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Vikings complete trade with Texans for veteran QB Rosenfels

Entering his ninth season in the NFL and playing for his fourth team, Sage Rosenfels was asked how many times previously he entered training camp with a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job.

"This is it," Rosenfels said with a big grin.

The Vikings acquired Rosenfels from the Houston Texans on Friday for a fourth-round draft pick and signed him to a two-year, $9 million contract extension that could keep him in Minnesota through 2011.

Rosenfels will compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job.


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He entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 2001. He was traded to Miami the following season, but got just two starts in four years.

The chance to be the man appeared to be on the way during his second season in Houston in 2007, but the Texans spent two second-round draft picks and nearly $50 million to get Matt Schaub away from Atlanta.

It's the second season in a row that the Vikings have tried to trade for Rosenfels. Last year, the teams could not agree on compensation, so Minnesota brought in veteran Gus Frerotte as a backup. They finally came together on a fourth-round pick, and the Vikings released Frerotte soon after the deal was announced.

"Over eight years, I've really worked my tail off to get to this point, to get this opportunity," Rosenfels said. "I'm hoping to make the most of it."

Rosenfels went 2-3 in five starts for the injured Schaub last season. He threw for 1,431 yards with six touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 66.7 completion percentage.

Bringing in someone to compete with Jackson for the starting job was one of Minnesota's biggest offseason priorities after losing to Philadelphia in the playoffs.

Jackson was benched after two losses to open last season and Frerotte went 8-3 in his place.

When Frerotte went down with a back injury, Jackson flourished to finish the regular season. He rallied the Vikings to a victory over the Lions after Frerotte got injured and won NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors the following week after throwing four touchdown passes in a road victory over Arizona.

In the first round of the playoffs, however, Jackson took a big step back against the frenetic blitzes of the Philly defense. He went 15-for-34 for 164 yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown in a 26-14 loss to the Eagles that ended Minnesota's season.

"You're always trying to get yourself better," Childress said. "So I felt this would make us a little bit better, in terms of competition."

Rosenfels was up and down last season as well.

He completed 21 of 29 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Schaub against the Vikings in November, but he also threw an interception in the end zone in the 28-21 loss.

In October, Rosenfels came in for Schaub again and had the Texans up by 17 points in the fourth quarter, but fumbled twice down the stretch as the Colts rallied to win 31-27.

"I probably forced the ball a few too many times," Rosenfels said of last season as a whole. "I didn't have a top-five or whatever our defense was, the Vikings defense, was last year and I think Matt and I both probably got too aggressive last year."

But the market for quarterbacks is especially thin this offseason, with other options including Jeff Garcia, Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman.

Playing under Gary Kubiak in Houston, Rosenfels ran a West Coast offense similar to the one Brad Childress employs in Minnesota.

One of the biggest differences? The Texans had Steve Slaton, but he's no Adrian Peterson.

"The Minnesota Vikings are a very, very good football team," Rosenfels said. "Having No. 28 behind there, that's a quarterback's dream."

He did throw four more interceptions than touchdowns, but he had a good completion percentage, which is important in this scheme.

Jackson has struggled in that area, having yet to complete better than 59.1 percent of his passes in his three seasons in the league.

"I think that's the thing that separates people apart, knowing your guys and putting the ball in catchable spots for those guys," Childress said.

Last year, Jackson started five games and played in nine total, throwing for 1,056 yards with nine touchdowns and just two interceptions.

The 37-year-old Frerotte threw for 2,157 yards with 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.

With the quarterback position addressed, the Vikings now turn their attention to other areas of need, including right tackle and defensive back. They are also trying to re-sign free agent center Matt Birk and linebacker Heath Farwell.

"We'd love to have them back, if we could," vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said.

Note: NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports the Vikings re-signed tight end Jimmy Kleinsasser to a three-year deal Friday worth $9 million.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report

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