Edinger Joins Vikings

It didn't take long for Paul Edinger to find work elsewhere. Two days after being released by the Bears, the placekicker signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Bears knew when Edinger asked to be released there was a good chance he would end up back in the division.

The Vikings pursued Edinger as a restricted free agent in 2003 and signed him to an offer sheet that the Bears matched. The five-year deal worth $7 million that the Vikings created is the same contract the Bears terminated on Sunday.

The money is part of the reason the Bears decided to let Edinger go in favor of Doug Brien as their placekicker. However, it was Edinger's declining performance that left head coach Lovie Smith and GM Jerry Angelo with little confidence in the franchise's one-time most accurate field goal kicker.

Edinger connected on 75.3 percent (110 of 146) of his attempts and never missed a game or an extra point in his five-year career.

But over the last 24 games, Edinger connected on just 24-of-43 field goal attempts.

Kicking inside the comfort of the Metrodome could be what Edinger needs. He converted 65.6 percent (21-of-32) his kicks in the new Soldier Field.

The deal is for one year and, unlike the Titans and Bills -- both of whom had expressed an interest -- the Vikings had the available money to make a deal work. While the contract calls for a base salary of $540,000, if Edinger scores 80-85 points, the deal jumps to $690,000. If he scores 86 points or more, it will increase to $790,000.

The contract allows Edinger to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2005 season, but he'll have to compete with Aaron Elling in training camp.

Edinger isn't the only former Bear looking for work.

There are reports that R.W. McQuarters is expected to visit with the Washington Redskins and possibly the Miami Dolphins. The Bears released the cornerback/punt returner on Monday.

The Bears don't appear to be done addressing the offense. While at Halas Hall on Tuesday, L.J. Shelton passed his physical.

Recently released by the Arizona Cardinals, the offensive lineman is also scheduled to meet with Jacksonville, Kansas City and Houston. Although Shelton has played tackle throughout his six-year NFL career, the Bears are considering the possibility of moving him to guard.


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