Now that we're getting to within 24 hours of the start of the 2008 Free Agency season, the Vikings have made a few moves.
The first move came when the Beloved Purple, mercifully, cut quarterback Kelly Holcomb. Acquired for a 2009 6th round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles just before the start of the regular season, Holcomb started three games for the Vikings (at Kansas City, vs. Green Bay, and vs. Philadelphia) and showed a whole lot of jack squat as the Vikings scored 10, 16, and 16 points in the 3 games he started. After suffering an injury against his former team, Holcomb spent the better part of the second half of the season as the #3 quarterback for the Vikings.
This move wasn't totally unexpected. Holcomb is long in the tooth, and had he shown anything in his time on the field this year, he could have stuck around in that capacity. However, he didn't, and so he's now looking to hold that job for another NFL team. I'm not sure how much he has left, but maybe he could serve as some sort of mentor for a youngster on someone's roster.
In a move that came as a mild surprise, the Vikings have also extended a offer to LB Heath Farwell. Farwell, a restricted free agent, received an offer of a 1-year, $1.4 million deal for the Vikings. The tender offer means that if another team should sign Farwell away from Minnesota, they'll have to give up their second-round pick in exchange.
Farwell hasn't seen a hell of a lot of time on the field defensively in his Vikings' career, but he's been an outstanding special teams player, and could potentially be seeing more time on defense in 2008 if the Vikings lose LB Dontarrious Thomas, another free agent who (as of this time) has not been offered a deal by Minnesota. All in all, I'd love to see Farwell remain in Minnesota performing in his current capacity and potentially expanding his role, but getting another second-round selection if anyone wants him wouldn't break my heart, either.
The Vikings are also not expected to bring back FB Tony Richardson, who will hit the free agent market in 24 hours. Personally, I like Richardson, but he's also getting up in years, and though he made the Pro Bowl this year, part of that may have been due to the fact that the NFC. . .and most of the rest of the NFL. . .really doesn't have a lot to choose from at the fullback position, as the position has been de-emphasized by many teams over the last few seasons. Of course, with 2007 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor employed by Minnesota, the Vikings could use a good FB. I'm curious to see whether the Vikings will try to find a replacement in free agency, find a replacement via the draft, or if they're going to try Naufahu Tahi at the FB spot. . .or Jeff Dugan, I guess.
In any event, it's shaping up to be an interesting next 24 hours for Minnesota. If any other news breaks, we'll have it right here for you.
Update [2008-2-27 18:42:40 by Gonzo]:
In news of former Vikings, the Lions have, apparently, decided that their secondary just isn't terrible enough, as they signed Dwight Smith to a two-year contract. Adrian Peterson will be blowing past him in the very near future.