Vikes Sign Frerotte

The wooing of Jeff George ended almost as quickly as it started as the Vikings extended a similar offer to him and Gus Frerotte. George balked, claiming several other teams were interested (that weren't last year) and Frerotte accepted -- becoming the new backup to Daunte Culpepper.

In his short tenure as Vikings head coach, Mike Tice had made it a habit to woo two players for one position, offer them the same contract and take whoever jumps first.

In the pursuit of a backup QB – make no mistake, in the team's official press release, he was announced as a backup QB – the Vikings signed Gus Frerotte to a two-year deal. The contract, according to a team source talking to VU, is for $1.85 million. Whether ironic or not, that was the same amount Todd Bouman would have been paid this year for the same position.

VU was told Wednesday that an identical contract was offered to Jeff George, but, claiming that four other teams were interested in him, he asked for more and was shown the door. Frerotte has made 62 NFL starts, which gives him 60 more than Bouman had. He fills another secondary need for the Vikes, who have taken the tactic of signing players who will fill out the 53-man roster as opposed to getting in bidding wars for free agents. For those of us at VU who enjoyed our time with George, here's hoping one of the other five teams makes him a better offer. He was the first choice. He didn't accept. End of story. Welcome, Gus.

* The Vikings were quietly hopeful of signing LB Chris Claiborne, but preliminary talks Wednesday produced nothing.
* Talks have heated up for Giants OT Mike Rosenthal. The Vikings hope to have him signed by today or tomorrow.
* A pair of committees have approved extending G-3 funding for new stadiums for one year. The plan was scheduled to die this month, but another year could mean more than $50 million to a Vikings stadium plan – currently buried under a projected $4.2 billion state deficit.
* The Vikings had hoped to sign CB Ken Irvin this week, but, according to his agent, three or four other teams are also interested. If so, bye-bye Kenny. The Vikings won't get into a bidding war for a nickel back asking for a dime.
* The NFL Players Association re-elected Gene Upshaw for a seventh term as executive director of the players union.
* The times for the Vikings preseason games have been announced. The schedule starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 with a home game vs. the Jags. The following Saturday, the Vikes will play a 7:30 p.m. game at Kansas City. The team travels to Oakland for a 6 p.m. game at the Raiders and close out the preseason at home vs. the Cardinals at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.
* VU has been told the Jets are interested in moving into the No. 3 or 4 position in the draft. But, with the emergence of Chad Pennington, it's obvious that pick would not be used on a quarterback – which the Vikings would love to see,
* Speaking of the Jets, memo to G.M. Terry Bradway: learn to shut up. Bradway has been talking a lot in the offseason, including speculation that (while refuted immediately by VU) had the Jets talking trade with the Vikes for Randy Moss. Bradway said Wednesday that he never sought Moss in trade. While it may be true, if Bradway ever found a microphone he didn't like, maybe such rumors wouldn't begin in the first place.

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