Vikings in need of veteran backup

Updated: March 14, 2005, 7:33 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson worked out Monday for his old team, now in the market for a backup to Daunte Culpepper after Gus Frerotte agreed to sign with Miami.

Frerotte, who played behind Culpepper for the last two seasons, joined former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan with the Dolphins, according to Minnesota vice president for football operations Rob Brzezinski.

Frerotte was interested in returning to Minnesota if he couldn't get the chance to start elsewhere, but the Dolphins are unsettled at the position.

Minnesota needs a proven backup, with third-stringer Shaun Hill lacking experience.

"Brad had a great visit," coach Mike Tice said in an e-mail. "He worked out very good ... has great anticipation on his throws. He would be a great fit for us."

Brzezinski said Monday there were no plans to bring in any other quarterbacks. Johnson's agent, Phil Williams, didn't immediately return a phone call Monday.

The 36-year-old Johnson, cut by Tampa Bay earlier this month in a salary-cap move, was benched by the Buccaneers after four games and fell to third on their depth chart.

Johnson, drafted by the Vikings in the ninth round in 1992 out of Florida State, worked his way up through the practice squad and became Warren Moon's backup in 1994. He took over the starting job in 1997, only to lose it to Randall Cunningham the next season after an injury in September.

Johnson was traded to Washington the following spring for the Redskins' first-round draft pick, a selection Minnesota used to take Culpepper.

After spending two years as the starter in Washington, Johnson joined Tampa Bay and wound up with a Super Bowl ring following the 2002 season. But he lost 10 of his last 13 starts with the Buccaneers, including his last six.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press