Edinger signs offer sheet with Vikings

The Bears took a chance by letting <!--Default NodeId For Paul Edinger is 292203,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292203]>Paul Edinger</A> test the free agent market. Now the team must decide whether or not to match the offer Edinger signed with the <!--Default NodeId For Minnesota is 113,2005--><A HREF=http://vikings.TheInsiders.com>Minnesota</A> Vikings.

The reported offer is for five years and $7 million, which includes $1.6 million in bonus money.

The team has a week to match the offer or lose Edinger for a sixth-round draft choice.

Edinger is the most accurate placekicker in team history, connecting on over 80 percent of his attempts (69-86). He hit 22 of 28 field-goal attempts last season.

Despite Edinger's lack of depth on kickoffs, the Bears are likely to match the Vikings offer. He's a favorite of Coach Dick Jauron because his performance under pressure. Edinger has three-game winning field goals to their credit in three seasons.

The Bears picked him out of Michigan State in the sixth round of the 2000 draft.

The Vikings made the move to sign Edinger in an attempt to strengthen their kicking game. They went through two kickers last season with 43-year-old Gary Anderson handling the duties for most of the year. The oldest active player in the NFL made 18 of 23 field-goal attempts, but was just 3-for-8 from 40-to-49 yards.

The Bears made an offer to free agent quarterback Kordell Stewart and could have a decision as soon as today. The team also courted Jeff Blake Friday, but will not offer him a contract until they have a decision from Stewart.

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