The advantage to having nothing to play for is the fact that the team in question can go into full-blown evaluation mode and get an idea of who they will want to keep around next year, and in what capacity.
This weekend it'll be five veterans who are under the microscope, so come take a look at who it will be and why.
Devin Aromashodu is a raw receiver with a lot of talent, but he is still very raw and inconsistent as a starter.
The Vikings are going to have to decide whether or not Aromashodu is worth keeping around, and if he is, whether or not he should even be a starter.
This week against the Bears, Aromashodu has a golden opportunity to prove his worth and avoid the potential ax altogether.
(He's in there, trust me.)
Charlie Johnson was just about as miserable as they come, and his job as a blind-side tackle is one of the most important jobs on the line.
This week the Vikings are going to let Joe Webb get a few more reps, and Johnson needs to prove he is worthy of being kept around in Minnesota.
My guess is the Vikings already made their decisions and bought Johnson some luggage.
The 32-year-old Henderson has been one of the best linebackers against the run for the Vikings in a long time, but against the pass, he has been a sheer liability.
This is what needs to be evaluated moving forward, and this weekend against the Bears is a good start.
The Vikings are already making a trendy move toward a younger team, and they desperately need to upgrade to an LB who can cover and stop the run.
Anthony Herrera was another lineman who had a terrible season, but this marks his second in a row, and I believe the Vikings are at the end of their rope with him.
While Herrera will be fighting for a roster spot this weekend, it may be futile given his underachieving play for two straight seasons.
His health—a minor concern (lower back) for this weekend alone—has also been a liability the Vikings have dealt with, making Herrera very expendable.
Sometimes when you fight for a roster spot, it isn't the roster spot (per se) that your are fighting for but, rather, the placement.
Joe Webb is an interesting athlete indeed, and he will be playing under a huge microscope this weekend.
The Vikings and coach Frazier love Webb, saying:
"Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it," said Frazier. "It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team. He's done it. He did it a season ago as well."
The Vikings had already hinted toward perhaps making Webb a receiver, but Frazier's latest comments suggests there could be a full-blown QB battle in camp next year, and this weekend, Webb will have the chance to state his case.
Keep in mind, however, that football is also a business. This weekend could very much be the Vikings showcasing Webb for scouts and other teams, and one could suggest Webb is the greatest trade chip the Vikings have right now.
Stranger things have happened.