Johnson Wants Out?

Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson went public with a story that has rumored locally for the last couple of weeks -- that he wants to be a starter in the NFL and if that won't happen in Minnesota, he wants to move on.

In the last offseason, one of the early signings in the free agent period that the Vikings made was to lock up veteran quarterback Brad Johnson, who had made the rounds looking for a starter's job only to find that nobody was willing to offer a 36-year old the starter's job and starting QB money.

But, after a year in which Johnson led the team to a 7-2 record in his nine starts, he's changed his tune.

On the ESPN program "Outside the Lines" Johnson confirmed what has been rumored for the last couple of weeks -- that he wants to be traded if he won't have a chance to start for the Vikings.

While the rumor was initially dismissed by many in the local media as more likely being an agent trying to get a new deal for his client, Johnson himself confirmed with the program that he believes he still has three or four good years left. Despite his age, Johnson spent the first four years of his career as a deep backup whose body hasn't taken the abuse that a QB who has started from the beginning of his career would take.

Johnson, who has three years remaining on his current deal, reiterated what had been claimed he had said -- he wants to start in 2006 and, if the Vikings plan to hand the job back to Daunte Culpepper, he would like the chance to start somewhere else.

There was no immediate word from the Vikings organization as to whether they will meet Johnson's request -- which would likely have to be in the form of a trade since it's highly unlikely the team will simply release him from a team-friendly contract. But if nothing else, the rumors denying the initial reports of Johnson's wish to be traded can be quashed. He's serious and he did in fact say what was claimed. Now we have to wait and see how seriously Zygi Wilf and the powers that be with the Vikings take this latest salvo.

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