James Should Draw Interest From Vikings

Minnesota has made it clear that they will be shopping for a high-quality running back, and Edgerrin James should get serious consideration.

Last week the Vikings were expressing interest in Seattle running back Maurice Morris, Sean Alexander's backup. Minnesota clearly needs to improve their rushing attack before the start of the 2006 season.

But once again, there is plenty of talent in the free agent pool at the running back position. And if free agency opens on Monday without a Collective Bargaining Agreement extension, that's actually going to work in favor of the teams looking for running backs. Most teams will be pinching pennies trying to stay under the cap, so outside of the teams that are well under it, the bidding should not be as high as usual during the offseason. Furthermore, signing bonuses won't be able to be stretched out, so offers won't include the huge signing bonuses seen in previous seasons.

In that environment, the Vikings could set their sites a bit higher than Morris and at least invite James in for a visit. They are projected to be $24 million under the cap. And another factor they have in their favor is that their vice president of football operations, Rob Brzezinski, has a very good relationship with James' agent, Drew Rosenhaus. They've successfully worked on a number of deals and are both from Miami.

James is heading into unrestricted free agency with two consecutive 1,500-yard rushing seasons on his resume. He's topped that mark four times in his seven seasons. And in 2005 he fumbled the ball a career-low two times.

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