EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings were content with patiently waiting out the opening weeks of free agency in March, not willing to jump into the bidding for high-priced free-agents that could provide an immediate boost to a team coming off a 3-13 season.
General manager Rick Spielman had a plan and was sticking to it. While big-name, and big-money, players headed elsewhere, Minnesota stayed in the background seeking bargains. In the first wave of free agency, the Vikings seemed to have only one player they wanted to act aggressively on -- John Carlson.
The search for another pass-catching tight end demonstrated the desire to further develop offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's preferred two tight-end sets. Carlson, the team thought, would be a good complement to second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph and give second-year quarterback Christian Ponder more options.
"You've got the young quarterback," Spielman said at the draft. "We were able to go out ...