Booty release sets up future questions

John David Booty's release on Wednesday brings up some interesting depth questions at the Vikings' quarterback spot.

The release of quarterback John David Booty provided more questions than answers Wednesday, as the Vikings apparently are moving on without the second-year quarterback.

Booty, a fifth-round draft pick in 2008, spent his rookie season as the No. 3 quarterback. When the team signed Brett Favre, speculation arose that the Vikings were trying to trade Tarvaris Jackson, but without doing that, they opted to release Booty in an effort to keep all four quarterbacks. The plan worked, as Booty cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad.

While it appeared Booty was safe after being signed to the practice squad, that changed Wednesday when the team signed offensive tackle Clint Oldenburg and cleared way for him on the practice squad by releasing Booty.

Booty struggled badly at times during training camp and the preseason after having what some thought was a very strong offseason workout program. It seemed fairly obvious that the move wasn't expected – during Wednesday's media access in the Vikings locker room at Winter Park, Booty's locker remained intact and full of personal items. Typically when a player is released, there is little to show that he ever existed, as his name plate is usually removed and his locker cleared out almost immediately after his release.

"We typically roll guys through the practice squad. He wasn't getting a great deal of turns there and the fact is we needed another offensive lineman to practice and wanted to take a look a Clint," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He had eligibility. I'm not going to rule out bringing (Booty) back, but we do what we need to do to make it through here week-by-week."

It will be interesting to see if any other team signs Booty. Because he was released, once he clears waivers, Booty is eligible to be signed to anyone else's practice squad. Had he been claimed off the Vikings practice squad, he would have to be placed on the signing team's 53-man roster.

For a player whose future seemed secure, especially in light of the view that Brett Favre might be here for just one season and Jackson could potentially be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, it would seem the Booty experiment in Minnesota is over.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • Rookie Percy Harvin didn't practice Wednesday. He was held out after suffering a shoulder injury against the Rams Sunday. At the time of the injury in the second quarter, Harvin was having a huge day – catching four passes for 66 yards midway through the quarter. After suffering the injury, he didn't return to action in the second half.

  • Right tackle Phil Loadholt, who missed Sunday's game with an ankle injury, returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis.

  • Harvin was the only Viking to sit out practice. Aside from Loadholt, four other Vikings practiced, but on a limited basis – Ray Edwards (hamstring), Steve Hutchinson (back), Darius Reynaud (hamstring) and Naufahu Tahi (ankle).

  • Several veterans have had their names included in potential trade rumors prior to the trade deadline next week, including Buffalo wide receiver Terrell Owens, San Diego OLB Shawne Merriman, Kansas City DT Glenn Dorsey and K.C. linebacker Derrick Johnson.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this hot topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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