Peterson jersey selling well
Vikings sales and marketing vice president Steve LaCroix said there were several hundred pre-orders for Adrian Peterson's No. 28 jersey over the weekend.
LaCroix also said the team's retail store in the Mall of America will have the Reebok jersey in stock next week.
OG Brian Daniels also signed...
The Vikings also have added OG Brian Daniels, who started 45 of 47 games at Colorado. Daniels is 6 foot 4, 303 pounds, and he was selected the winner of the team's leadership award.
According to a draft profile on NFL.com, Daniels "might not ever win a starting job, but he has enough intangibles to make the roster as a reserve."
Vikings agree to terms with undrafted players...
Vikings VP Rick Spielman doesn't want to announce any of the 16 undrafted free agents the team has agreed to terms with until they are officially signed.
But here are a few players who have agreed to terms:
According to the Washington (Pa.) Observer Reporter, the Vikings signed West Virginia center Dan Mozes, who won the Rimington Award, given to college football's top center, and was a two-time All-American.
He is 6 foot 2, 293 pounds.
Also, according to the school paper at Southern Illinois, the Daily Egyptian, Salukis running back Arkee Whitlock also signed with the Vikings.
Whitlock rushed for 4,242 yards and 51 touchdowns in three years with the Salukis, including 1,858 yards and 25 touchdowns on 317 attempts last season.
Jones was SIU's leading receiver last year with 32 catches for 521 yards and seven touchdowns. He said the Vikings were one of two teams he wanted to go to, along with Green Bay, but the Packers used their final draft pick on a tight end, making his choice easy.
The Southern Illinoisan said the Vikings also signed tight end Braden Jones, who led the Salukis with 32 catches for 521 yards and seven touchdowns.
Moss press conference
Here are some comments from Randy Moss on becoming a New England Patriot:
"I actually was hearing it through some friends, close friends, and also the media of course, [that] Oakland was trying to shop me around. I think Green Bay came up and New England came up and maybe Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, and I don’t really know who else. So that’s just basically how things came about, and just really last night me and Coach (Bill) Belichick really talked for the first time about what’s been going on. He asked me how excited I [would be] if the opportunity would present itself for me to become a Patriot and, really, I was overwhelmed because I didn’t expect to hear from Coach Belichick. Once we talked and things worked themselves out, I was very overwhelmed. I’m still in shock at the same time and I can’t believe I’m a Patriot.
ON IF HE RENEGOTIATED HIS CONTRACT: Like I said, [the Patriots] have a massive reputation of what they stand for, and that’s winning. Through the course of my career and the course of my life of playing sports, I’ve always tried to be a winner and go out there and compete. And by me having a chance to play with an organization [like the Patriots] with the coaching staff, with Mr. [Robert] Kraft as the owner, and the players they have in position, I didn’t think that money was a big factor to me. I think over the course of my career, I’ve made a lot of money, and I still have money in the bank, so by me coming to an organization like the New England Patriots, why would money be a factor? I know I have to get paid something, but to have the numbers that I was going to receive, I knew something had to be done with my contract, and I didn’t have a problem with it.
ON PEOPLE QUESTIONING HIS WORK ETHIC: "I don’t really like to answers questions like that because the people that question it probably never played football in their life or [have never] been on the same pedestal that I’ve been on. I have a microscope [on me] and my microscope is very big. The people that talk about me, as far as my work ethic and my competitive nature and me going out there and playing football, the best thing I can say to you, male or female, all you have to do is line up against me and see what happens."
ON TOM BRADY SPREADING THE BALL AROUND: "I just want to win. I don’t know where you guys are coming from knowing that I am going to be so selfish about this trade and me becoming a Patriot. I have never been a selfish ball player. I’ve been selfish about winning, but as far as me getting the ball and getting my numbers, I’ve never been selfish. I understand that an organization pays me a certain amount of dollars to make things happen and when things don’t happen, of course I get mad. Of course I get angry."
ON WHETHER BELICHICK SAW HIM RUN A 4.29 IN THE 40?
Let’s put it this way – the Moss of old is back. We’ll leave it at that."
And with their final pick ...
The Vikings used their last selection in the 2007 draft on another wide receiver, Chandler Williams of Florida International.
Williams caught 67 passes for 664 yards and one touchdown during his final season and also returned punts and kickoffs.
He was suspended for two games for his involvement in a brawl in Florida International's game against Miami.
Jackson's got company?
The Vikings added a quarterback to push... Drew Henson.
With the first of two seventh round picks, the Vikings selected Tyler Thigpen, a 6 foot 2 quarterback from Coastal Carolina. There is no mention of him in Pro Football Weekly, but Mel Kiper has something on him.
"He has shown the ability to grow and that he should have a chance to make a roster," Kiper writes. "Thigpen also had some impressive pre-draft workouts, and when you combine his production with his athletic numbers, he has done enough to warrant late round consideration."
In high school, he averaged 43.2 yards per punt, and connected on 21 of 27 field goals.
In 2006, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards, with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
One thing that could be a concern: his completion percentage was 42.6 percent in 2003, 49.4 in 2004, and 54.1 in 2005.
Sooner Nation Midwest
With the sixth-round pick the Vikings acquired from Denver, they selected linebacker Rufus Alexander, who played with No. 1 draft choice Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma.
Uncertain at the moment is whether the Vikings plan to try Alexander at linebacker or strong safety.
Well-stocked with veteran starters at both positions, his playing time figures to come mainly on special teams.
Vikings take another receiver
With their fifth-round pick, the Vikings selected East Carolina WR Aundrae Allison.
He is 6 feet tall, and he runs a pretty quick 40-yard dash. Here is what Pro Football Weekly said of him: "Consistently won one-on-one matchups at the Senior Bowl, and showed a lot of natural ability. However, he is very raw, not very smart, not very tough and may struggle to ever find consistency in the pros. Will require a patient coach."
Ouch. Is it me, or are these summaries from PFW brutal?
I hope they never do one on beat writers.
On a positive note, he does show potential as a punt returner, and he will play for a patient coach, George Stewart.
For those of you wondering what the Vikings did with their second fourth-round pick, the answer is they traded it to Denver for the Broncos' sixth- and seventh-round choices and next year's third-round selection.
If you're scoring at home, that's three trades for the Vikings, whose next scheduled pick is in the fifth round (146 overall).
This just in
According to multiple media outlets, the Oakland Raiders have traded former Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss to New England for a fourth-round draft choice.
Moss has been the subject of persistent trade rumors for months, but Vikings fans who were dreaming about him returning to Minnesota can at least take consolation in the fact that he didn't end up in Green Bay.
DE pick in
The Vikings just made their first pick of the day and, not surprisingly, they used it on a defensive end.
Brian Robison of Texas played linebacker and defensive end for the Longhorns and had 12 1/2 sacks in his last two seasons.
The Vikings got him with the 102nd selection after trading the higher of their two fourth-round picks (106) and a sixth-round choice to Tampa Bay.
Day 2 preview
The Vikings hold two picks in the fourth round of today's draft and defensive end figures to be at the top of their list.
Among the top pass rushers still on the board, according to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, are Antwan Barnes (Florida International), Mkristo Bruce (Washington State) and Justin Hickman (UCLA).
The draft resumes at 10 a.m. (CT). Before that, the Vikings will introduce their No. 1 pick, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, at a 9:30 news conference.
We'll cover this thing from wire to wire so check back often for updates.
CB McCauley is third round pick
I am proud to announce that the Vikings took my advice. Among my five points in Friday's paper was that the Vikings would take a cornerback on Day 1, and I specifically mentioned Fresno State CB Marcus McCauley (hold the applause, please).
The Vikings obviously were impressed with McCauley's size (6 feet), speed (4.41 in the 40), his high character and his physical style.
But according to Pro Football Weekly, he was benched for a time last season. All right. Gotta go. Press conference with Childress.
Peterson to wear No. 28
Adrian Peterson's jersey will bear 28 on the back. The Vikings hope he's as successful as one of the old-school players to wear that number, Ahmad Rashad, and not a disappointment like more contemporary players, like Larry Ned and Laroni Gallishaw.
To be fair, both of the latter two were undrafted.
Vikings add another South Carolina receiver
The Vikings went there again, this time selecting Sidney Rice. Yes, South Carolina also produced Troy Williamson, the Vikings' top pick in 2005.
Here is what Pro Football Weekly had to say about him: "Not nearly as talented as he thinks he is. Thinks he can walk on water because he is a football star. Similar talent and mental makeup to Antonio Bryant. Should have stayed in school and matured."
Ouch. On the positive, PFW said he has "good height (6 foot 3), arm length, hands and leaping ability."
Vikings trade pick
With wide receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith of USC and South Carolina's Sidney Rice still on the board, the Vikings have traded their second-round pick (41 overall) to Atlanta.
The Vikings received the Falcons' second-round pick (44) and a fourth-round choice (121).
Who's No. 2?
Five wide receivers were chosen in the first round, but there are still a few left for the Vikings, who own the ninth pick in the second (41 overall).
Wide receivers still on the board three picks into the round include USC teammates Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith and South Carolina's Sidney Rice.
One guy who wasn't too disappointed about the Vikings' pick was Steve LaCroix, the team's vice president of sales and marketing. To be fair, I don't think the sales of Visanthe Shiancoe jerseys are overwhelming. But in Peterson, the Vikings get an electric playmaker who, at one point a year or two ago, was projected as a top three pick.
With his great blend of size and speed, Peterson will score touchdowns, and he'll sell jerseys.
Peterson said he hasn't picked a number yet. But the Vikings aren't wasting any time capitalizing on the excitement; fans can pre-order their Peterson jerseys at www.vikings.com
No. 1 pick Adrian Peterson, in a conference call with the Minnesota media, assured Vikings fans that he expects to be ready for minicamp, despite a collarbone injury that some teams reportedly believed might require surgery.
"Definitely. I feel that way," he said.
Peterson also said he was fine with sharing the running back duties with returning starter Chester Taylor.
"I'm all for that," he said. "It's all about what's good for the team."
OU coach Bob Stoops on Peterson
"We're very happy and proud for Adrian and his family," OU head coach Bob Stoops said in a comment on the school's website. "He is such a competitive player and I appreciate so much what he brought to our program. He has great pride in the way he plays and he's extremely tough. Those qualities rub off on the people around him. He has the kind of competitive spirit that elevates those around him. It means an awful lot to him that the entire team does well and I think that is probably his most under-appreciated quality. As much attention as he garnered here, he was always more concerned with being respected in the locker room. Being a good teammate matters a lot to him. He genuinely cares about the people around him."
Vikings coach Brad Childress said he expects running back Adrian Peterson to participate in the team's minicamp and offseason program, despite a collarbone injury that some teams reportedly believed might require surgery.
"To my knowledge," Childress said, "he's not going to have any of those issues."
Childress said he expects Peterson and returning starter Chester Taylor to split time at the running back position and that they could play together at times.
"They could," Childress said. "We'll probably end up calling it something like a Pony backfield. We did that with (Brian) Westbrook and (Correll) Buckhalter out in Philadelphia."
The skinny on Adrian Peterson:
From Palestine, Texas. He is 6 foot 1, 217 pounds, and he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds. In three seasons at Oklahoma, he had 4,045 rushing yards, and he was a serviceable receiver, despite limited opportunities.
In high school, he was the consensus National Player of the Year, and he gained nearly 3,000 yards as a senior at Palestine High and scored 32 touchdowns.
Peterson is the pick
The Vikings just added a playmaker, selecting Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson.
He and Chester Taylor will give the Vikings an explosive one-two punch at the position.
Peterson on the phone...
Is he talking to Brad Childress?
The incident that will never go away...
ESPN just showed the 2003 NFL Draft, when the Vikings missed the seventh pick and had the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers take advantage of that time. Still, let's not forget that the Vikings got Kevin Williams.
Vikings on the clock
This is very interesting. The Vikings are on the clock, and both Brady Quinn and Adrian Peterson are available. These guys clearly have fallen and are bargains. I don't think either is an ideal fit for the Vikings, but can the Vikings pass up players this good?
Peterson will be very good, the only question is for how long. And Quinn is considered the most ready to play QB in the draft.
My thought: trade down a handful of slots. Get that extra second round pick.
I'm not sure why Arizona just took Levi Brown. I would think they could have moved down a few spots to grab him. It's not like they couldn't use some help at other positions.
But, the Cardinals will look smart, if Brown turns out to be a Pro Bowl left tackle.
We'll have to wait a few years and see.
Another very appealing player to the Vikings is off the board. DE Gaines Adams has been selected fourth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
So here's what's clear: either Brady Quinn, Adrian Peterson or LaRon Landry will be available to the Vikings with the seventh pick. I don't think Quinn and Peterson are all that appealing, so perhaps the Vikings trade down to someone who wants one of those guys.
If they can't get a great deal, then the Vikings could take Landry or maybe even Michigan CB Leon Hall.
Another possibility could be Levi Brown, the offensive tackle from Penn State. He would immediately address their need at right tackle, although that would put Ryan Cook back on the bench.
End of the streak
The Cleveland Browns just used the third pick of the draft on Wisconsin offensive tackle/fisherman Joe Thomas.
That means Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, our pick to go No. 3, could fall to the Vikings at No. 7. If some team like Miami doesn't trade up ahead of them, that is.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting so stay tuned.
The dream is dead...
...For anyone wishing for that Calvin Johnson Vikings' jersey. The Detroit Lions -- surprise, surprise -- have taken a receiver with a high first-round pick. They have now spent four of the last five first-round picks on a receiver, with several notable busts (Charles Rogers and Mike Williams).
But the Lions should be fine, because Johnson is widely considered a can't-miss pick. He's big, fast and he has a reputation for making tough catches.
Well, you'll get to see him twice a year.
Meanwhile, Don is now two for two.
And we're off
As expected, the Oakland Raiders just used the first selection in today's draft on LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
For those of you scoring at home, that means we're 1 for 1 on our mock draft.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Locked and loaded...
Don and I are sitting in our bunker at Winter Park, ready to cover all things Vikings for our dear readers.
I expect a lot of wheeling and dealing today, and I suspect the Vikings will be a part of that activity.
So far, the only funny thing I've heard is the Oakland Raiders denying an ESPN report that they've informed LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell that they're taking him.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots are trying to acquire former Viking receiver Randy Moss, according to NFL.com.
We'll keep 'em coming.
On Randy and Daunte
Draft day could be moving day for a couple of former Vikings.
The Miami Dolphins are expected to release rehabbing quarterback Daunte Culpepper if they complete a trade for Kansas City Chiefs veteran Trent Green or select a quarterback in the early rounds of Saturday's draft.
Also, the Oakland Raiders reportedly are asking for a second-round draft choice for wide receiver Randy Moss, who has been the subject of persistent trade rumors, primarily involving Green Bay.
Keeping their options open
The Vikings have dropped 90 players off their draft board due to concerns about their character or health, player personnel vice president Rick Spielman said.
He wouldn't say how many were first-round prospects. But he made clear a few were.
Meanwhile, he also didn't rule out a quarterback.
"If we feel that strongly about a quarterback, that is sitting in our lap, and again, we're comparing that to how we feel about T-Jack (Tavaris Jackson)," Spielman said. "If we feel that strongly, that that player is a guy that can get us to where we need to go, then we most definitely take him."
With the draft just two days away, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said today that he has talked to some teams that are interested in trading up to the No. 7 spot and one team that might be interested in trading down to it.
"If anything happens, more than likely it wouldn't happen until draft day," Spielman said, "and probably not until we're on the clock."
While acknowledging the possibility of a trade, Spielman said he likes the Vikings' draft position, especially since the team rates eight players as blue-chip prospects.
That's one more than most draft analysts, with a consensus top 7 of LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams and LSU safety LaRon Landry.
So who's No. 8? Spielman wouldn't say, but he did throw out the names of a couple of cornerbacks.
"We like Leon Hall (of Michigan) and Darrelle Revis (Pittsburgh)," he said. "Are they too good to pass up? I don't know."
Former Vikings wide receiver Marcus Robinson has found a new home, and it's with another NFC North team.
Robinson, who was released Christmas Eve by the Vikings, signed a one-year contract today with the Detroit Lions.
Considering Robinson's frosty relationship with coach Brad Childress, that could liven up the teams' two regular-season meetings ... or at least the midweek conference calls.
Get ready for another round of Brady Quinn-to-the-Vikings rumors.
Speculation in Cleveland now has the Browns leaning toward taking Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson with the third pick of Saturday's NFL draft, reasoning that he would have the greater immediate impact.
That could result in Quinn falling to the Vikings, who own the seventh selection and would have to decide between taking him for themselves or trading down a few spots with a QB-needy team like No. 9 Miami.
It would be an interesting choice, but before anyone gets too excited, don't forget that a lot of things can change between now and Saturday.
Restricted FAs to sign
Guard Anthony Herrera and defensive lineman Spencer Johnson -- two of the Vikings' four restricted free agents -- will sign their one-year tenders today, according to their agents.
Defensive end Darrion Scott, who had hoped to sign a long-term deal with the team, will sign his one-year tender in the next couple of days, agent Tim DiPiero said.
Running back Artose Pinner is the Vikings' other restricted free agent.
Sack man for hire
He doesn't fit the Vikings' young, up-and-coming profile, but a pass-rushing defensive end hit the market today.
Lance Johnstone, who had 40 sacks in five seasons with the Vikings before leaving for Oakland last year as an unrestricted free agent, was released by the Raiders to create room under the salary cap.
Johnstone's age (33) was another factor in the decision.
Tight end Richard Owens signed his one-year tender from the Vikings on Thursday in advance of Friday night's deadline for the submission of offer sheets to restricted free agents.
Defensive end Darrion Scott, guard Anthony Herrera, defensive lineman Spencer Johnson and running back Artose Pinner are the Vikings' other restricted free agents.
Griffin pleads not guilty
The attorney for Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin entered a not-guilty plea this morning in Hennepin County Court on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, a court official confirmed.
A pre-trial hearing was set for May 31.
Griffin, 24, was arrested early Sunday morning in downtown Minneapolis after getting into an altercation with security personnel at the Spin nightclub.
According to Minneapolis police, the Vikings’ second-year cornerback refused to pull up his pants, which were sagging below the waist in violation of club policy, and to leave the club.
After being ejected by security personnel, police said Griffin refused to leave the scene and argued with officers to the point where they felt he represented a clear and present threat, so he was maced and arrested. He was released after posting $50 bail.
Vikings coach Brad Childress had no comment Thursday on possible disciplinary action against Griffin, who is penciled in as the team's starting right cornerback.
Bercich joins KFAN team
Former Vikings linebacker and assistant coach Pete Bercich has been hired by KFAN to serve as analyst on radio broadcasts of the team’s games this season.
Bercich, who was fired along with the rest of former coach Mike Tice's staff at the end of the 2005 season, said he was excited to get the job and is looking forward to working with play-by-play man Paul Allen and sideline reporter Greg Coleman.
"It's not coaching, but I guess it's the next-best thing," Bercich, who will keep his full-time job as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, said. "It's a good way to get my football fix and it's a little more family-friendly."
Bercich, 35, replaces former Vikings analyst Joe Senser, who decided to step down after last season.
The former linebackers coach wouldn't rule out a return to coaching, but Bercich said that's not something he's pursuing.
"If those things are going to happen, they're going to happen," he said. "They're kind of like earthquakes. You never want to say never, but I think this puts the final nail in the coffin as far as that goes."
Arrest a mistake
The attorney for Vikings cornerback Ronyell Whitaker said the arrest of his client Thursday morning on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant was a mistake and has been rectified.
Attorney Joseph Tamburino said Whitaker was pulled over on suspicion of DWI and careless driving last September and issued a citation for the latter offense.
Tamburino said he appeared in court on Whitaker's behalf and paid the $1,000 fine, but it apparently never was recorded in court computers.
As a result, when Minneapolis police officers ran Whitaker's driver’s license after observing his vehicle illegally parked downtown early Thursday morning, the arrest warrant was still open.
Whitaker was released from Hennepin County Jail at 5:28 a.m. and Tamburino said his office contacted the Ridgedale courthouse within a matter of hours.
“It was cleared up by 8:30 or 9,” he said. “They said yep, it's a mistake. We’re sorry. The case is closed.”
Tamburino said he still has the receipt for the paid fine and that Whitaker wasn’t upset by the mix-up.
"He knew it was a mistake," Tamburino said. "And he's getting his $50 bail returned."
Lowber officially a Viking
A Vikings spokesman just confirmed that Todd Lowber is officially on the team.
Lowber has not yet been assigned a number, but he will remain in town for a few days, return to New Jersey, then return at some point next week to work out with his new teammates and position coach George Stewart.
Last week, the Vikings signed Cortez Hankton, and the club now has nine receivers on the roster.
Vikings sign the next Antonio Gates?
The Vikings have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Todd Lowber, who has never played organized football.
So why did the Vikings sign him?
Because they obviously see untapped potential. According to Lowber's agent, Jim Ulrich of Enter-Sports Management, Lowber is 6 feet 3, weighs 205 pounds, runs a sub-4.4 40-yard dash and has a 43-inch vertical.
Lowber won the 2006 NCAA Division III men's high jump championship with a jump of 7-0.5 for Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J. He also played four seasons of basketball there.
After graduating last year, Lowber has been training to become an NFL receiver, and he was impressive enough in a workout on March 29 that several teams offered him contracts.
"I did a lot of research on the coaching staff and coach (Brad) Childress," Lowber said. "He was with the (Philadelphia) Eagles, and coach (George) Stewart is a great teacher. That really intrigued me.
"And the Vikings like to throw the ball."
Despite his inexperience, Lowber said, he can contribute immediately in the NFL.
"I have a fast learning curve," he said. "Realistically, do I think I can help this team right now? Yeah. You tell me to run this route, and catch the ball, of course I can do it. I don’t think it’ll be a problem."
Ulrich said the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and Eagles were among the teams that expressed an interest in his client.
"He's a freakish athlete with unbelievable hands," Ulrich said. "There's no one on par with him athletically in the NFL right now."
Raise the curtain
The unveiling of the Vikings' new stadium design, originally scheduled for Feb. 15, will take place Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Metrodome.
Roy Terwilliger, chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said the plan -- which calls for a stadium and a development around the current Metrodome site -- would be presented and discussed at the group's regular meeting.
Here are some additional details on the early Sunday morning arrest of Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
According to Minneapolis police spokesman Lt. Amelia Huffman, police were summoned to the Spin nightclub in downtown Minneapolis after Griffin got into an altercation with club security personnel.
"He was originally asked to correct a dress-code violation (wearing his shorts too low)," Huffman said. "He refused the request and was asked to leave. He also refused that request and that's when he began fighting with the security staff."
Huffman said police arrived on the scene while Griffin was being removed from the club.
"Our officers came along and were notified by the security staff that they had an uncooperative person," she said. "He was asked by the officers to go home but refused to do that. He kept yelling at them, getting up in their face to where they felt he represented a clear and present threat so they maced him. He still refused to leave so he was arrested for disorderly conduct and failing to obey a police officer."
According to the Hennepin County Sheriff's jail roster, Griffin was booked at 2:05 a.m. and released at 4:45 a.m. after posting $50 bail.
The Vikings' starting right cornerback has a 9 a.m. Friday date in Hennepin County Court.
The Vikings have taken a lot of heat for their offseason strategy of building through the draft rather than free agency, but no team is in better shape under the salary cap.
According to ESPN.com, the Vikings had a league-high $25 million in spending room as of last Wednesday evening, with Buffalo ($22.6 million) and Cleveland ($21.8 million) not far behind.
Pittsburgh had the least amount of cap room at $1.4 million.
Dolphins sign Rosenthal
Released March 1 by the Vikings, offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal has signed with the Miami Dolphins, the team announced today.
ESPN.com reported that Rosenthal's one-year deal is worth $760,000 and that he is expected to compete for the starting right tackle job.
Rosenthal, who played four seasons with the Vikings, participated in the Dolphins' first minicamp session.
Kolodziej to Cards
Defensive tackle Ross Kolodziej, who signed with the Vikings last season after two seasons in Arizona, signed a one-year contract to return to the Cardinals.
Kolodziej had eight tackles in 12 games for the Vikings as Pat Williams' backup.
Falcons in for opener
The Vikings will open the regular season at home Sept. 9 against Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons.
They also will play a Monday night home game Dec. 17 against the NFC champion Chicago Bears on ESPN.
Other notable dates are Oct. 8, when coach Brad Childress' former Philadelphia Eagles team visits the Metrodome, and Nov. 7 at home against the Oakland Raiders (and maybe Randy Moss).
"We're really excited to open the season at home and to play three NFC North teams in our first five games," Childress said in a statement. "After starting on the road last year, we're looking forward to opening up in front of our fans. We don't play many games at home in the beginning of the season, but I'm happy to have four of the last seven at the Metrodome."
Here's the full schedule, with home games capitalized:
Sept. 16--at Detroit
Sept. 23--at Kansas City
Sept. 30--GREEN BAY
Oct. 14--at Chicago Bears
Oct. 21--at Dallas
Nov. 4--SAN DIEGO
Nov. 11--at Green Bay
Nov. 25--at NY Giants
Dec. 9--at San Francisco
Dec. 30--at Denver
The full NFL schedule won't be announced until noon, but the Kansas City Star reports that the Chiefs will play host to the Vikings in Week 3, on Sept. 23.
More to come shortly.
Not ready for prime time?
With the NFL set to release the regular-season schedule Wednesday, it will be interesting to see how many (if any) Vikings games end up in prime time.
Except for 2003, the Vikings have played at least one Monday night game every season since 1987, but those teams boasted considerably more offensive star power than the current edition.
The Vikings played three prime-time games last season: on Monday, Sunday and Thursday.
Preseason sked set
Dates and times for the Vikings' preseason schedule have been finalized.
Here's the list, with Central time kickoffs in parentheses:
Aug. 10: St. Louis (7 p.m.)
Aug. 17: at NY Jets (7 p.m.)
Aug. 25: at Seattle (8 p.m.)
Aug. 30: Dallas (7 p.m.)
Kolodziej tries for Lions
On Friday, defensive tackle Ross Kolodziej had a tryout with the Detroit Lions.
Kolodziej was a solid backup last season to Pat Williams, and the former Wisconsin looks as if he will be looking for his fifth NFL home.
In 12 games last season, Kolodziej had five tackles. His best season was 2005, when he had three sacks for the hapless Arizona Cardinals.
As expected, tight end Jim Kleinsasser has had his contract restructured.
According to NFL Players Association figures, Kleinsasser's salary for this season has been reduced from $2.9 million to $1.9 million and his 2008 salary from $2.9 million to $2.4 million.
Richardson on players council
Vikings fullback Tony Richardson has been named to a six-member players council that will advise NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on player conduct and a variety of other issues.
Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius, Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Takeo Spikes, Washington Redskins wide receiver James Thrash and free-agent cornerback Troy Vincent round out the group, which met with Goodell for the first time on Tuesday.
"It is important that we know the perspective of players on issues that impact our game and our league," Goodell said in a statement. "We all share the same goal of improving the NFL in every way we can. Veteran leadership if critically important for our teams in many areas. These outstanding veterans can help the entire league just as they help their teams."
Conventional wisdom says it takes three years to accurately evaluate any draft and the Vikings' Class of 2004 gets high marks from Scouts Inc.
Here are a few excerpts from the article, currently running on ESPN.com:
"Though the Vikings are under new ownership, front-office leadership and a new coching staff since the 2004 draft, the players added in that draft continue to contribute. First-round DE Kenechi Udeze and third-round DE Darrion Scott are both starters. Fourth-round RB Mewelde Moore contributes as an explosive punt-return man as well as a change-of-pace and third-down back and seventh-round FB Jeff Dugan has filled in at both fullback and H-back."
"Second-round LB Dontarrious Thomas has been disappointing -- his great athleticism has not translated into a regular starting position ... (But) overall, the 2004 Vikings draft class has lived up to expectations and made positive contributions."
The Vikings, who have been criticized for a lack of activity in free agency, added a possible starting safety today when Mike Doss signed a one-year contract for a reported $1 million.
Doss, who started 42 games in four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, said his role in the defense has yet to be determined but that he likes the direction in which the Vikings are headed.
He's also looking forward to playing for new Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, his former position coach in Indianapolis.
"Coach Frazier was definitely a factor in my decision-making," Doss said. "I wanted to get into a situation where I had a little familiarity with the organization and being with coach Frazier for two years definitely made my decision a lot stronger with the Vikings."
With the Vikings, Doss joins a crowded safety position that includes 2006 starters Darren Sharper and Dwight Smith in addition to Tank Williams and Greg Blue.
Doss, 26, missed the final 10 games of last season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in an Oct. 22 game against Washington but said he should be fine by training camp.
"I'll be coming in and working with the team doctor and team physicians starting next week and looking forward to being ready for training camp," he said.
Coach Brad Childress, in a team statement, said Doss' experience can only help the Vikings' defense.
"Mike has been a winner throughout his career and he gives us a veteran presence," Childress said. "It's always important to add quality football players to the roster. He's won a national championship (at Ohio State) and been part of a Super Bowl winner. That's experience you can't take for granted."
NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports that the Vikings and free-agent Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1 million contract.
The signing reunites Doss with Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, a special assistant to the head coach with the Colts last season.
Doss, 26, joined the Colts in 2003 as a second-round draft choice out of Ohio State and stepped right into the starting lineup at strong safety.
He spent the last 10 weeks of last season on injured reserve after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in an Oct. 22 game against Washington.
Former Vikings running back Onterrio Smith, who has been out of the NFL since receiving a one-year suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy nearly two years ago, has applied for reinstatement.
"He's been out of the league two years, but you know the talent's there," Smith's agent, Doug Hendrickson, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "He's still young. A lot of teams need a back. I think someone will take a chance on him and bring him to camp."
Smith signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League last summer but was cut during training camp.
Doss to visit
NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports that free-agent Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss will visit the Vikings on Tuesday.
That might not be the last stop for Doss, who is scheduled to make a second visit to Philadelphia on Wednesday and also has visited Tampa Bay.
Doss, 26, spent the last 10 weeks of last season on injured reserve after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in an Oct. 22 game against Washington.
The Vikings will open their preseason schedule against the same opponent that helped them close the 2006 regular season.
The St. Louis Rams, who handed the Vikings a 41-21 loss Dec. 31, will be back at the Metrodome for the preseason opener, to be played Aug. 10 or 11.
The Vikings will follow with two road games at the New York Jets (Aug. 17) and Seattle (Aug. 24-25) before wrapping up the preseason Aug. 30 at home against Dallas.
The Jets game will be nationally televised by Fox. Exact dates for the Rams and Seahawks games have yet to be determined.
The NFL regular-season schedule will be announced later this month.