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Vikings want playmakers for Ponder; Peterson's rehab going well

General manager Rick Spielman confirmed Thursday that the Minnesota Vikings will not be in the market for wide receiver Randy Moss, but he does plan to sift through a rich, deep pool of talent in free agency and the draft to acquire more big-play threats to help quarterback Christian Ponder.

"To give Christian the best chance at success is to get him around as many playmakers as we can on offense," said Spielman, who added the Vikings are "very, very confident" in the 2011 first-round pick, but that if they determine one of the available quarterbacks in the draft is "too good to pass up," they'll have to weigh that option.

The Vikings are sure to field several trade offers for the No. 3 overall pick in the draft. Spielman said he and his staff will use a "full monty" approach to evaluating every prospect, even expected No. 1 selection Andrew Luck, because he doesn't want to be "under-prepared."

There are plenty of other needs -- at cornerback, safety, left tackle and nose tackle, for starters -- and the Vikings clearly are in better position to address those areas through the draft for the sake of long-term development. They're counting on 10 picks, including compensatory selections for lost free agents last year, to do the job.

Spielman said he counted contract extensions in the past six months for running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Chad Greenway, center John Sullivan and long snapper Cullen Loeffler as free-agent signings, one hint the Vikings won't be active on the open market. All of those players would have been free agents next month. But Spielman, who ascended to GM in January after serving as vice president of player personnel, said the team won't rule out a major signing.

Spielman also said Peterson's rehabilitation from knee surgery is proceeding as planned.

"We've been very pleased," Spielman said.

Peterson is in Houston and will make occasional trips to Minnesota this year. Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman speaks daily with Peterson's physical therapist, and Spielman said the running back is on track to being "extremely close to being ready" for the start of the season.

Cornerback Chris Cook's felony assault trial is set to start March 5. Spielman said he has spoken to Cook since his October arrest and believes he has grown and matured from the situation, an alleged choking of his girlfriend during an argument. Spielman declined to speculate on Cook's roster status without resolution from the court but said, "You can never have enough good corners."

Also Thursday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield is ahead of schedule in his efforts to return from a broken collarbone,

Winfield was ruled out for the season after breaking his collarbone during a Week 10 game against the Green Bay Packers. The three-time Pro Bowl selection played in just five games in 2011.

The Vikings also plan to start contract negotiations with linebacker Erin Henderson at the NFL Scouting Combine. Henderson has said he wants to remain with the Vikings.

Henderson had a career year in 2011, posting highs in tackles (70), sacks (1.5) and games started (11).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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