Thoughts On Replacement Options For Chester Taylor

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 9, 2010 – 2:11 pm

The most common email question I received this past week was about RB Chester Taylor signing with the Bears and the Vikings next move in replacing him. I thought there was so much interest in this issue that we’d devote a separate blog entry to it rather than including it in this week’s Monday Morning Mailbag.

So, let’s take a look at a several options the Vikings have in terms of filling the hole created by Taylor’s departure.

– Since we’re in the middle of free agency, many of you seem to be brainstorming about which available players might best fit the Vikings offensive system as a replacement for Taylor. There are 3 types of available players for the Vikings to consider – free agents, unrestricted free agents (UFAs) and restricted free agents (RFAs).

The 2 free agents that have been linked to the Vikings most frequently are former Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson and former Eagles RB Brian Westbrook. Both of these players were released from their respective teams, making them free agents. Also, both players seem to have the skill sets that would make them nice complementary backs to Adrian Peterson.

But another free agent RB that might also fit nicely with the Vikings is former Raiders RB Justin Fargas. Most people will immediately write off this suggestion and I think that reaction is the product of Fargas playing in Oakland – not an ideal scenario over the past few seasons – more so than the result of a true evaluation of how he might play in Minnesota.

In the RFA market, I think Jets RB Leon Washington is an intriguing possibility. But there are 2 significant hurdles for any team interested in Washington. First, he’s coming off a serious leg injury from last season. Secondly, he was tendered at the 2nd round level by the Jets, meaning any team that wants to sign him must pay him a contract and also give up a 2nd rounder this year.

In terms of UFAs, one back out there who has produced at the NFL level in the past is Willie Parker. He has displayed abilities in both the run game and also as a receiver out of the backfield.

– Another option for the Vikings to consider is drafting another RB to fill Taylor’s role. Maybe it’s with their 1st round pick – #30 overall – or maybe it’s with another choice later in the draft. The Vikings currently have 7 selections in April’s draft and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Vikings use one of them on a RB.

– Don’t forget the Vikings have a pair of RBs on the roster right now – Ian Johnson and Albert Young – who will give their best effort to show coaches that they can step up with Taylor now departed. Also, the Vikings have recently added 3-year pro James Johnson to the roster. Young was the Vikings #3 RB last year but Johnson gave him good competition during training camp last year.

– Another route the Vikings could go is to explore a trade for a RB, although this seems like the least likely method the Vikings would use.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the Vikings goal should not be to fill the spot quickly. Rather, the Vikings need to fill it well. Taylor was obviously an important part of the Vikings offense in 2009 and all during his 4-year tenure in Minnesota, so it’s fair to expect that whomever the Vikings choose to fulfill that role in 2010 will be relied upon in a similar fashion.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Thoughts On Replacement Options For Chester Taylor”

  1. By steve on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    now that we got rid of chester taylor why dont the vikings look at brian westbrook like everyone has been saying that brian knows the offense and knows brad childress that would be a great fit. My feelings on putting Percy harvin in the back field would be a mistake he does very well coming out of the slot formation and doing for what he does best. Look at the yards he gain when starting out there in the slotdont take that away from him.

  2. By Robert Tyler on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    My shopping list for the Minnesota Vikings………..
    #1. A top notch rookie QB taken in the 2010 draft.
    #2. Former Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson as a free agent
    #3. Darren Sharper as a DB free agent.
    #4. Rookie Brian Price DT taken in the 2010 draft.
    #5. When this list is completed Zigi Wolf will get his new 1.5 billion $$$ stadium.

  3. By Alex Baumann on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t think Albert Young or any Running Back in this organization will get the job done. LaDanian Tomlinson is still very passionate about football. Imagine LT and Adrian Peterson in the back field together.
    The Vikings have nearly everything they need to have a serious chance at the Lombardi Trophy. Here’s what I think needs to happen to go down to win the Super Bowl.
    1) Get a QuarterBack. For years Vikings fans have put up with pitiful Quarterbacks. Last time I checked you need a quarterback to win football games. Some options are Brett Favre coming back, acquiring Donavon McNabb via a trade, or draft a Rookie Quarterback who can protect the football. Minnesota fans deserve better thatn Tarvaris Jackson.

    2) Sign LaDanian Tomlinson. Chilli does not need a reunion with Brian Westbrook. He gets way too many concussions.

    3) Get another CB. The slot CB spot seriously needs some help.

    4) This probably wouldn’t help us win the Super Bowl but this is something we need in the state of Minnesota. The Vikings need a retractable roof stadium. The Metrodome is a horrible facility, our fans and the team deserves better.

  4. By Chaz on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    We do not need westbrook. he has never stayed healthy. too risky of an investment. they will not take sharper. they released him two seasons ago for a reason, to get younger at the position. We will not get price and a top notch QB in the draft. Our CB spot is fine. winfield will be healthy, griffin may not be. but they are not going to invest more money on a corner when they just signed griffin and winfield to long term deals. Sapp is winfield Jr. What we really need is Favre back. and that is about it.

  5. By Chaz on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    and pursue Tomlinson. i agree with that. even though it was before the start of last season he was arguing that he was better then peterson and chilly came out and said his guy was better. that would make headlines all year. is tomlinson unhappy with his role in MN?! does he think he deserves to be the starter?! are he and chilly creating a skism in the locker room?

  6. By Pat Spicci on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    sign Michael Bennett. he is still fast, he can catch and block. he may be 32 but he hasn’t been taking a beating for the last 4 years. he got thrown under the bus by tice now let him finish his career in minnesota. should be able to get two good years out of him.

  7. By DeMann on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    Tomlison would be such a better pick, yet hes got a huge ego and i dont think Peterson and him would get along..We need CB, Center, backup QB since Favre is comin back…Westbrook forgetabout it…no way

  8. By jacob on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    go for westbrook. he is a playmaker, and he wont have a very heavy role judging that peterson can hold on to the ball. we need no sign leigh bodden because our coverage is what killed us last year. it would be nice if brett came back, but regardless we need to look at the future of our franchise’s quarterback position. im thinking we should somehow find a way to trade up in the draft and select jimmy clausen or sam bradford. if we cant trade up i suggest drafting tebow. sure, his mechanics arent great but he is and always has been a winner and he will find a way to be great in the NFL, he has all the intangebles.

  9. By S Anderson on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    Brett will be back. We need to simply go after LT or justin fargas now and then use our first round draft pick on colt Mccoy.

  10. By Lance on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    PLEASE SIGN L.T.!!!!!!!!!!! The guy is reliable and a true pro and very talented!

  11. By j.k. on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    all we need is a qb , all we ever get is a washed up qb’s on their way out. Tired off all these qb’s that come to minnesota for there last stop . Can we ever get a young qb that has talent and we can rout for and be happy with, so trade our draft picks and move up in this draft and get someone that will be here for years. Rather that than a broken down qb, that can’t get the job done !!!!!!!!

  12. By Austin on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    look in to mike vick or tebow for QB but let brett come back if he wound like to & look at LT,westbrook,free agent,or draft for RB

  13. By jbork88 on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    LT COMING TO TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. By todd on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    LT LT LT what about AP

  15. By Jesse on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    The number one goal should be to take the team to a super bowl next year.

    1. Biggest concern is the qb situation. If we knew for sure Brett Favre was coming back it wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s the issue. I love the thought of picking up Tim Tebow in the draft. Many people believe this would be a very questionable decision, but think about it., Here’s a guy who would do anything and everything to make it to the super bowl. He also has is good on his feet and that would help our running game opening up some things for AP. If Brett Favre came back, he could also mentor Tim Tebow and Tebow would be a great fit for the wild card.

    2. Our defense has a lot of options. A lot of people want to draft a cb or a dt. It isn’t high on my priorites. I think if we want another dt or cb we should pick him up in free agency, but we shouldn’t waste a 1st or 2nd round draft pick on one.

    3. Find another playmaker. Childress loves playmakers. I’d love to see Taylor Mays in the backfield over Tyrell Johnson.

    4.L.T. and Westbrook are great, but I think Ian Johnson has a great future and I would love to see him in the backfield this upcoming season

    5. Maybe find a guy in the draft who could play C/OG. Maurkice Pouncey is a great choice. Of course Mike Iupati, but we probably won’t pick him up that late in the round. Jon Asamoah and Matt Tennant are great choices too.

  16. By Purple Heart on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    LT is coming to visit Minnesota on Thursday. The decision will ride upon his willingness to be a back-up to Adrian, to swallow his pride and accept that he is not “the man” anymore and his paycheck will reflect that. He is a future hall-of-famer and we all know that, however, his role now will be to fill the void left by the departure of Chester. If he understands that, and his motivation is to do whatever is asked of him to bring a championship to Minnesota, and one that has eluded him his entire career, then I say, ” all chips are in.”

  17. By jbork88 on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    he already knows he wouldn’t get the starting job. It’s good he is even attempting to talk to them. and shows he is seriously considering signing with them. what are his other options? clevland? oakland? good luck succeding there

  18. By Julien on Mar 9, 2010 | Reply

    Well to be honest..Don’t spend a 1st or second round pick on a cb..Get it out of free agency..And everyones talking about LT…His ego is way to big and might effect AP’s game.What ever they chose its up to them…BUT PLEASE TRADE TAVARIES JACKSON…(i spelled that wrong)…(WHO CARES) No one wants Jackson and he isn’t the man for the job.

  19. By Yaegerbomb on Mar 10, 2010 | Reply

    T Jackson is definetly not the guy. Don’t get me wrong, he has a powerful arm and is very mobil, similair to Vick, but he lacks the ability to read the defense and audible at the line. I get a good hunch the the ol’e man will return and be firing some scuds from the ol’e rocket again this year. Adrian Peterson should have a ball duct taped to his nike armor all offseason, not questions asked. Chilly will arrange a agreement with favre and Ziggy, were he is allowed to skip training camp (for the 3rd year in a row) It will all happen again next year people, But it is essential to burn our first round pick on a well rounded QB that can learn from the Iron man! GO VIKINGS

  20. By Wildcard on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ok all. IF Bret comes back That will be great! However, T Jackson does need a chance with a real coach. The number 1 priority should be bouncing Childress out on his ass. I know it wont happen but that should be #1! And if you want to dream about have LT coming in then lets really start dreaming, bring Moss back and pick up T.O. There, now the grey goose will have more then 2 targets and A.P. and LT can run over the field. That way we wont need a “D” because they will be able to run up the score! Get Childress out bring in Cower leave everything else alone! Then pick up a QB inthe draft so Bret can show them the right way to play. Problem solved!

  21. By marcus on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply

    call westbrook!!!!! vikings you took the chance with brett? and see how great that turn out! so why not and plus it want break the bank to get him? upside is at lease he will pick up a pass rusher to by the old man some time and he is great out the back field and i think he got sum left in the tank. i belive deep down he is the better fit! but what i know? downside is the head injury and how bad is yet to be seen? if it was really bad westbrook wouldn’t return?

  22. By marcus on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply

    pass the coaching out of chilly hands! i think d coach would be better than him for that matter!. he don’t deserve the money he gets..heck brett ran the team…he save his narrow backside…chillwill is trash get him out there. calls wrong play at the wrong time late in games!!! he is the reason you can’t get to big game! not the players! he has no back bone and no nuts :(

  23. By matt on Mar 14, 2010 | Reply

    Ian Johnson will be a star for the Vikings.

  24. By Antonio Haynes on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    try to pick up darren sporles to bac up adrian peterson

  25. By AntonioHyns on Mar 15, 2010 | Reply

    try to pick up darren sporles to replace chester taylor

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