QB or Not QB

While it's clear Brad Johnson is going to be the Vikings starter (at least until he gets hurt), the question now is who will be his backup?

The Vikings are a team in search of backup quarterback with Daunte Culpepper now rehabbing in Miami. The team has a growing list of candidates that seemingly is growing by the day.

There has been increasing speculation that the Vikings might package all three of their draft picks in the first 51 selections to make a run for Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler (apparently Vince Young's Wonderlic score has already precluded him from running Major Brad's West Coast offense). But there are several other options, including Brian Griese (his agent contacted the Vikings this week), Packers third-stringer Craig Nall, former Viking Gus Frerotte (released to make room for Culpepper)and Matt Schaub of the Falcons. There could be another name added to that list as the Joey Harrington era in Detroit would seem to be over. In the last week, the Lions have signed both Jon Kitna and Josh McCown -- making it unlikely Harrington is going to see a big salary coming his way.

The Vikings are currently on hold awaiting the Seahawks decision on whether to match the $49 million offer to Steve Hutchinson. Until that happens, the team isn't likely to make any big roster moves. If Seattle does match, the Vikings will still have about $23 million to play with in free agency and could once again get active.

FRIDAY NOTES
* Daunte Culpepper got his AIM account up and running again and sent a going away e-mail in which he thanked his teammates, the fans and even Dennis Green. No love or kisses for Zygi or Childress, however.
* From the "Say Hello to My Little Friend" Department comes this: Pepp wasn't even a Dolphin for two days before his pal Kelly Campbell came calling looking for work. Campbell, who has been out of the league since the Vikings released him in the aftermath of his gun arrest in Atlanta, was Culpepper's friend with the Vikings.
* Fullback William Henderson will likely decide today if he'll accept an offer from the Vikings or the Packers.
* Nate Burleson, who was in Seattle Thursday, is scheduled to visit the Texans Monday.
* Center Melvin Fowler is scheduled to visit the Saints today.
* Terrell Owens is rumored to have reached an agreement with the Cowboys, who recently released megamouth Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson listed off as many as eight teams that were interested in him -- one of them being the Vikings. It's unlikely Major Brad and his staff want a team player like Meshawn on the roster -- especially since his lack of reason has himself convinced he's worth $3-4 million a year.
* The Ravens released LB Peter Boulware Thursday. There was early talk that the Vikings might be one of the teams interested in him.

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