Teddy Bridgewater 'definitely' sees himself as starter

Instead of preparing for a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the Vikings -- just like that -- are left to ponder an offseason flush with questions.

Questions that begin under center, with Minnesota's trio of quarterbacks -- Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater -- all set to hit free agency with the dawn of the new league year.

Keenum, this year's marvelous starter, has been talked about as a potential target for the franchise tag, but those reports came before Sunday's 38-7 collapse to the Eagles in the NFC title game. Bradford and Keenum are also candidates to follow Pat Shurmur to New York, where the Vikings coordinator is set to take over as head coach of the Giants.

So what about Bridgewater?

The back-from-injury signal-caller told reporters Monday that he "definitely" sees himself as a starter in 2018, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert. Bridgewater, though, acknowledged that such a role might have to happen somewhere other than Minnesota.

Bridgewater courageously returned this season from a devastating knee injury that wiped out his 2016 campaign. The former starter was essentially demoted during the playoffs, though, floating in the abyss behind Keenum and Bradford and calling the experience a "test of my character."

In a perfect world, the Vikings would keep Bridgewater around to compete with Keenum for the starting role. Not an easy solution, however, when both players see themselves as leading men.

It boils down to how this coaching staff feels about Keenum as a long-term answer at the most important position in sports. He played out of his mind all season and deserves to be seen for his entire body of work -- not just Sunday's implosion.

As for Bridgewater, if his time is up in Minnesota, he'll quickly find employment elsewhere. He's 25 years old with plenty of solid game tape under his belt. If the Vikings don't want him, someone else will.

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