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Did Vikings 'cheap out' on weak side?

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Posted Aug. 27, 2011 @ 8:11 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Vikings have committed to pay LBs Chad Greenway and E.J. Henderson big money, so it was no surprise when they allowed WLB Ben Leber, last year's starter, to walk in free agency. The likely winner of the starting job at that spot is Erin Henderson, E.J.'s brother, but it has less to do with the way he has performed and more to do with the fact that the competition at the spot has been less than thrilling.

Henderson has been OK, but head coach Leslie Frazier has admitted that the competition he was hoping for at the position has not panned out as expected. Other candidates to play there include Kenny Onatolu, Jasper Brinkley and rookie Ross Homan. Onatolu and Homan have missed time with injuries, and Brinkley appears a far better fit inside because of his movement skills.

The team also added David Herron as a backup possibility, but he's mostly known for his special-teams work.

Leber played about 50 percent of the snaps at that position last season, so it's possible that Erin Henderson won't even be called on to handle that percentage in the base defense. But you still have to wonder if the team didn't maybe go a little cheap at this position and whether that fact will come back to bite it.

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