Adam Caplan is a pretty well-respected NFL insider who has broken plenty of stories (I believe he knew about Bernard Berrian coming to the Vikes before anyone), so when he starts talking rumors and speculation, there’s some real meat to it. Thankfully, Caplan was willing and able to share some of what he’s been hearing on a chat at the subscription site Viking Update – and, again thankfully, someone was nice enough to take the text of said session (which I missed cause I ain’t paying for Viking Update) and post it on Rube Chat. The full text is here if you want to read it. Or, if you’re not in the mood to sift through the whole thing, you can check out the little synopsis I have compiled, hitting what I think are the major points Caplan addressed:
- Derek Anderson is “a possibility” for quarterback.
- Matt Birk is gone for sure. The team was happy with his performance, but evidently, he has had a “philosophical” disagreement with Brad Childress. Hmm…
- Brett Favre shouldn’t be ruled out.
- John David Booty is viewed as a back-up quarterback, period. He will never start unless things fall totally apart.
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh is almost certainly not coming. Nnamdi Asomugha is definitely not coming (how awesome would he be lining up opposite Antoine Winfield though).
- Antonio Bryant might be a possibility at receiver, but there are concerns about his character.
- C Jason Brown is the #1 free agent target, followed by RT Vernon Casey or RT Mark Tauscher. Jordan Gross if the Panthers don’t franchise him. The team does not believe Ryan Cook or John Sullivan is a long-term solution at center. Cook will almost certainly be replaced at right tackle as well.
- Caplan sees 2 large free agent signings overall.
- Darren Sharper is gone.
- If the Vikings do elect to go out and get a new quarterback, Matt Cassel is the #1 choice, followed by Jeff Garcia. Carson Palmer and Matt Hasselbeck are out of the picture. Caplan dismisses my guy Sage Rosenfels.
My own personal reactions:
- Just say no to Anderson.
- Sad to see Birk go…he’s the only interview I’ve ever landed as a blogger and, obviously, he’s one of the great all-time Viking linemen. Clearly, if you get in Chilly’s doghouse, you’re finished (just ask Dwight Smith and Marcus Robinson). It must mean something that a guy like Birk, who is smart and knows the game inside and out, would have philosophical differences with Chilly. This is another strike against Childress as a coach, in my opinion.
- I’m tired of thinking about Favre.
- I believe I’ve said that all along about Booty. No one seriously believes that guy will ever start.
- I never thought they would go after Houshmandzadeh. Signing two expensive free agent receivers in consecutive years would not be a smart allocation of funds (especially if you don’t know who your QB will be). The Asomugha thing was always a pipe-dream.
- Bryant…maybe…I don’t know…get back to me on it.
- I wouldn’t overspend for a center. It’s fine with me if Cook never starts again. I’m cool with Tauscher coming here if that’s the way things go.
- Nothing more need be said about Sharper. He was good for awhile and then he wasn’t. We need to be faster at safety. It’s all about covering space.
- Cassel just got franchised, so who knows if he’s a realistic possibility. Garcia? I thought Chilly didn’t like gunslingers. Well, if he’d be willing to sign Favre…
Tags: Adam Caplan Antoine Winfield Antonio Bryant Bernard Berrian Brad Childress Brett Favre Carson Palmer Darren Sharper Derek Anderson Dwight Smith Jason Brown Jeff Garcia John David Booty John Sullivan Jordan Gross Marcus Robinson Mark Tauscher Matt Birk Matt Cassel Matt Hasselbeck Minnesota Vikings Nnamdi Asomugha Ryan Cook Sage Rosenfels T.j. Houshmandzadeh Vernon Casey