VU Daily Blog: 2/27/11 - 3/6/11

A week that started with some high-profile releases around the league turned into a franchise tag and a long-term deal for two Vikings defenders, with plenty of labor talk sprinkled in. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.


POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:13:00
NFL, union have a week to work it out: The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a one-week extension in their labor talks. If...
http://bit.ly/i47U6o

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:13:00
Greenway among the NFL trendy: Chad Greenway was among the majority of franchise players, signing his one-year g...
http://bit.ly/gDdsoH

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:13:00
NFL Notebook: The Carson Palmer dilemma: Carson Palmer could be on the trade market, or the Bengals could dig in...
http://bit.ly/gkfnwy

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 15:40:00
NFC North news, notes and quotes: At one time, the strength of the Bears was their defensive line. No longer. Li...
http://bit.ly/ffs1TG

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON FRIDAY, MARCH 04, 2011 AT 15:14:00

Another week to work it out

The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to extend the deadline for the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement until next Friday.

The start of free agency was already delayed – it was scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. Thursday night – but the extension at least means that the league and its players union will continue to talk and try to negotiate a new CBA for the future. During the extension, no players will be allowed to be signed, meaning free-agent activity is at a standstill.

However, there is one thing that will go on. The draft, scheduled for April 28-30, will go on with or without a new CBA. The only real difference with that is teams cannot sign undrafted rookies in the days after the draft and no picks would be allowed to sign until a new CBA is reached. The good news is that is still eight weeks away and a new CBA could be completed by that time.

The NFL and NFLPA will meet again on Monday to resume talks.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:12:00
It's a start anyway. RT @
JasonLaCanfora: NFL and NFLPA extend deadline for CBA til Friday. Teams cannot make transactions. #Vikings #NFL

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 10:12:00
RT @
SBJLizMullen: Hearing: Players already agreed to 10 day extension suggested by mediator. If owners don't agree, CBA expires at midnight.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:26:00
Labor issues leave Vikings, UFAs in limbo: While the Vikings issued tenders to several free agents with fewer th...
http://bit.ly/gAOzts

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 06:22:00
Vikings sign Robison to three-year deal: The Vikings signed defensive lineman Brian Robison to a three-year cont...
http://bit.ly/ex1FR9

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON THURSDAY, MARCH 03, 2011 AT 22:19:00

Vikings sign DE Robison to three-year deal

The Vikings placed a second-round tender on defensive end Brian Robison on Wednesday, but with the clock ticking down to the end of the current CBA (which was extended 24 hours until Friday), the team finalized a deal that will keep Robison in a Vikings uniform for three more years.

The contract is worth $14.1 million with a $6.5 million signing bonus.

On Wednesday, the Vikings also placed a first-round tender on defensive Ray Edwards, who started at left end in front of Robison, but with Edwards having five years of experience in the league many expect that he will actually be an unrestricted free agent when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. Throughout much of the season, Edwards sent off signals that 2010 would be his final season with the Vikings, so if he is unrestricted under the terms of a new CBA he likely would sign elsewhere.

The Vikings' signing of Robison might also signal their lack of confidence that Edwards' one-year tender would hold up.

"It is what it is. It's a business," Robison said after the season when asked about his prospects of returning. "You've got to treat it like a business and hopefully I'm back. I like the situation I'm in here. I like everything about the city. I think we're going to do as much as we can to come back here, but you've got to treat it like a business and do what's best for you and your family. That's kind of the only outlook you can have going into it."

Robinson has only gotten seven starts over the first four years of his career. He had 4.5 sacks as a rookie in 2007 and again in 2009. Last year, he had two sacks.

Asked after the 2010 season if he thought he had the confidence of the coaches to be a starter, Robison told Viking Update: "I think I've done everything I possibly can to show that I can be a starter. I feel like I've taken advantage of the opportunities I've been given. I feel like I've done very well showing them that I can play the run as well as the pass. I think I've done everything I could possibly do to show them that I deserve to be a starter and every-down player in this league."

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:18:00
Brian Robison confirms he just signed a three-year, $14.1 million deal with a signing bonus of $6.5 million. Good deal, good guy. #
Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 19:06:00
RT @
alexmarvez as we work through this. We're going to keep working. We want to play football.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 19:06:00
RT @
alexmarvez De smith statement: To all our fans who dig our game, we appreciate your patience (cont)

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 19:05:00
The #
NFL and #NFLPA have agreed to a 24-hour extension of the CBA in order to continue talks. Players can be cut or signed for one more.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:25:00
Jackson officially out in Minnesota: Hot News for QB Tarvaris Jackson 
http://bit.ly/hQkVeQ

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:25:00
Jackson officially out in Minnesota: Hot News for QB Tarvaris Jackson 
http://bit.ly/hQkVeQ

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 13:54:00
Vikings decline to tender Jackson, others: One day after tendering a few key free agents, the Vikings have decid...
http://bit.ly/hhm15d

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:22:00
A Not-So-Happy Stay in Indianapolis: Three first-round prospects in particular are sliding down draft boards a b...
http://bit.ly/hsl233

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON THURSDAY, MARCH 03, 2011 AT 10:14:00

Tarkenton weighs in on labor dispute

Former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton wasn't shy with his opinion on the Vikings signing Brett Favre and now he's taking on an even bigger topic – the NFL's labor dispute with its players union. Tarkenton said the owners signed a bad deal in 2006 and now they are trying to undo that, but he seemed to side with the owners' desire to undo the damage of five years ago.

"I think the balance has gone too heavy to the player. I think there has got to be some adjustment made over to the other side because you've got to make sure that the owners, no matter how wealthy they are, that the business is a viable business for them, so they can have enough profit margin to be able to invest back into the business," Tarkenton told ESPN 101 Radio in St. Louis, via sportsradiointerviews.com.

"That's just critically important. Having deep-pocket owners has really enabled the NFL to be able to grow. It's just grown. When I started back in 1961 and ended 1978, we were a viable important part of American culture in society, but nothing like today. This is over the top. It's unbelievable and here we have a down economy and people are not going to give up their football, but I think there has to be some balance out here."

One of the bargaining points to a new CBA is the league's desire to replace two preseason games with two regular-season games, making the preseason two games and the regular season 18 games. Tarkenton, a Hall of Famer, has an opinion on that as well.

"I think what they ought to do is take out the exhibition games. They played four exhibition games. They're useless. These players work out year around. They don't need exhibition games and I would take out four exhibition games and add two regular season games," he said. "You're going to add a tremendous amount of revenue there that will make it viable for both the players and owners. Now you have 18 regular-season games and no exhibition games, so that's going to help the wear and tear on the player also, because he doesn't have to worry about going out and playing in an exhibition game. That's football – they have a chance of getting hurt in an exhibition game too, so that's one thing they could do, whether or not, I definitely think they'll go to an 18-game schedule and cut back the exhibition from four to two. They ought to just eliminate it."

In the end, Tarkenton thinks the labor situation will be resolved before the season and even before training camps are scheduled to start.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:45:00
Offseason progress could be slow for Vikings: "No offseason contact" is taking on a new meaning this year becaus...
http://bit.ly/e9ae1O

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:45:00
Vikings tender players before CBA deadline: The Vikings tendered restricted free-agent offers to several players...
http://bit.ly/g1RRD1

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:20:00
The #
Vikings placed a second-round tender on OL Ryan Cook.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:17:00
Interesting to see if a team jumps if holds up. RT @
JuddZulgad The #Vikings have placed a first-round tender on wide receiver Sidney Rice.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:16:00
Longer deal still possible. RT @
caplannfl #Vikings DE Brian Robison got a 2nd round tender, source confirms.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:54:00
Abdullah's tender will likely hold up when a new CBA is reached, but Edwards, with four years experience, might be unrestricted. #
Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:53:00
The #
Vikings placed a first-round tender on Ray Edwards, says @chipscoggins, and second-rounder on Husain Abdullah, reports @JuddZulgad.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:09:00
Wouldn't say, just said it wasn't about Frazier. Pat's usually candid. RT @
Djr57108: @TomPelissero @VikingUpdate He talking about childress?

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:47:00
Pat Williams: ‘I am not coming back': Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams said he is not going to return to the Vik...
http://bit.ly/dP2w2K

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:47:00
RT @
PackerReport: Wow #Packers just released A.J. Hawk (and Donald Lee and David Martin)

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:16:00
Pat Williams says he isn't returning to the #
Vikings Not a major surprise, but here are his comments: http://bit.ly/enJ7s7

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 02, 2011 AT 15:47:00

Farwell avoids extreme sports in New Zealand

Heath Farwell's Australian-New Zealand vacation is starting to wind down. While he made it to New Zealand, it wasn't to the earthquake-stricken area of Christchurch. Here is the latest from Farwell, who has been able to avoid the labor issues in the NFL by getting going Down Under:

"The past couple days we've been in Queenstown, New Zealand, the ‘adrenaline capital of the world.' If you like extreme sports, this is your place: bungy jumping, ski diving, zip lining and anything high intensity. I will admit I was too scared to do any of them," Farwell wrote in an e-mail to Viking Update.

"I did ride a jet boat down the steep rocky canals of Shotover River with the driver getting as close to the edge rocks as he could and doing 360-degree turns periodically. Julie and I also hiked to the top of the Queensland Hill that overlooked Queensland and beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Yesterday we took a three-hour bus ride for an overnight cruise on the Milford Sound. The drive was an incredible scenic route through country farmland, seeing deer, cattle, llamas, and of course sheep.

"In NZ, there are an estimated 40 million sheep to the 4 million people. We also saw beautiful lakes, forest, mountains, waterfalls. The Prime Minister of NZ wanted a 2 minute moment of silence to honor the earthquake victims at the exact time of the quake a week prior, 12:51-12:53 p.m. Tuesday Feb 22. We were stopped for lunch on our bus trip so everybody In this small town, including all passengers, stopped at the half raised NZ flag in the town square to pay their respects. When finally setting sail on the Milford Sound, we anchored down in Harrison Cove just inside the brake water of the Tasmen Sea. The 100-year-old glaciers atop the mountains were amazing. It was very windy and rainy with white-capped rough waters so we didn't sleep too well with boat rocking. But fortunately the rain made for some postcard waterfalls when we woke up.

Farwell's next stop is at Lake Moeraki, where he anticipates some good hiking. Instead of Christchurch, his trip will end in Aukland before flying back to Minnesota.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 12:23:00
RT @
imErinHartigan: Folks @ IMG give us inside look at what it takes to prep for a grueling event like #NFLCombinehttp://bit.ly/hvASnf #NFL

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 02, 2011 AT 11:07:00

Stadium talks progressing with Ramsey County

Vikings president Mark Wilf, part of the team's ownership group, was in St. Paul Tuesday meeting with officials about the progress of a potential bill to finance a new Vikings stadium, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Wilf also met with officials from Ramsey County and thanked them for their support in opening up talks with the Vikings about using the site of a former munitions site in Arden Hills for a potential new stadium.

That project is getting into the critical stages.

"Quite frankly, Thursday and Friday are going to be critical in terms of getting a sense of where both sides are at," said Ramsey County commissioner Rafael Ortega. "I think we are looking at various options, including a sales tax in Ramsey County."

Officials could be open to a half-percent sales tax in the county to help finance the stadium, but details are still being worked out.

"I think, by the end of this week, we will be getting down to the nitty gritty," Ortega said.

A stadium bill could be coming to the legislature in the next week, but the Vikings have said all along that the state will also have to support the stadium financially and politicians are looking at a $5 billion deficit and new factors have delayed the introduction of a bill.

"New developments keep coming up, too, here along the way, like new potential partners on the local level, new players in terms of the sports facilities commission, with Mr. (Ted) Mondale coming on board," said Rep. Morrie Lanning. "There have been a lot of new things that have come into the whole process, and it's just taking a little longer."

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 09:31:00
Notebook: Vince Young a possibility?: The Vikings are looking to acquire multiple quarterbacks this offseason an...
http://bit.ly/fqmyb5

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 07:58:00
2011 Draft: Time for the interior guys?: For years, offensive tackle has been outpacing guards and center early ...
http://bit.ly/effcL0

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 07:58:00
Players win a ruling against NFL owners: A resolution to the labor strife may have become more urgent after a ru...
http://bit.ly/icivQZ

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:42:00
RT @
dkaplanSBJ: Breaking news: doty overturns special master decision on lockout insurance, meaning NFL can't tap media fees during lockout.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 16:32:00
RT @
RyanKalil: Once the lockout starts, teams will cut off all contact with players. I think I found a loophole.http://twitpic.com/454hol

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, MARCH 01, 2011 AT 15:11:00

Greenway signs franchise tender; will it stick?

The Vikings announced that linebacker Chad Greenway signed his franchise tender, meaning he is expected to be paid about $10 million in 2011 if a couple of things remain the same.

First, the franchise tags have to hold up and it's possible the use of them could be challenged by the NFL Players Association or that the tag might not be part of a new collective bargaining agreement. Second, the Vikings have expressed the desire to work on a long-term contract for Greenway, and Greenway sounds open to that possibility. It's possible a long-term deal would average less than $10 million per season but provide Greenway with more long-term security than the one-year franchise designation.

Most likely, the team would wait until after a new CBA is in place so it would know the parameters of a potential salary cap and how that would affect current and future contracts. For now, there is little question how the Vikings feel about Greenway.

"We really felt like where Chad is right now in his career and what he's been able to do and standing on the field and just getting better every single year and what he's done off the field in our community as well, the whole package – (the franchise tag) was the way to go," head coach Leslie Frazier said last week when asked why the Vikings franchised Greenway and not receiver Sidney Rice. "That doesn't mean that we don't want Sidney as a Minnesota Viking, because we do. He is a high, high priority, and I didn't want him to be sensitive about the fact that it was Chad being franchised instead of Sidney. That does not mean that we're not going to do right by Sidney, but we couldn't franchise both of them. We want to get Sidney signed and take care of him, because he's going to take care of our football team."

Rice's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, however, told ESPN this week that Rice would wait until free agency to make a decision on where he would be playing in 2011, despite the Vikings making a contract offer to Rice.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:54:00
The name of the bird dogs owned by @
JaredAllen69? Bonnie and Clyde. Classic! http://bit.ly/gcyMAX #Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:49:00
10 million reasons to do so. Good player, good payday. RT @
VikingsFootball: Good news #Vikings fans: Greenway signs franchise tender.

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON TUESDAY, MARCH 01, 2011 AT 11:57:00

Will Berrian be back?

NFL teams have started the annual process of cutting veterans they consider too old or possessing a contract that doesn't meet production.

In addition to safeties like Bob Sander and O.J. Atogwe, big-name players Vernon Gholston, Tommie Harris and Hunter Hillenmeyer have been released around the NFL.

Will the Vikings be next? Two names stand out as potential releases – receiver Bernard Berrian and safety Madieu Williams. ESPN's Adam Schefter included Berrian among the potential cuts he cited this week, along with Cardinals QB Derek Anderson and 49ers CB Nate Clements.

Berrian is scheduled to make $3.9 million in base salary in 2011, $200,000 more than he did in 2010, but his salary really increases in 2012, when he is scheduled to make $6.9 million in base. But if there is a salary cap this year and the Vikings are looking to trim money from it, this could be the time to release Berrian, as he has incentives and other money issues that could push his cap number to $6.2 million this year.

What do you think? Take the poll on our message board and tell us what you think?

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 11:13:00
GMs, analysts dissect Newton from every angle: QB Cam Newton brings star power to the podium and questions on an... 
http://bit.ly/hauDZC

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 10:11:00
No Favre on ‘Dancing with the Stars': Despite speculation that Brett Favre would be on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'...
http://bit.ly/dLXAnr

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 09:38:00
ESPN's Schefter says #
Vikings WR Bernard Berrian is a potential cut this week. Even with Sidney Rice situation, I'd think that's possible.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:39:00
Combine performance assessment: Receivers: See what the on-site assessments were for the wide receivers when the...
http://bit.ly/fx0tlD

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:39:00
NFL Notebook: No safety net this year: Despite what isn't considered a strong safety class in the draft, there a...
http://bit.ly/hp5q69

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 00:24:00
Intentional Hounding: Harris Gets the Axe: From training camp to the Super Bowl and all the offseason activity, ...
http://bit.ly/eTos7P

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:51:00
RT @
SaveTheVikesOrg: Council votes: Resolution for the Vikings stadium analysis PASSES unanimously with amendment 5-0! #Vikings #ArdenHills

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 19:16:00
Taylor Makes it Clear: 'I'm a Quarterback': Despite being told by talent evaluators he may be better off playing...
http://bit.ly/dZEIio

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:46:00
What We Learned: Four Days in Indy: After getting home from the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, our Scout.com ...
http://bit.ly/f7MY9S

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:39:00
RT @
TheJetsStream: BREAKING: #Jets will release Kris Jenkins, Vernon Gholston, Damien Woody and Jason Taylor, per sources. #nfl #nyj

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 18:35:00
RT @
RavensInsider: Source: Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams met with #Vikings Steelers, Buccaneers and Texans:http://bit.ly/eZ6aMw

POSTED BY: TIM YOTTER
ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011 AT 16:13:00

Bears release three former starters

The Chicago Bears are making moves before the start of the new league year (although there could be a delay to that with the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement).

The Bears released DT Tommie Harris, LB Hunter Hillenmeyer and OT Kevin Shaffer.

Here is more the The Sports XChange:

Harris was a three-time Pro Bowler (2005-07) for the Bears. He started 90 games, but was benched in 2010 because of inconsistent play. Harris was due a roster bonus in June of approximately $2.6 million. When Harris posted two sacks in the playoffs against Seattle, coach Lovie Smith made it sound as if the effort was "too little, too late."

"Tommie has worked hard each week, but we haven't gotten the production that we've wanted, or he's wanted," Smith said.

Smith said last week at a press conference in Indianapolis that Harris could have a role with the 2011 Bears, but that now seems unlikely.

Hillenmeyer missed the 2010 season after started 69 games in eight seasons with the Bears. The team placed him on injured reserve on Sept. 14 after Hillenmeyer was slow to recover from a concussion in the team's third preseason game. Hillenmeyer said earlier in the offseason he expected to be released.

Shaffer played in 32 games in the past two seasons, including seven starts. He has 93 career starts in nine seasons.

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POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 15:39:00
VikingUpdate.com mock draft, Version 2.0: As we get more familiar with the talent and needs of other teams, the ...
http://bit.ly/hyYuOJ

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:27:00
NFC North news, notes and quotes: Bears coach Lovie Smith talks about what's next after a two-year extension. Th...
http://bit.ly/eEb952

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:27:00
Rosenhaus, Rice willing to roll the dice?: The Vikings made a contract offer to Sidney Rice, but according to ES...
http://bit.ly/fRFPMm

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:27:00
Combine performance assessment: Quarterbacks: After hearing from the quarterbacks on Friday and Saturday, they f...
http://bit.ly/i1R83G

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 22:31:00
RT @
AdamSchefter Drew Rosenhaus said his client, #Vikings WR Sidney Rice, will not re-sign with Minnesota before first testing free agency.

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 22:08:00
Quarterbacks on Display Sunday in Indy: With the quarterbacks working out Sunday at the Scouting Combine, who pu...
http://bit.ly/fRddLZ

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:43:00
RT @
nflnetwork Top 40 times, WRs (official): E. Gates (4.37), R. Lockette (4.37), J. Jones (4.39), L. Hankerson (4.43), A. Robinson (4.43).

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:29:00
RT @
nflnetwork Top 40 times, QBs (official): Tyrod Taylor (4.51), Kaepernick (4.53), Locker (4.59),Newton (4.59) & Gabbert (4.62). #Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:24:00
RT @
RavensInsider Kaepernick ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, second behind Locker's 4.52. Very fast times for big quarterbacks. #Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 14:23:00
RT @
nancygay Cam Newton's first two passes in the Combine drills today sailed at least 20 yards over the WRs' heads. Not good. #Vikings

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 08:53:00
Column: New world spotlights old indignities: College athletes and students in general are in a party time of li...
http://bit.ly/fkyzST

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 01:39:00
Sunday slant: Wilf puts Vikings at ease: Tensions are high around the league over the effects of a potential loc...
http://bit.ly/f0pgXC

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 01:39:00
Top QB prospects state their case: The top four quarterbacks in the draft each tried to accentuate their positiv...
http://bit.ly/f929Gv

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 20:01:00
Combine Interview: QB Cam Newton: At the Scouting Combine, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton actually began his time... 
http://bit.ly/gvO1dC

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 19:37:00
Mallett tries to elude drug-use questions: Ryan Mallett didn't do his public image any favors by avoiding questi...
http://bit.ly/gPARyi

POSTED ON TWITTER AT: 17:12:00
#
Louisville RB Bilal Powell said he loves watching #VikingsRB Adrian Peterson: "I love the way he attacks the line of scrimmage."

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