Tuesday may have seemed like a spring cleaning day around Winter Park. With talk of the free agent market drying up in the next few days as teams turn their focus to the draft, the Vikings signed the two remaining free agents that they expected back.
Tight end Hunter Goodwin, who had spent the last month mulling offers from the Vikings and Raiders, agreed to a two-year, $1.5 million contract to stay with the Vikings.
The team also announced that restricted free agent RB Doug Chapman agreed to terms on a contract for 2003. With their signings, the Vikings may well be done with the first free agent signing period, although VU continues to hear that conversations continue with Dolphins WR Oronde Gadsden, but that the sides are no closer together on a deal than they were a couple of weeks ago.
* As reported by VU last week, Derrick Alexander made it official Tuesday -- accepting a pay cut to stay with the team. Alexander, who signed a three-year, $5.1 million deal was told he would be released if he didn't change his contract. The deal is said to be for the league veteran minimum but filled with incentives if he has a productive season. The Vikings may address wide receiver in the draft or by signing a veteran free agent like Gadsden or Antonio Freeman.
* The agent for Cory Withrow has asked that his client be traded or given a long-term deal to back up Matt Birk. Withrow has said on numerous occasions that he wants to start -- he has the talent to start for many teams. If a trade can't be worked out, his agent would like to get a long-term deal done to have Withrow back up Birk as well as fill in at the guard spots as a backup.
* The Packers fought off an overture from the Eagles for DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila by signing him to a seven-year, $37 million contract Tuesday. The deal includes $13 million in guaranteed money and effectively ends the Packers adventures in free agency for 2003.