Also in the news early this week: quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees. If there's a single team that needs a quarterback that hasn't already called Brees's agent to see if there's any interest, that team is making a huge mistake.
An upgrade at quarterback could propel the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl next season, and they appear to be examining all options.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday that the Vikings have inquired about Drew Brees, who is set to become a free agent after he and the New Orleans Saints failed to announce a new deal before the legal tampering period began.
With the free agency period looming, this pushes more pressure upon the Saints to get a new deal worked out for Brees in the next couple of days.
Teddy Bridgewater is able to play after missing significant time because of injury, while veterans Sam Bradford and Case Keenum both are unrestricted free agents. It is now March 9, five days until Brees's contract expires and the $18 million in dead money hits the Saints, and no deal has been agreed on.
Those teams - or any other for that matter - could simply be leverage for Brees and his camp against the Saints, but what if Brees doesn't balk? Brees is technically available, even if it's not likely that he signs with Minnesota. It was highly expeected Brees was returning to New Orleans, but they have yet to sign an extension. Brees may be more of a longshot, but he's worth shot.
"Congratulations to Zach Strief on being arguably probably one of the best players I've had a chance to coach, one of the best teammates and someone our whole organization and fanbase can be proud of", Payton said in a statement, via the team's website.