How Damaged is Newman?

A day after bad news on WR Charles Rogers and an alleged positive test for a masking agent at the Combine, VU has been told CB Terence Newman has enough nerve damage that some teams will no longer consider him -- bad news for the Vikes.

Few things compare to the fish-wife gossip that goes on in the days leading up to any NFL draft. Warren Sapp was a top-five choice until a league memo that he tested positive for marijuana at the Combine was made public. The Vikes -- like half the league -- passed on him.

Randy Moss would never have been a Viking if not for the same internal memos that got sent out -- especially coming on the heels of the Lawrence Phillips debacle. So it is that the NFL rumor mill has started churning on one of the hottest prospects in this year's draft.

VU was told last month that, while CB Terence Newman's shoulder injury showed some nerve damage, but it wasn't anything to get overly excited about. Monday, it came forward that an unnamed league source, believed to come from a team picking at or near No. 5 in the draft -- make your own inferences -- has said that damage is permanent and that Newman is damaged goods.

This is bad news from the Vikings perspective. VU got no answer if Vikings team medicos checked out Newman at the Combine -- which leads us to believe the answer is "no" -- but he was one of a handful of players the Vikings expected to be gone by the time they hit the clock at No. 7. If he remains and a DT they covet is (or should we say "are both") gone, it will create a dilemma. Several teams consider their doctor's opinion at the Combine to be as critical as personal workouts and scouts visits. The Vikings apparently haven't checked out the severity of the injury and, if it is simply a smokescreen by a team (which rhymes with Halas) looking for a bargain, that's cool. It's part of the game. But the Vikings may want to consider making the top medicos on the team more available to situations like this to prevent the Vikes from taking a player who may already be damaged goods.

If we hear otherwise -- if we're wrong, we'll hear it and so will you -- we'll update you on this development.

* In a follow-up to yesterday's report about WR Charles Rogers -- viewed as a virtual lock at No. 2 to Detroit -- we have multiple new information. His agent responded to charges that Rogers tested positive for a masking agent at his Combine urine test. He claimed it was excessive water in urine. Go figure? Water in urine? Hmm.
* In other Rogers news, he rejected a request to visit with the Bengals, saying if he isn't visiting, he wouldn't expect the Bengals to take him. Even when Cincy has the No. 1 pick, it appears nobody wants to go there.
* Tyrone Carter officially signed a one-year deal with the Jets -- as reported last week by VU.
* A Twin Cities newspaper has the Vikings passing on DT Jimmy Kennedy to take CB Marcus Trufant. Don't buy it. The Vikings want a DT in the worst way and, if Kennedy or Dewayne Robertson are available, they will take one of them. If both are gone, look for the team to trade down and take a DT when their pick comes up.

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