle: The Vikings could use more depth here; Offensive line: They also need more depth here.
What If Mixon Isn't Available?
Viking Update Top Stories
Teammates call it strange if A.P. isn’t backTeammates of Adrian Peterson acknowledge it is a possibility that he won’t return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, but they say it would be strange without him and talk about his…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 10:17 AM
Report: Vikings to hire RBs coachThe Minnesota Vikings have reportedly hired a running backs coach and it may be working toward filling their quarterbacks-coach position.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 8:19 AM
(Not so) happy anniversaryTuesday is a day that any longtime Vikings fan will remember with a heavy heart. In its own way, it was tantamount to a death in the family - a grim reminder that not all…
Viking UpdateSunday at 10:37 PM
Zimmer: No timeline on Teddy yetMike Zimmer still doesn’t have much of a timeline on Teddy Bridgewater’s return to the Minnesota Vikings.
Viking UpdateSunday at 11:23 AM