A few additional notes to our earlier post regarding Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and his thoughts on the Vikings free agency situation…
– This was Spielman’s response when he was asked about free agent RBs LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook, who’ve both been linked to the Vikings since their release from the Chargers and Eagles, respectively: “We stick to the same philosophy we’ve always had. Regardless of the position, if there’s a guy out there that can help us, then we do it. If we can fill it from within, then we do that as well. I don’t think we’d ever not look at anybody that becomes available, but you have discussions about it and you make your decision and move on.”
Spielman (wisely) didn’t elaborate specifically on either Tomlinson or Westbrook and instead reiterated in a general sense that the Vikings take a good look at every available player and make a determination, based on several factors, as to whether or not each player is a good fit for the organization.
– We discussed several of the Vikings unrestricted free agents (UFAs) in an earlier post on Thursday, but also don’t forget that the Vikings have a healthy crop of restricted free agents (RFAs) that they must address. Those RFAs are: OL Ryan Cook, DE Ray Edwards, DT Fred Evans, QB Tarvaris Jackson, CB Karl Paymah and FB Fahu Tahi. Spielman said today that the Vikings have decided which tender level they will assign to each player but that the club will not disclose that information until the day before free agency. If you’re confused about what a RFA tender is or how the process works, click here to learn more.
–As we touched on earlier Thursday, the lack of a salary cap and a salary floor this offseason could have any number of consequences on this year’s free agent climate (owners could spend like crazy or they could keep their pocketbooks closed). Spielman was clear in explaining that it’s not known how other teams will respond to this new environment and that his sole focus is on developing and executing a free agency plan for the Vikings. Asked if Vikings ownership has given a “green light” to pursuing players, this was Spielman’s response: “I just know that our ownership, since I’ve been here, has always done things to make sure that if there is someone we feel that unique about that we are able to go out and get them. Again, we are very fortunate, the fans of Minnesota are very fortunate, to have owners that are willing to go out and put the resources out there to go get the players that we need to win ballgames.”
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