Notebook: Lockout to affect Vikings' camps

The Vikings can have an extra minicamp with a new head coach, but they are hoping they can use it. Leslie Frazier talked about that, his discussion with DE Everson Griffen and much more Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Vikings are in line for an extra mandatory minicamp, but like everything else, that, too, is dependent on the ability of the NFL and the NFL Players Association being able to work out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Teams with new head coaches are allowed an extra minicamp to help install new concepts. While Frazier has planned that for April, before the NFL draft, he is left to wait and hope he is able to have contact with players in the coming months.

"We're going to find out in the days and weeks to come what the parameters are. I'm sure the league – whether it's at the owners' meetings or whatever – they're going to notify us about what we can and can't do. That time will come," Frazier said.

"I think the fact that everybody is going to be operating under the same circumstance – you don't want to make any excuses. So, in our mind, we're approaching it like there's going to be football and we've got to make sure that we're doing what we can do within the parameters of whatever the league allows us to do. And when we get ready to go, we'll be ready to go."

The Vikings are planning for free agency, preparing as if the rules of restricted free agency will be the same, and operating as if a new collective bargaining agreement will be in place. But, in reality, no one knows when that might happen.

An extra minicamp is an advantage for new coaches, but without that the Vikings could be operating from behind because Frazier hired a new offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave, who is still compiling the playbook.

"You'd like to have them. That's one of the plusses for a new head coach coming in," Frazier said. "We'll see what happens, but we'd make it work. I promise you whatever happens, we're going to try to make it work."

"… I'm hoping that March the 4th we'll be with a new CBA and we'll be moving forward. But if that's not the case, we'll be prepared. We've talked through just about every scenario possible and we'll just see what happens."


Frazier said he talked to defensive end Everson Griffen about his two arrests earlier this month, one for public intoxication and another for fleeing police after a traffic stop.

"I had to just talk about a few things and just remind him what was important to us and as an organization and football team and got my fingers crossed and hopefully won't see his name in the newspapers other than for what happens this fall when he gets a sack, an interception or a fumble recovery or something like that," Frazier said.

Beyond the off-the-field implications of Griffen's arrest, the Vikings may have a bigger need at defensive end with Ray Edwards and Brian Robison scheduled to be free agents.

"You don't want to see that happen whether it's any of your players, whether it's because someone may be leaving because of retirement or not able to come back because of injury or whatever it is," he said. "You don't want to see your players' names in the papers for negative situations. So anytime it happens, it becomes a concern. Hopefully for us, that's something that's behind us. Hopefully."


  • Frazier said he would wait until a new CBA is figured out before giving the playbook to players. "We wouldn't do anything with our players. We're still putting together some things regarding that playbook so we wouldn't distribute any information until we know what's going to happen in the future," he said.

  • Frazier said he thinks the Vikings have a better handle on Percy Harvin's migraines. "I think we've made some headway. It's going to be an ongoing process. … Migraines, it's a debilitating occurrence when it does happen," Frazier said. "It's complicated at times, but we're doing everything we can to help Percy in any way possible. We've got a great medical staff. It's going to be an ongoing process."

  • Is 2011 a rebuilding year for the Vikings? Don't tell Frazier that, who said that's a bad word in the NFL. "We're not that far removed from playing in the NFC Championship Game," he said. "We need to be right this offseason in certain areas. If we're able to get it done, we'll be able to close that gap much sooner than most people expect."

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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