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Matt Birk Watch Begins

The Matt Birk Watch may not be as compelling as the T.J. Houshmandzadeh Watch, but given how thin the free agent options on the offensive line are getting – and how thin the Vikings already are at certain spots on the line – it may be just as meaningful.  At this point, with Jason Brown having been signed by the Rams, Birk is without question the best center on the market – which is why the Ravens brought him in for a visit yesterday…a visit Birk characterized with all sorts of glowing terms like “impressive” and “pretty great” (he forgot “keen” and “swell”).  Birk now says he will make up his mind by Thursday whether to bolt for the Ravens or stay in Minnesota, where he has forged a Pro Bowl career.

And if Birk does decide to leave?  The Vikings have two in-house options:  2008 draftee John Sullivan and – gulp – Ryan Cook, who was a center in college.  The only centers left on the free agent market are backup-quality guys like Grey Ruegamer and Melvin Fowler.  There are a couple centers rated in the first round level in the upcoming draft – Cal’s Alex Mack and Oregon’s Max Unger – but do you really want to go into the season with a new starting quarterback and a rookie center?

It’s obvious what this all boils down to:  The Vikings’ best move is to re-sign Birk.  Thankfully, he seems open to re-upping, in spite of the alleged “philosophical differences” he had with Brad Childress during the season.  Considering how feeble the Vikings’ efforts have been in free agency so far, they shouldn’t have any problem scaring up the funds to surpass whatever Baltimore is willing to offer.

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Tags: Alex Mack Baltimore Ravens Brad Childress Jason Brown John Sullivan Matt Birk Max Unger Minnesota Vikings Ryan Cook St. Louis Rams

  • Mike

    The Vikings must sign Birk.  They need free agency and the draft to address RT and maybe even RG.  Replacing the whole right side is hard enough so lets not expand it to 60% of the line.

  • Spanky

    being a viking fan is the most frustrating thing on earth….i’ll bet chilly was behind the Rosenfels deal…chilly needs to be demoted to towel boy and i’ll bet he would make a mess of that…chilly has to go and now!!!

  • http://Pennsylvania bernie jelinek

    I agree with you on that one Spanky, being a Vikings fan is a very frustrating ordeal. I’ve been a long time fan since 1970. One thing is for sure though, we never seem to get the piece of the puzzle we need to take us over the top. After reading some comments on the Denver Broncos website, their fans are’nt very kind when it comes to bashing their new coach, but what was more surprising is their distain, or outright hatred for their all-pro QB, Jay Cutler. If the Vikings miss an opportunity to trade for Cutler, it will only add more of the same frustration I’ve had for this organization  over the years, in it’s reluctance to bring big name QB’s to this deserving team, and most importantly to it’s fans.  If Cutler isn’t the perfect fit for this team right now , then who is?  I won’t put Rosenfels down just yet, because he does have some talent and competitiveness, and could be an assest to the Vikings, but all this talk about Cassel, Housch, McNabb, Warner, etc. ,etc. makes for a now-or-never scenario. Obviously, Cutler’s not happy in Denver, and their fans despise him, so i’d say now is the time to bring us a ring and get Cutler.  

  • NFL Lines

    He also forgot “groovy”…lol.