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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Winfield absent

The Vikings opened four days of organized team activities (OTA) today without cornerback Antoine Winfield, and coach Brad Childress had no explanation for the player's absence.

"I really don't know," Childress said. "You have to ask him that. He hasn't been here in the offseason program, and that's a guy's prerogative. ... Our players know how important this time of year is, and when you've had 96 percent of your guys here over the course of the offseason program, I need to focus on the guys that are here working hard, putting in every day."

Childress said he has spoken to Winfield on occasion this offseason, although not on a consistent basis, and wouldn't speculate whether Winfield would attend the team's mandatory minicamp June 1-3.

"I'm not even thinking about that," Childress said. "I'm thinking about the guys that are here and what we've got to get done here in the next four or five days."

Asked if Winfield had requested a trade, Childress said, "He hasn't approached me about a trade, no."

Asked if Winfield had made a trade request of anyone else in the organization, Childress said, "To my knowledge, no."

Today's only other absentee was guard Steve Hutchinson, who was excused to attend a charity golf tournament.

Defensive end Erasmus James, who is recovering from knee surgery, was the only player to miss practice because of medical reasons.


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