Too Many Guards?

The Vikings continue their offseason workout program looking to improve themselves at several positions. One of those spots is guard, where the team has brought in four players that have potential at guard -- leaving the three incumbents understandably nervous.

The Vikings have several questions that will need to be answered under new head coach Brad Childress. Perhaps no position will be subject to Childress' mantra of position flexibility than guard -- specifically right guard.

When the team signed left guard Steve Hutchinson there was no question of position flexibility -- he's the left guard, pure and simple. But what about right guard?

The Vikings brought in Artis Hicks in a draft weekend trade to take over the starting duties, but also have rookie Ryan Cook, veteran free agent Jason Whittle and three returnees with starting experience -- Chris Liwienski, Anthony Herrera and Adam Goldberg.

The numbers speak volumes. With the team expected to keep seven or eight offensive linemen at most, there won't be room for all of these guys. While all of them will likely end up on a NFL roster barring injury, the numbers game is against at least a couple of them, which will likely make them available to someone else in August.

* Another offensive lineman who could be on the bubble is Mike Rosenthal. Word at Winter Park is that the team is committed to getting Marcus Johnson plugged in at right tackle, which could make Rosenthal and his big contract expendable.
* There is talk that Chester Taylor didn't show up to the team's offseason workout program in good shape and hasn't made any Brownie points with the new coaching staff.
* Former Vikings RB Butchie Wallace has a chance to hook on with the Falcons, who signed him recently. Warrick Dunn is on the wrong side of 30 and T.J. Duckett remains a potential cap casualty because of his big contract.
* The Vikings are in great shape when it comes to free agents following the 2006 season. The only players of note that will be unrestricted free agents at this point are E.J. Henderson, Whittle and Travis Taylor.

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