Former Breck star Byrd has his eye on Vikings
[size=18px]Former Breck star Byrd has his eye on Vikings[/size]
The USC tight end said he spoke to team officials at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
Mark Craig and Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: February 25, 2006 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 8:53 PM
Former Breck High School star Dominique Byrd left the Twin Cities to play college football, but he'd love to come back as an NFL player.
"That would be great," the USC tight end said Saturday at the NFL scouting combine. "One of my tattoos is 'Minneapolis' finest.' And I have the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome right here on my left arm. Minneapolis will always hold a great place in my heart."
The interest definitely goes both ways. Although the Vikings won't discuss specific players that they are interested in, Byrd said he spoke to team officials at the Senior Bowl and at the combine. He said other teams showing interest are Denver, Miami and Tampa Bay.
The 6-2Ã‚Â½, 255-pound Byrd won't work out until USC's pro day on April 2. He's projected as a late first- or second-round pick.
Cap woes await some teams
The salary cap for 2006 is expected to be between $92 million and $95 million. Some teams will have to cut high-priced veterans by midnight Thursday to get under that total. Free agency is scheduled to begin Friday.
If there is no extension of the collective bargaining agreement, there will be no salary cap in 2007. Per the current CBA, more cap dollars would have to be assigned to 2006.
Atlanta Falcons General Manager Rich McKay indicated that will be an advantage for teams that are well under the cap. The Vikings are one of those teams with more than $20 million in cap space.
"I'm sure there are teams that have room and therefore will be active early on in free agency, but I think there will be less activity [without a CBA extension]," McKay said. "There are a lot of teams that won't have room. We don't have any place to put it."
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was in the skyway that connects the RCA Dome and Indiana Convention Center to the Marriott hotel when a familiar face approached.
"Coach," Wilf said before embracing former Vikings coach Mike Tice, whom he fired 20 minutes after the 2005 season finale.
Tice, who is the assistant head coach/offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoke with Wilf briefly before departing.
Taking it in
Wilf and his brother, Mark, the Vikings president, both spent some time in the RCA Dome on Saturday watching prospects work out.
"I don't know what I saw, but I'm not the expert," Wilf said.
Wilf was expected to observe the individual player interviews the Vikings had scheduled for Saturday night.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Fran Foley, the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, said that based on the reports he has read from the team's college scouting department, the strengths of this year's draft are running back, offensive line, particularly tackles, linebackers and secondary. Those are among the Vikings' biggest needs.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Vikings are one of about 12 teams that have set up a temporary headquarters inside one of the suites at the RCA Dome.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Vikings are interested in soon-to-be Cardinals free agent quarterback Josh McCown. McCown's last-second touchdown pass in the 2003 season finale knocked the Vikings out of playoff contention.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Although the Daunte Culpepper saga might be causing Zygi Wilf some headaches, he isn't surprised that his first full offseason as an owner has been turbulent. "I could see those things [happening]," he said. "You're dealing with 40-50 different individuals. You have to deal with each one of them, and I can expect those things to happen, sure."
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Unemployed former Vikings assistants Pete Bercich and Chuck Knox Jr. drove from the Twin Cities to Indianapolis to attend the combine.
Byrd has his eye on Vikings
Re: Former Breck star Byrd has his eye on Vikings
Nice read, and I think thats funny as hell Tice and Wilf bumped into eachother like that...
I like that TE out of UCLA.......to early to think of his name.....But a good one for sure...