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With move of Webb to wide receiver, Vikings hope to find use for untapped skills

  • 141484ec1e825912330f6a706700cfe5.jpg

    FILE - In this May 29, 2013 file photo, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Joe Webb goes through passing drills during team practice in Eden Prairie, Minn. Entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, Webb is running out of opportunities to put his elite athleticism to productive use in the NFL. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this May 29, 2013 file photo, Minnesota Vikings'  Joe Webb talks with reporters after team practice in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Vikings have moved Webb from quarterback to wide receiver, hoping he’ll be able to find a niche. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File) (The Associated Press)

The Minnesota Vikings have tried unsuccessfully to turn Joe Webb's elite athleticism into reliable NFL productivity, and his time is running out.

Entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, Webb's last chance to warrant a part in the team's future has arrived: as a wide receiver.

Webb was switched from quarterback this spring after veteran Matt Cassel was signed to be Christian Ponder's backup. The Vikings saw little purpose in keeping a sixth-round draft pick from Alabama-Birmingham with exceptional breakaway speed and leaping ability but questionable accuracy as a third-stringer. So they're hoping Webb can now find his niche at a position he's played some in the past.