Like Everson Griffen roaring out of the tunnel in the picture above, the Minnesota Vikings have hit the free-agency period running. And while a good start is the key to winning most races, you have to have a good fallback plan when things start going off script.
The Vikings have kept many of their own free agents and will hope to land some others beginning Tuesday afternoon, when NFL teams are able to begin officially signing free agents at 4 p.m. ET.
While fans across the league like to dream of their favorite team signing four or five starters in free agency, the reality is that salary-cap restrictions and market demand make that highly unlikely.
The NFL free-agency negotiating period, which opened last Saturday and runs until Tuesday, is a lot like a high school dance.
There's a lot of eyeballing, a lot of people checking each other out and rumors about who likes whom running amok. And like a lot of high school dances, things don't always turn out the way you planned.
For the Vikings, things couldn't have gotten off to a better start. General manager Rick Spielman, who's always espoused the importance of keeping your own key free agents and drafting well as the blueprint to a successful franchise, had a home run of a weekend.
Spielman re-signed the team's two most important free agents in quarterback Matt Cassel and defensive end Everson Griffen according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Also kept in the fold with reasonable contracts were glue guys Marcus Sherels and Larry Dean, as reported by ESPN's Ben Goessling. Linebacker Jasper Brinkley was brought back after a year in Arizona to add depth and compete for a starting job at linebacker.
As expected, the Vikings parted ways with stalwart Jared Allen, per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. Allen was likely looking for more money and more snaps than Minnesota is willing to give him at this point in his career.
So, as the feeding frenzy that is NFL free agency begins Tuesday afternoon, let's look at a couple of fallback plans the Vikings may have when it comes to filling the holes on their roster.