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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Linebackers: Lots of options in free agency

    Posted on Tue, Mar. 07, 2006

    [size=18px]Lots of options in free agency[/size]

    Vikings are in the market for athletic linebackers

    Pioneer Press

    The agent for Pro Bowl linebackers LaVar Arrington and Julian Peterson said his clients are eager about their first foray into free agency.

    The Vikings, who are in the market for an upgrade at linebacker, could pursue them when the new NFL year begins.

    "I haven't talked to the players about where they would want to go," their agent, Kevin Poston, said Monday. "But it's a matter of who has the money, where they want to go and who puts the right sales pitch (together)."

    After two years of being saddled with the franchise tender by the San Francisco 49ers, Peterson became an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Arrington, meanwhile, agreed to a contract buyout with the Washington Redskins late Sunday.

    While listed Will Witherspoon of the Carolina Panthers as the top free-agent linebacker, Arrington and Peterson are far more decorated and proven. Peterson is a former first-team all-pro who lined up at four positions (cornerback, strong safety, linebacker and defensive end) in a 2002 regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys. Arrington, the second overall pick in 2000, has been selected to three Pro Bowls.
    But Witherspoon clearly had the best 2005 season, with 81 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions.

    All three players could fit in the Vikings' new cover two base defense, which relies on athletic linebackers.

    Although Peterson and Arrington have been hampered with injuries the past two seasons, Poston said both of his clients are healthy now.

    That Arrington, Peterson and Witherspoon are available is somewhat surprising. The Panthers didn't place the franchise or transition tender on Witherspoon and appear resigned to losing him, given their investment in Dan Morgan.

    The 49ers still are believed to be interested in Peterson. But the price of franchise tendering Peterson again would have been astronomical for the 49ers. As for Arrington, the Redskins intended to keep him long term, after signing him to an eight-year, $68 million contract in December 2003 that included a $16 million signing bonus. But Arrington suffered a knee injury in his first game under coach Joe Gibbs in 2004, and his tenure since then has been tumultuous.

    With their salary-cap situation in shambles, the Redskins needed relief from Arrington's contract. Due a $5.7 million bonus, Arrington agreed to forfeit $4.432 million in exchange for gaining his immediate release. He will receive the remaining $1.268 million in April from the Redskins.

    "I am hoping it is going to be best for the Redskins and the best for LaVar," Gibbs said in a news conference Monday. "We wish him the absolute best. I think it gives him a chance for a fresh start, and he can pick anywhere he wants to go, which is a real plus for him."

    Clearly, though, the market will be limited if the collective bargaining agreement isn't ratified by Thursday's deadline. NFL owners are scheduled to meet today in Dallas to consider the union's latest proposal. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is expected to attend that meeting.

    "If we go to free agency without a CBA, I would say very few teams are going to be in play and be active," Gibbs said. "If you do have a CBA, there are going to be a lot of teams out there competing for players."

    Without an extension, the salary cap is set for $94.5 million. If there is an extension, that figure could increase by about $10 million or more, which means more clubs would be in much better salary-cap health.

    Either way, the Vikings will have the most room of any team when free agency starts.

    Briefly: With Chris Kluwe recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Vikings could be interested in adding a veteran punter. One possibility is Jason Baker, who worked with new Vikings special-teams coach Paul Ferraro last season in North Carolina, with the Panthers.

    Lots of options in free agency

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

  2. #2
    purplegang's Avatar
    purplegang is offline Starter
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    Re: Linebackers: Lots of options in free agency

    Very interesting article. I myself do not think Arrington is a good fit for us, there was a reason he didnt get along with coach GIBBS, discipline...

  3. #3
    ThaSuperFreak33 is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Linebackers: Lots of options in free agency

    He is a better fit than any of our LB's

  4. #4
    purplegang's Avatar
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    Re: Linebackers: Lots of options in free agency

    I agree he is a good player. but think he has a discipline problem

  5. #5
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Linebackers: Lots of options in free agency

    I don't necessarily think he has a discipline problem, I think he just has a problem playing in a disciplined defense. He is a much better player when he is allowed to freelance on the field.

    Man, Kevin Poston must be happy, representing two of the top three LBs going into FA...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?


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