The retirement of cornerback Asher Allen has thrust a spotlight onto the Minnesota Vikings defensive backfield.
The Star Tribune ran an article looking at the possible alternatives to Allen, and the candidates for playing have changed drastically since last season.
Allen's exit, it's presumed, will open the door for the Vikings to add another body to their secondary. Whoever that turns out to be will have to introduce himself to [Antoine] Winfield, who in recent days has been getting to know new corners Chris Carr and Zack Bowman (both signed in free agency) and rookie Josh Robinson (drafted in the third round in April).
Oh, a pair of rookie safeties (Harrison Smith and Robert Blanton) also could be in line to earn significant playing time this fall.
Plus, promising corner Chris Cook is back after missing last season's final 10 games following his arrest on domestic assault charges.
Of course, having some new faces around might not be the worst thing for the Vikings secondary. Last season the team's pass defense surrendered 4,019 yards -- seventh worst in the NFL -- while giving up 34 touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks completed 68.2 percent of their passes against Minnesota; only the Indianapolis Colts had a worse mark.
Of the 11 DBs who started for the Vikings last season, five, including Allen, are no longer on the roster.
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