The Players, The Future

Nearly a week after the season-ending playoff loss to Philadelphia, we catch up and take a look at what a few potential free agents are thinking about their future with the team and others that will have to step up their play next season.

QB Gus Frerotte, the team's backup, has made it clear he wants to be a starter somewhere in the league next season. He is a free agent this offseason and should get at least a few nibbles in the free agent market. The one drawback is Frerotte didn't take a snap from center this season. He threw only two passes, both of them incompletions on fake field goal attempts.

Frerotte said he enjoyed his two seasons as Daunte Culpepper's backup, but he's now ready to compete for a starting job elsewhere.

"I wouldn't say there was stellar quarterback play throughout the NFL this season," said Frerotte, an unrestricted free agent this offseason. "I'm not going to run all over the place for you, but if a team needs a strong-armed quarterback who can stand in the pocket and knows where to throw the ball, I can do that."

  • DE Kenechi Udeze, who slowed down toward the end of the season and was replaced in the starting lineup in the playoffs, will have his shoulder examined this week. It's possible he will have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. It's the same injury that caused Udeze to drop in the first round of last year's draft.

  • OT Adam Goldberg, a former practice squad player who ended up starting the last seven games, was praised Monday by coach Mike Tice as "a tremendous story for our team this season." Tice said Goldberg will compete for a starting position next season, either with Mike Rosenthal at right tackle or at one of the guard positions.

  • LB Chris Claiborne had a game-high eight tackles and a pass defensed against Philadelphia in what might have been his last game as a Viking. Claiborne is a free agent this offseason. He played progressively better during the second half of the season as his calf injury healed and grew stronger. "It's up to the Vikings what they want to do," Claiborne said.

  • LB E.J. Henderson had only four tackles and was a liability in pass coverage in the first half of Sunday's 27-14 NFC divisional playoff loss at Philadelphia. Henderson struggled most of the season, but basically got a free pass as a first-year starter in only his second season. The Vikings will expect better play next season.

  • WR Randy Moss was in a rare talkative mood after the playoff win at Green Bay — you know, the game in which he fake mooned the fans at Lambeau Field. Well, a week later at Philadelphia, Moss was back to his usual self when reporters approached. "I ain't doing no interviews," he said. Moss didn't give himself a chance to comment on Eagles WR Freddie Mitchell's playful touchdown celebration. After giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead, Mitchell pretended to pull his pants up.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "Goodbye, Minnesota." — Former first-round draft pick Chris Hovan, looking over his shoulders at reporters as he pushed open the door from the locker room to the players' parking lot on the day after the season ended with a 27-14 loss in an NFC divisional playoff game at Philadelphia. Hovan, who is a free agent this offseason, lost his starting job to rookie free agent Spencer Johnson at midseason and was inactive for five of the last seven games, including both playoff games.




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