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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Looking ahead: At QB, Vikings could seek to shake things up behind Teddy Bridgewater

By Andrew Krammer

This is the beginning of a position-by-position look at the Vikings with a focus on free agency, the draft and the 2016 season.

Quarterback

2015 playing time

Teddy Bridgewater: Started all 17 games, 97.4 percent of snaps

Shaun Hill: Backup for all 17 games, 2.6 percent of snaps

Taylor Heinicke: Inactive for all 17 games

Upcoming free agents

None.

Noteworthy number

• 8.9 percent — Blake Bortles leads the NFL with 106 sacks taken over the last two seasons. While he’s been brought down a lot more than Teddy Bridgewater (83), they share the same sack rate at 8.9 percent since entering the NFL. The emphasis on depth at quarterback grows as the Vikings retool and open up competition along a tattered offensive line. Bridgewater has managed to stay relatively healthy, aside from taking an illegal knockout blow against St. Louis, to make 28 of 29 starts since becoming the guy. They’ll be searching for ways to better protect him this offseason, and potentially seek better insurance plans than the 36-year-old Shaun Hill.

2016 salary cap hits, position rank

Shaun Hill: $3.25 million, 29th

Teddy Bridgewater: $1.87 million, 35th

Taylor Heinicke: $528,333, 64th

Quotable

“I think that we always want to look to bring quarterbacks in. Not necessarily to compete with Teddy. Teddy is our quarterback, he’s going to be our quarterback and there’s no doubt about that going forward. But we’re always going to be looking for quarterbacks. I think it’s an important position that whether it be in the draft or free agency or wherever, that we continue to have guys at that position.” — head coach Mike Zimmer on Jan. 12.

Pending free agent market

Includes Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chase Daniel, Matt Schaub, Scott Tolzien, Brandon Weeden, Matt Hasselbeck, T.J. Yates, Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Dan Orlovsky, Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Cassel and Charlie Whitehurst.

Draft

Never say never, especially in January. Right now, the educated guess is unlikely. In four drafts under the full control of general manager Rick Spielman, the Vikings have taken one quarterback in Bridgewater. Whether it be Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel or Shaun Hill, they’ve attempted to surround the drafted franchise player with free agent veterans. They’ve used other resources for young quarterbacks, but not often draft picks. Taylor Heinicke was a priority UDFA signing last spring and will likely remain the project in waiting. That leaves possible turnover at the veteran backup role, where Hill showed his age last season.

Bottom line

The Vikings have their starter in Bridgewater, with the only possible change coming behind him. Hill’s most extended duty last season came during 21 snaps in the overtime win vs. St. Louis. He completed 2-of-6 passes for 15 yards, making five handoffs on six plays after regulation to set up the game-winning field goal. The current quarterback pool isn’t considered deep in the NFL. Even so, the Vikings might not see Hill as worth the $3.25 million he’s due next season, none guaranteed.

The post Looking ahead: At QB, Vikings could seek to shake things up behind Teddy Bridgewater appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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