Vikings to Submit Bates Claim Today

Although seen as a formality, the Vikings will submit a bid on D'Wayne Bates in hopes of finally ending one of the longest offer sheet stories in NFL history.

D'Wayne Bates was supposed to be a Viking last Wednesday. With any luck, he finally will be on Tuesday.

The Vikings are expected to officially make a waiver claim on Bates today, in essence agreeing to the same contract the team and Bates signed almost two weeks ago. However, the Vikings will have to wait until Tuesday to learn if any of the six teams that will be drafting in front of the Vikings will pick up his contract.

As it stands, the only team that has been rumored to looking into making a claim is Buffalo, but even that is being seen skeptically.

Bates and his agent have made it clear that he wants to play in Minnesota, doesn't want another team to claim him and would like to get the whole ugly "bait and switch" matching of the offer by the Bears last week over with.

Barring something unforseen, we'll finally be able to say tomorrow that Bates is once again a member of the Vikings -- this time officially.

* Fallout on the Bates fiasco has made it back to the league office. The Bears are being accused of manipulating the system that allows for offer sheets to be signed and the matching and subsequent waiving of Bates, according to what we're being told, could result in the language of such contract provisions being changed in the future to avoid such situations.
* Seattle is said to be interested in signing former Vikings offensive tackle Brad Badger. As it stands now, the Vikings still are no closer to having a starting LT than they did the day they cut Badger.
* Green Bay is already over the 2003 salary cap due to contract cap number increases this year. What makes it more astonishing is that the Packers only have 35 players under contract after this season as it stands now.
* Don't get too excited about the Vikings making a run for new free agent LB Jeremiah Trotter. If from what we're being told is accurate, his contract demands are huge and the Vikings have been consistent in not looking to overspend on any player -- regardless of how talented.

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