Vikings Notes: Ponder, Mallett, Spielman

The Vikings have 54 players under contract for a total or $103MM for 2014. According to, the team is estimated to have just north of $25MM in cap space to spend this offseason. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman plans to spend that money on re-signing their own free agents, writes Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. One free agent Spielman has already expressed interest in is quarterback Matt Cassel, who finished last season as the starter. The Vikings are not expected to retain embattled passer Josh Freeman. The team will also be looking carefully at cap casualties from other teams that they could bring in to help improve their roster. Here are some more notes from the Vikings offseason:

  • Spielman made it very clear that he wants Christian Ponder to be back in the mix for their starting quarterback in 2014, although the team is not expected to stand pat at the position, writes Master Tesfatsion of the Star Tribune“Christian will be here; I don’t anticipate anything — him not being here,” Spielman said. “Right now we’re looking at quarterbacks, so we would say we don’t have that position solidified. I know Christian does have the physical abilities to do it, but for whatever reason things haven’t come together for him.”
  • To add to the quarterback options, the Vikings could be interested in trading for Patriots’ backup Ryan Mallett, writes Christopher Gates of Gates writes that the strong-armed quarterback has the skill set that could succeed in a Norv Turner offense.
  • Spielman might have more influence on the 2014 Vikings than he has ever had in his 17 years as an NFL executive, writes Ben Goessling of Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and if Spielman cannot parlay the eight overall pick, the $25MM in cap space, and the Ponder/Cassel duo into a quarterback that can carry the offense at times, then he could be on the hot seat next offseason.
  • Tight end John Carlson announced that he would continue his career despite his concussion issues, writes Tesfatsion. He was put on IR after suffering a concussion in Week 14, but was evaluated and has decided that he can continue playing in 2014.
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