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  1. #11
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    "Wiggles67" wrote:
    "VikingNed" wrote:
    Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

    With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

    Let the Games Begin.....
    Ned I do believe your right with the idea that they see something the rest of us dont. And I would love for us to find a diamond in the rough but honestly from the way this guy sounds we should have been able to land him easily with have that salary. I dont have any problems with this guy, he seems like he should be a solid LB but there's no reason to throw an extra truck load of money at a guy we should have been able to get for a lot less. We need to use this cap money very wisely!
    What it comes down to is, the office, scouts, coaches, know things we don't.

    Maybe he was recieving offers from others also, maybe he had hangups with his coach or position coach, that kind of held him back from doing what he does best....Like Hovan was....

    He may just well be worth every cent......The coaches would know this.....


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  2. #12
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    "Wiggles67" wrote:
    "VikingNed" wrote:
    Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

    With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

    Let the Games Begin.....
    Ned I do believe your right with the idea that they see something the rest of us dont. And I would love for us to find a diamond in the rough but honestly from the way this guy sounds we should have been able to land him easily with have that salary. I dont have any problems with this guy, he seems like he should be a solid LB but there's no reason to throw an extra truck load of money at a guy we should have been able to get for a lot less. We need to use this cap money very wisely!
    I honestly believe Childress & staff are signing these "players with potential" with the attitude they can coach them into becoming great players.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #13
    Tanner_QBRB8 is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    Well u never know who can turn into what and i think we are due for a no namer to become a stud for us

  4. #14
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    PFT INTERVIEW: BEN LEBER

    February 27, 2006
    by PFT editor Mike Florio

    The 2006 free-agent market includes the usual handful of guys with instant name recognition -- Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James, LeCharles Bentley, Jamal Lewis. But, as in most years, there also are plenty of guys who aren't yet household names, but who nevertheless will attract plenty of attention once they hit the shelf.

    One such guy this year is San Diego linebacker Ben Leber. Drafted in the third round by the Chargers, Leber started 14 games as a rookie in 2002, 16 in his second year, and 16 in his third season.

    Then came the 2005 draft. With the first-round pick finagled from the Giants as part of the Eli Manning for Philip Rivers trade, the Chargers were in the twelve hole. When the Cowboys surprisingly passed on linebacker Shawne Merriman, the Chargers pounced.

    And Leber's eventual ticket out of town was punched.

    "I felt like it was bound to happen," Leber said in a recent phone interview. "They drafted Merriman in the first round and he was going to have to get his snaps in. I held him off for about half of the season, and then I ended up hurting my foot a little more seriously. The week before I broke my foot, Merriman had jumped into the starting role."

    But now Leber's contract is up, and the former starter realizes that it's time to move on. "I told the coaching staff that I feel like I'm a starter in this league and I've proved that I belong in the starting lineup. And they said that's probably not going to happen here in San Diego."

    With a return to the Chargers not in the cards, Leber is keeping his options open. "It all remains to be seen," he said. "There's some teams that I think would be fun to go to. . . . I'm excited for anybody that's interested in me and that I can come in and start for them."

    Are there teams he's not interested in?

    "Who wants to end up in Buffalo or Green Bay with the weather?"

    It's an ironic observation from a guy who grew up in the steaming rain forests of . . . South Dakota. But with four years in San Diego, Leber now realizes what he was missing.

    "Look, man, I've been spoiled," he said.

    Leber then made it clear that he'd welcome a return to a less-than-ideal climate. "I would definitely move to a city like Buffalo or Green Bay where it's cold and a major change from San Diego, but if it's a good fit for me and it's going to be successful for me, that's priority No. 1."

    From a "fit" standpoint, Leber has experience both in the 4-3 and in the 3-4. Including his time at Kansas State, he has six seasons in the 4-3. He spent the last two years in the 3-4. In both systems, Leber exclusively has played on the strong side.

    "In a 4-3 scheme, you have a lot more opportunities to cover the tight end one on one," Leber explained. "In a 3-4, it's a lot of zone coverages. As far as the run game and battling the tight end one-on-one on the run is something I think I do very well. In both systems, that's what you have to do when you're over the tight end."

    Does he prefer one system over the other?

    "It's hard to say. I think I've had good success in both systems. I think the 3-4 is still kind of a new learning curve for me just because it involves a little more pass rushing, which I've never done until [2004]. So that's still a work in progress, but I think I've shown huge improvements and I can only get better. I may have more potential in a 3-4 but I think the 4-3 right now is probably a little more comfortable."

    Still, he wants to stay on the strong side. "I think one of my strengths is playing over the tight end. Playing strong side would probably suit me the best."

    Despite his preferences, Leber says he hasn't studied depth charts of other teams to determine the cities in which he might best fit. "The tough thing about that is with all the coaching changes this year, it's hard to look at that stuff."

    Regardless of where he lands, Leber has come a long way from his days in South Dakota. He played linebacker, but the position at which he'd ultimately earn a living wasn't his primary focus. "I used defense to kind of catch my breath to run the ball," he said.

    In addition to playing baseball and basketball, the guy who now stands 6'3" and weighs 244 pounds was a sprinter on the track team. (He liked the 100 and 200, but not the 400.)

    He attended a football camp at Kansas State while in high school, and they liked what they say. Leber received a scholarship offer, and he took it.

    "I always wanted to play Division One, and I actually got scared off of the whole recruiting process because my brother who was a really good running back in high school had gotten all of the recruiting letters and phone calls and he came down to the day before signing day and every team backed out at the last second. I was kind of worried about that. I didn't want the same thing to happen to me, so right when they offered the scholarship, I said, 'I've got to take this.'"

    He'll likely apply the same approach to free agency, once he finds the fit that he's looking for. And the foot injury that landed him on injured reserve in 2005 won't be an issue. He suffered a break on the top of the arch, but it's almost completely healed.

    "I'm actually doing a lot of agility work now and there's no pain," he said. "It'll be 100 percent here in the next couple of weeks."

    The injury only hastened Merriman's opportunity to blossom in Leber's place, and blossom Merriman did. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Leber gives credit where it is due. "The guy's very explosive," Leber said of Merriman. "He does have another gear. He makes it look so easy, and being in the same position I know what a tough job it is. For being a young guy, he's very strong. He's a strong, physically gifted guy. He's got a lot going for him."

    One of the only knocks on Merriman came during his last year in college. When Maryland played Virginia, Merriman was neutralized by tight end Heath Miller. So when the Steelers, who drafted Miller in round one a year ago, came to San Diego to play the Chargers, Merriman's teammates decided to have some fun with him.

    "We had the video guys cut up some highlights [from the Maryland-Virginia game]," Leber said, "and in the linebacker room we played those tapes and asked him to grade his technique and to grade out his performance. We definitely got a good laugh. He knew it was all in good fun. He had his own twist on the events. 'This guy tripped me,' or 'This guy did this.' He had fun with it."

    After the season ended, Leber had some fun of his own -- on an aircraft carrier with a couple of his teammates. "I can't even describe the first-hand experience of being on an aircraft carrier, especially in full operation. We got to see the flight operations during the day and at night, sleep in their quarters, have meals with the officers. We really got to see life as a naval guy on a huge ship. Most people only get to see that on the Discovery channel.

    The biggest thrill for Leber was arriving on the carrier on a plane that caught the wire -- and then leaving the next day via catapult.

    Said Leber: "You're sitting there, you're sitting there, and then you hear the engines go to full throttle. And all of a sudden, you're just gone."

    It's sound a lot like the events he'll soon experience when the free agent market opens.


    http://www.profootballtalk.com/BenLeberInterview.htm

  5. #15
    pigskinronin's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    I haven't missed a Chargers game in four years --- helps when that is the only game showing Sunday afternoon and your wife is a huge Bolts fan. Leber made a few plays here and there, but I don't think any Charger fans are sad to see him go. The Chargers blitz their LBs a lot, and it just seemed to me Leber is not very strong or quick. If you look at his stats he has averages a couple sacks a season; Merriman steps into the same position (same defensive scheme) and gets 10 sacks and forces 2 fumbles.

    Ben may be a good LB in a different system, but he is not the big acquisition for the $$$ they're paying him. I hope I'm wrong and he flourishes with the Vikes --- he still has his best football ahead of him.

  6. #16
    LuckyVike's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    It worries me when unproven players are signed. I hope this works out but I also I hope this isn't a sign of what free agency will be like.
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  7. #17
    Lando's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    Nothing has been done yet so don't believe any of these numbers .. I could post that I just signed a 5 year 50 million contract, whoopty-doo.

  8. #18
    audioghost is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    Thats funny....Leber is from Vermillion, South Dakota......my girlfriend's dad is good friends with his family.....

    He's a decent player....nobody too special....wish the Vikes could go after a high profile player....seems like those pan out more often....

    For instance:

    Antoine Winfield=High profile
    Denard Walker=Low Profile

    Who was better there?



    There's only a handful of Wiggins out there (unproven guys who step up when put in a starting position).

    A.G s HOTTEST NEW RAP CD: AUDIO GHOST & MAIN EVENT drop THE SEED: I made tha beats www.myspace.com/audioghost2006

  9. #19
    LuckyVike's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    "Lando" wrote:
    Nothing has been done yet so don't believe any of these numbers .. I could post that I just signed a 5 year 50 million contract, whoopty-doo.
    That's completely different... :roll:
    The best part of my day is when I get down on my knees, with my head in my hands, and thank GOD for everything he has given me.

  10. #20
    JTSnow's Avatar
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    Re: Ben Leber contract already set to be a Viking Monday!!

    "Jordan" wrote:
    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/14024355.htm

    The Vikings haven't won any regular-season titles in a while. But once again they are the undisputed offseason champions, with an NFL-high $24 million in salary cap space.

    With the blessing of owner Zygi Wilf to build a Super Bowl contender, Minnesota is poised to be a major player in free agency, especially with roughly half the teams in the league struggling to get under the salary cap.
    The influence of Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings' vice president of football operations, appears as strong as ever. With the exception of cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, Minnesota has been leery of investing too heavily in players from other teams and engaging in bidding wars with other clubs.

    The Vikings also generally avoid the most high-profile free agents.
    This year could be an exception.
    Minnesota could land some superstar players in their primes at discounted salaries because so many teams are up against the 2006 salary cap.
    Here's a look at the Vikings' needs and some top prospects, in order of importance.

    RUNNING BACK
    Minnesota was high on Maurice Morris, Shaun Alexander's backup in Seattle, early last week. But with little progress made toward ratification of the collective bargaining agreement, the Vikings realized they could get much more for much less.
    The plum they could be eyeing: four-time Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James.

    With a glut of talented rookies and veterans, James might not get the blockbuster contract he covets. But here's an X-factor: Brzezinski and agent Drew Rosenhaus have done several deals and have respect for each other, based partly on their Miami ties.
    James is unlikely to agree to a multiyear deal if he isn't satisfied with the signing bonus, so he might be inclined to audition for one year with Minnesota.

    Baltimore's Chester Taylor also would be a good fit. But the Ravens are aggressively trying to re-sign him, and the Seahawks are taking the same approach with Alexander.
    So far, the Vikings have shown no interest in Jamal Lewis, who isn't the ideal fit for a West Coast offense.
    Morris, however, remains an attractive option to Minnesota.

    LINEBACKER
    The Vikings realize this is the weakest position on their roster, and they are aggressively addressing it. The buzz around the NFL is that Minnesota has already agreed in principle on a multiyear deal with outside linebacker Ben Leber, who played the past four seasons for the San Diego Chargers. Leber could land a $7 million signing bonus and a contract that averages $4 million a year, a whopping figure for a player with 212 career tackles.
    But Leber is big (6 feet 3, 244 pounds) and athletic, and Fran Foley,
    the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, knows him well from their days with the Chargers.
    Leber, however, might not be Minnesota's last foray into free agency at linebacker. While the Vikings would like to add a veteran to the middle, the current crop of players is modest, headed by three veterans (Sam Cowart, Derek Smith and restricted free agent Matt Wilhelm) who aren't known for their range and speed.
    Two cover two middle linebackers available are Rob Morris and Rocky Calmus, former teammates with the Indianapolis Colts.
    Minnesota could get a bargain at weak-side linebacker. The top player at that spot is Will Witherspoon, a standout for the Carolina Panthers. But he could be very expensive — commanding a signing bonus of more than $12 million — and it's unclear if the Vikings would pay that much. Players who could come at a discount include Julian Peterson, David Thornton and Akin Ayodele.

    A few years ago, Peterson was one of the NFL's most dominant linebackers. But injuries have slowed him, and he could thrive with a change of scenery.

    GUARD
    The Vikings apparently have targeted guards who also can play center, an indication they don't want to be caught in a situation such as last year's, when they had to scramble right before the season to land Melvin Fowler in a trade after Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was lost for the season.
    Minnesota has signed Jason Whittle, formerly of the New York Giants, and has expressed interest in Pro Bowl guard/center LeCharles Bentley, who disputed published reports that he has agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. He told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday that he planned to sign with the Eagles as early as Monday, when free agency is scheduled to open.

    Bentley of the New Orleans Saints and Steve Hutchinson of the Seahawks are the only elite guards available in free agency, and both will command signing bonuses of at least $10 million. But during his short tenure Vikings coach Brad Childress has emphasized the importance of the offensive and defensive lines several times. To that end, Minnesota could make a strong push to sign Hutchinson or Bentley.

    There also have been reports that the Vikings are interested in restricted free agents Kris Dielman (Chargers) and Sean Mahan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
    But the best fit might be Toniu Fonoti, who was acquired in a trade last season. Fonoti, though, wants to test the market and try to land a lucrative deal.

    Two other veterans worth watching are Ross Tucker and Stephen Neal, both of whom played for the New England Patriots last season.
    KICKER

    So far, Minnesota hasn't been very proactive in trying to re-sign Paul Edinger. Perhaps that's because the market for veteran kickers is so deep. The marquee names are Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt. More reasonably priced options might be longtime Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell or Matt Bryant, a Buccaneer last season.

    SAFETY
    Although the Vikings re-signed Willie Offord, they can't bank on him to start opposite Darren Sharper next season. Offord is coming off major knee surgery and has shown only flashes in his four NFL seasons.
    Signing a proven veteran at a modest salary to compete with Offord would appear to make sense. Players who could interest Minnesota are Lawyer Milloy, Marlon McCree, Lance Schulters, Tank Williams and Ifeanyi Ohalete.
    Another intriguing option is Dexter Jackson, who played for new Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin with the Buccaneers. Although Jackson is a free safety, the two positions are interchangeable in many ways in the cover two defense.

    BEST OF THE REST
    Rumors persist that quarterback Daunte Culpepper is being shopped, which means Minnesota could be in the market for a quarterback. Drew Brees in the class of the field, and he too has ties to Foley. But, just like Culpepper, Brees is coming off a serious injury. Other than Brees, anyone else would walk into Winter Park as Brad Johnson's backup.
    Last year, the Vikings made a run at Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman. But they haven't shown any interest this year, apparently confident with their defensive line depth. But at the right price, Minnesota gladly would upgrade at any position, including receiver, especially if Koren Robinson isn't re-signed.

    The collective bargaining agreement could determine the Vikings' success in free agency. Without an extension, Minnesota would be one of about a dozen teams with plenty of salary cap space, which is needed to sign top-tier players. Signing bonuses can be spread only over four years, which means the cap impact will be immediate for clubs.

    Without a CBA deal, today could become Bloody Sunday, with teams scrambling to get below the $94.5 million salary cap by purging their roster of proven players. With the ultimate buyer's market, the Vikings could be very selective about whom to sign and even land stars to one-year deals as they prepare for 2007, when there would be no salary cap.
    If there is a deal, Minnesota would lose that advantage and have to compete with more teams for the elite players.
    WOW I like this Leber guy and all but thats too much to pay someone that only had 22 tackles last year.
    [img:4c22618921]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v470/vikingstw/Untitled-1.jpg[/img:4c22618921].

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