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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    [size=18px]Vikings equipped to go after top talent[/size]

    The team has the money and the owner's blessing to be an active player during the free-agent signing period.

    Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
    Last update: March 06, 2006 – 12:49 AM


    Fran Foley could sense the anticipation around Winter Park last week as the Vikings prepared for the gun to sound on the start of free agency. Sitting an NFL-best $24 million under the salary cap it likely wasn't only Vikings fans who were dreaming of a big-name signing or two.
    "Everybody has been working hard and they're kind of anxious for things to get underway," said Foley, the Vikings' vice president of player personnel. "You can't make contact with these [players], you can't plan with the agents and things like that [beforehand]. We're just kind of anxious to find out what direction we can go."

    Originally scheduled to begin at 11:01 p.m. last Thursday, the start of free agency was postponed for a second time on Sunday night so the league could continue its efforts to reach a labor agreement on a contract extension with the NFL Players Association.

    The free-agency period is now scheduled to get underway at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday.

    If no labor agreement is reached, the salary cap will be $94.5 million. That means the Vikings stand to be big-time players in some big-name sweepstakes. Only Arizona, Cleveland and Green Bay can claim to be in the Vikings' bracket when it comes to spending ability. A labor agreement would mean a higher cap and create more bidders in the free-agent market.

    No matter what happens the Vikings are in an enviable position when it comes to pursuing players. Owner Zygi Wilf has given coach Brad Childress and vice presidents Rob Brzezinski and Foley the go-ahead to go in pretty much any direction they want. Unlike former owner Red McCombs, who hated to part with a buck, Wilf is willing to spend up to the cap.

    That means it is not unreasonable to believe the Vikings' shopping list includes Seattle guard Steve Hutchinson, New Orleans guard and center LeCharles Bentley, Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James, New England kicker Adam Vinatieri and Carolina linebacker Will Witherspoon.

    But despite the Vikings' financial situation, don't expect the franchise to go on a New York Yankees-type spending spree. "Obviously, we're in good shape cap wise," said Childress, who was hired in January. "That doesn't mean, however, we need to spend all of that. They've done a great job in terms of managing the camp and so the big thing is establishing a value, which we've done with the guys that are out there at all those positions."

    Brzezinski, who serves as the Vikings' vice president of football operations, deserves much of the credit for the work he has done managing the cap. It's unlikely he will start throwing Wilf's money around just because he has it.

    Foley, named to his job in January after three seasons as director of pro scouting in San Diego, seems to be of like mind. His philosophy is to supplement talent by dipping into free agency and then building through the draft.

    "A lot of people have a tendency to overspend in free agency," Foley said. "Hopefully, we're going to get a chance to attract some individuals to visit us and maybe to sign with us. But we're not going to jeopardize overpaying for players that will later put us in a financial situation that we can't get out of later.

    "You've got to be wise in what you do. You can't reach in free agency the same way you can't reach in the draft. You have to get good value, you have to be able to choose the right guys and for the right price."

    But a cautious approach doesn't mean the Vikings' won't take an aggressive one when it comes to talks with various agents and their pursuit of players, especially at key positions of need such as running back, offensive guard and linebacker.

    Foley wouldn't discuss specifics but he did talk about general philosophy. "There are some good players at some positions and there are some positions on this team that might need an additional player," he said. "When you go into free agency, you have all the different variables. The free-agency period starts Date A and it doesn't end in two days. It's a long process. It goes on for weeks, months."

    And one of these days it's finally going to start.

    Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    "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 equipped to go after top talent

    lets go whhhooooooo!!!!

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    The longer they postpone it, the more opportunity a team has to restructure players contracts.

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

  4. #4
    DaunteHOF is offline Coach
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    Re: Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    Great teams start from their oline, get two starters there and 2 on defense then draft well, get that 'ship in 07'
    Its not braggin if you can do it!!!

  5. #5
    Hawgski is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Re: Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    I agree, we need upgrade on the OL, and LB in free agency. RB can come from the draft (very deep draft at RB).


    sig courtesy of PPE

  6. #6
    wyorob's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    It is exciting to say the least, but then again every year around this time gets exciting and hopes start getting up there again. I agree with Hawgski, but I would rather get a solid player (RB) from the draft first and the sew up some people with the O-line and free agancy.

    Thanks PurplePeopleEaters for the sig AWSOME!!

  7. #7
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings equipped to go after top talent

    Seattle guard Steve Hutchinson, New Orleans guard and center LeCharles Bentley, Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James, New England kicker Adam Vinatieri and Carolina linebacker Will Witherspoon.

    Any of the above would put a smile to my face... particularly Hutch!
    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?

    =Z=

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