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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Vikings aren't through shopping

    Posted on Wed, Mar. 22, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings aren't through shopping[/size]
    Fullback Richardson latest free-agent plum

    BY DON SEEHOLZER
    Pioneer Press


    The Vikings crossed another item off their free-agent shopping list Tuesday when fullback Tony Richardson agreed to terms on a two-year contract.

    Richardson, who has played all of his 11 NFL seasons in Kansas City, is the sixth free agent to sign with the Vikings, joining running back Chester Taylor, kicker Ryan Longwell, linebacker Ben Leber, guard/center Jason Whittle and all-pro guard Steve Hutchinson, who was acquired late Monday when Seattle declined to match Minnesota's seven-year, $49 million offer sheet.

    With the initial wave of free agency over and the first veterans minicamp scheduled for April 7-9, Vikings coach Brad Childress said he believes the team is off to a strong start.

    "You know, you'd like to bat 1.000,' Childress said. "You roll the dice and make people offers that you feel are commensurate with the market. In some cases, you overpay. You hope you don't overpay too much or too often. I think it's been successful in that the guys we've entertained, we've gotten most of them."

    The Vikings have done well enough that Don Banks of SI.com ranked them No. 1 in his list of early free-agency winners, but Childress said they will continue to monitor the market for value before and after the minicamp.

    Here's a look at some of the positions the team might be looking to address:

    QUARTERBACK

    The Vikings are in the market for a veteran backup to starter Brad Johnson after last week's trade that sent Daunte Culpepper to Miami, and Childress hasn't ruled out moving up from the 17th spot in the April 29-30 NFL draft for one of this year's top three quarterbacks: Southern California's Matt Leinart, Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler or Texas' Vince Young.

    "You can't discount anything, I don't think," Childress said. "It would be pie in the sky to say we were going to do that had we not had an extra pick in the second round.... When you have an extra pick, then you have a little bit of wiggle room in terms of being able to move if you so desire."

    Johnson will turn 38 in September so the Vikings need a quarterback of the future. But Childress indicated that the team will continue to look for an experienced backup.

    "That's always the optimum, to have someone who's taken snaps in the league," he said. "And that would be with the guys that are left out there, with guys that may be June 1 cuts, people that get waived. I think we need to continue to look at all avenues there. There's a couple of guys that I've got my eyes on, some of them more familiar with than others."

    The Vikings spoke with the agent for Tampa Bay free agent Brian Griese, but he agreed to terms with Chicago on a five-year contract Tuesday.
    Veterans still available are Mike McMahon, who played for Childress last season in Philadelphia, Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins, Jay Fiedler, Tommy Maddox, Jamie Martin and Anthony Wright. Detroit also is expected to part company with quarterback Joey Harrington.

    DEFENSIVE BACK

    The Vikings are set at three starting spots, with cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot and free safety Darren Sharper, but they will be looking to add depth after losing cornerback Brian Williams and strong safety Corey Chavous in free agency.

    LINEBACKER

    The Vikings filled one hole when they signed Leber, who played on the strong side in San Diego, but they still need to find a starting middle linebacker, with Sam Cowart expected to leave via free agency.

    Childress, asked if the team has a starter at that position, said: "We do feel like we've got somebody on the roster that can fill it. I'm not going to weight anybody down with any expectations, but I think there's probably somebody in place that will be able to man that pretty well."

    E.J. Henderson started 14 games at middle linebacker in 2004 before losing his job to Cowart last season, but Childress isn't ready to pencil in starters at any specific spots.

    "I think every one of them will train almost across the board," he said. "They may have a primary position, but position flexibility is going to be huge. We'll roll those guys around and see what the best lineup is."

    OFFENSIVE LINE

    The Vikings are set on the left side, with Hutchinson lining up between tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk.

    Childress said Adam Goldberg is the starter at right guard, and the Vikings plan to leave Marcus Johnson at right tackle after a rookie season during which he played there and at both guard spots.

    "We may add another free agent in there before it's over and obviously we're eyeballing the draft in there on the offensive line," Childress said. "You've got to keep harvesting those guys and getting good young ones and training them."

    Childress said the Vikings have remained in contact with New England guard Steve Neal and still could sign him.

    Don Seeholzer can be reached at [email protected]

    Vikings aren't through shopping

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

  2. #2
    CrazyVikingsFan is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    sweetness o we are going to be very good this year!!!!!!

  3. #3
    jhirchak1's Avatar
    jhirchak1 is offline Rookie
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    Does anybody have any idea where we stand as far as cap room and how much $$$ we have left?

  4. #4
    aceclown is offline Coach
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    "jhirchak1" wrote:
    Does anybody have any idea where we stand as far as cap room and how much $$$ we have left?
    My guess is somewhere in the 7 million range.


    Chuch.

  5. #5
    damien927's Avatar
    damien927 is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    I hope we get Stephen Neal to fill in on the right side, he isn't great, but would be a big improvement. Our Left side is going to be dominant, but the right side is suspect.

    Thanks Lotza!

  6. #6
    Muggsy is offline Asst. Coach
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    The Vikings are set on the left side, with Hutchinson lining up between tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk.

    I hoid dat we wuz talkin' to Matt Boik's agent about his contract, sumpin' about rewoikin' his deal, y'know? Is dat right, have we got Boik under wraps, or am I full of prunes on dis?
    "From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
    -- From a monestary in Ireland.

  7. #7
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    "OldManVike" wrote:
    The Vikings are set on the left side, with Hutchinson lining up between tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk.

    I hoid dat we wuz talkin' to Matt Boik's agent about his contract, sumpin' about rewoikin' his deal, y'know? Is dat right, have we got Boik under wraps, or am I full of prunes on dis?
    Last I heard about the situation was back on March 10:

    Vikings | Have not completed restructuring efforts with Birk
    Fri, 10 Mar 2006 20:30:23 -0800

    Kevin Seifert and Judd Zulgad, of the Star Tribune, reports the Minnesota Vikings have not been able to complete restructuring efforts with C Matt Birk, according to his agent Joe Linta.

  8. #8
    Lungshot's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    Can't wait for the season to start!

  9. #9
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    "OldManVike" wrote:
    The Vikings are set on the left side, with Hutchinson lining up between tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk.

    I hoid dat we wuz talkin' to Matt Boik's agent about his contract, sumpin' about rewoikin' his deal, y'know? Is dat right, have we got Boik under wraps, or am I full of prunes on dis?
    Hrm...I didn't hear anything about Birk's contract. Obivously, he's under contract, so I'd assume that he's set. Correct me if I'm wrong though....

  10. #10
    Benet's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings aren't through shopping

    Birk's getting a $4 million base salary this year, I'd assume the Vikes wanted to lower that a bit.. And in return guarantee some of it so that it could be prorated over the next 3 years. But that didn't happen so it's a moot point. Goldberg starting at Right Guard? Er.. I think I'd prefer the guy who started at Right Guard and won 2 Superbowls with the Patriots, but if Childress thinks Goldberg and Johnson can provide good cover and continuity on that right side then I'll go along with it.

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