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Vikings go into combine with all options open at quarterback

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The Minnesota Vikings front office is in Indianapolis for the NFL's Scouting Combine.

They will be looking at, scouting and interviewing many prospects over the next three days, including many of the quarterbacks in this year's draft class.

Vikings.com writer Mike Wobschall identified quarterbacks who will throw at the combine as the number one thing he'll be watching. The problem for the Vikings is they have the eighth pick in the draft. The pick is likely too late for them to get one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, and too early to select one from the second-tier of quarterbacks.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman will have to decide if the Vikings will trade up to select a quarterback, stay put or even trade down and consider taking defense early and waiting until later in the draft to select a signal caller.

If Spielman chooses either of the latter two options, some of the names the Vikings will be looking at are LSU quarterback Zach Mettenburger, Fresno State's Derek Carr or Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo.

Another option for Spielman, according to ESPN, is trading a draft pick for one of the top backup quarterbacks, already in the NFL.

Washington's Kirk Cousins and New England's Ryan Mallett are both thought to be available to teams if they are willing to trade a draft pick.

According to the Washington Post, the Redskins would like a second-round pick for Cousins. Cousins played in five games for Washington last season and threw seven interceptions.

Mallett has been in New England since he was drafted in 2011 (same year as Christian Ponder). He has been Tom Brady's backup and not played much. He has not started an NFL game.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots are also targeting a second round pick for Mallett.

Another option for the Vikings at quarterback might center on what the St. Louis Rams do with the second overall pick in the draft.

The Star Tribune reports Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has a huge $17.6 million salary cap number this year. The Rams could try and extend Bradford's contract, thus making him more cap-friendly but also tying him to the team for the long term, keep Bradford and his cap number for just this year, or cut him, save money and use the second pick to select a quarterback.

If Bradford were cut many quarterback-needy teams could be intrigued, including the Vikings.

No matter what Spielman and the Vikings front office decide at quarterback, the basis for those decisions will start being established this weekend in Indianapolis.

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