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Vikings' secondary needs revision

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 22, 2011 @ 4:42 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

The Vikings now have gone nine games without an interception, and the discussion has centered around what salvageable pieces there might be in a secondary rife with question marks.

CB Antoine Winfield, the team's best cover corner despite being 34, is on injured reserve. CB Cedric Griffin is hobbled by two chronically bad knees and has been benched. CB Chris Cook is currently awaiting trial for strangulation charges but remains on the roster, apparently with the support of the team, which is paying him while the legal process plays out.

Winfield is a free agent this offseason, and there has been some feeling that he could be done with the team. But sources have indicated that a one-year deal to return and help solidify the Vikings might be the path that both player and team opt to choose.

Griffin has been given a measure of support from head coach Leslie Frazier despite the benching against the Lions in Week 14 and Griffin's comments afterwards in which he hinted he'd like to be released. So there remains a good chance the team will head to training camp with Griffin, who remains under contract through 2014. The club paid him $1.5 million in March as a part of his deferred signing bonus, which also makes it likely they won't give up on him yet, hoping an offseason of rest and rehab will do his creaky knees some good.

The status on Cook is in a holding pattern depending on the outcome of his case. The recent development of Marcus Sherels has been semi-promising, and Brandon Burton has received more time lately in an effort to see what he can do going forward. It would not be stunning, Cook's situation notwithstanding, if the CB depth chart reads similarly next season, with Asher Allen also in the mix.

So where will the change come from? Likely at safety.

The bloom is off Husain Abdullah's rose (and he's also on I.R.) somewhat, certainly as a starter, and Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford just haven't shown much as base defenders. Mistral Raymond is the one young player at the position who possibly has a chance to start in the future.

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