Hatchette Turns Down Vikes

Just two days after sending out indications that the Vikings were the top team on his priority list, Matthew Hatchette told the team Tuesday that he'll be signing -- with Jacksonville.

The last time Matthew Hatchette turned down a contract offer from the Vikings, it almost ended his NFL career. Tuesday, he decided to tempt fate again.

In response to reports like the one in yesterday's VU saying that the Vikings were on the top of Hatchette's list of prospective teams, he contacted the team to say he was nearing completion of a contract with the Jaguars.

From what VU has been told, the center of the decision process is that Hatchette has a better chance of getting meaningful playing time with the Jags -- known in AFC circles as Jimmy Smith & Friends. He felt he would have to compete hard in training camp with the Vikings simply to make the 53-man roster and didn't want to risk that.

VU wishes Hatchette the best -- at least better than his last decision to shy away from the Vikings.

* The Vikings' attempts to trade C Cory Withrow have failed and, barring any late trade offer by a team in the next month or so, the Vikes are content to let him play out his contract and become a free agent.
* Former Viking Obafemi Ayanabadejo is with the Dolphins, and both he and his brother are hopeful of making the team.

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