Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/12/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has said the team could make a "big splash" in free agency and also mentioned it could be patient when league opens for business on Tuesday at 3 p.m. About the only certainty for Minnesota is Spielman won't likely sway away from his philosophy of building through the draft and having the Vikings become a younger team. Now that he has the final say over roster decisions, Spielman won't deviate far, if at all, from his beliefs. So, what will Minnesota do in free agency? With nearly a third of the roster being cut or entering free agency, Spielman and the Vikings will need to make some moves just to fill out the 52-man roster and create depth. Minnesota is over 20 million under the 120.6 million salary cap, giving Spielman the ability to be active in free agency, if he chooses. "We will definitely look in the UFA market," Spielman said last month before the annual scouting combine. Whether we make a big splash or not, if there's someone out there that we think can help us that we're willing to spend a lot of money, we'll definitely look at those options." Aside from pulling Brett Favre out of retirement, the Vikings haven't signed a highly-coveted, major free agent since receiver Bernard Berrian in 2008. Last season, they signed defensive tackle Remi Ayodele and receiver Michael Jenkins in the days after free agency began and then added left tackle Charlie Johnson in training camp. The days of signing big-name free agents such as Steve Hutchinson (signed in 2006), Darren Sharper or Pat Williams (2005) and Antoine Winfield (2004) might be in the past. "If there's a guy there that we covet (they could sign someone right away), other than that we'll probably be patient and see how it shakes out," Spielman said last week. Whether in free agency or the draft, Minnesota has several starting spots open. Cutting Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera on Saturday leaves open two positions along the offensive line. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is an unrestricted free agent. The Vikings also could look at the wide receiver position. Defensively, starting linebackers E.J. and Erin Henderson are free agents, as is starting safety Husain Abdullah. Cornerback is another key area Minnesota could look to upgrade. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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