Vikes Sign Rookie

The Vikings made what many hope will be the first of several painless rookies signings by getting linebacker Patrick Chukwurah to agree to a contract Monday.

The Vikings got the ball rolling on the rookie signing front Monday by agreeing to terms with linebacker Patrick Chukwurah, the team's fifth-round draft pick, with a three-year contract.

Chukwurah is expected to signed a deal worth $733,750, with $106,000 of that being paid up front in a signing bonus. His salary for the 2001 season will be $209,000.

With Chukwurah signed, the Vikings will continue talks with other higher-round rookies and hope to have more signings announced this week.

* All regular-season tickets for the 2001 season sold out quickly Monday, as a crowd of more than 200 people were outside the Metrodome and a limited number of tickets remained when people were allowed on-line to buy tickets through Ticketmaster at 10 a.m. Central time Monday. All that remains for fans of the Vikings are single-game tickets for the two home preseason games.
* Vikings former assistant coach John Kasper, who took a leave of absence in April 2000, to make a run at the 2002 Olympic bobsled teams, was suspended by the international bobsledding committee Monday for testing positive for a banned steroid. The Vikings had no immediate comment about Kasper's status or the positive steroid results.

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