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2012 NFL Free Agency: Previewing the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings were so sure that an aging, well over the hill, QB could lead them deep into the playoffs that they tried to wine and dine Brett Favre so hard core. They even gave Donovan McNabb a job last year. Seriously. Look it up. That actually happened.

But, after a while, they handed the proverbial reigns to one Christian Ponder and pretty much never looked back. And while the kid showed enough of a skill set to get excited about next year, if they do not throw him a bone in FA, he won't be able to take that next step.

Probably one of the biggest questions facing the Vikings this offseason is whether or not Adrian Peterson will come back from his knee surgery as the same running back. That's the type of injury which can end a career. I don't really know how active the Vikings will be in FA in this regard, and my gut tells me that they will probably stand pat and be hopeful, but you never know.

Rather, the Vikings offense has more pressing needs. Need numero uno should be shoring up the o-line for Ponder. Nothing hurts a young QB more than constant pressure. Give him some blockers and let the game slow down for him a bit.

Secondly, the Vikings should get him some help on the outside. Snagging an effective receiver in FA would help a lot. While this is a FA preview post, it is interesting to note here that the Vikings may have a short at Matt Kalil and Justin Blackmon in the draft, two guys who would fill these needs. I wonder if their draft slot will affect how aggressively they pursue one position over the other in FA.

Defensively, the Vikings need to shore up their secondary. It's hard to be in a division with the Lions and Packers and not have a top-notch secondary. One would think that a team with such pass rush abilities would be able to have a better pass defense in general, but the Vikings really struggled last year.

Restricted Free Agents: RB Lorenzo Booker, LB Kenny Onatolu.

Unrestricted Free Agents: QB Sage Rosenfels, WR Devin Aromashodu, WR Greg Camarillo, TE Jimmy Kleinsasser, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, OL Scott Kooistra, DT Fred Evans, DT Letroy Guion, LB Xavier Adibi, LB E.J. Henderson, LB Erin Henderson, CB Benny Sapp, S Husain Abdullah, S Tyrell Johnson, S Jarrad Page, LS Matt Katula.