73, 77 Honored Nationally

Korey Stringer and Ron Yary, both former Vikings tackles, were honored on a national stage yesterday, on very different occasions.

Old number 73 was honored with his induction in the Hall of Fame, while the latest number 77 was remembered on a national stage. Before former Vikings tackle Ron Yary and six others were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, emcee Chris Berman called for a moment of silence to remember fallen Vikings Korey Stringer.

This was mostly a day of a fond rememberances for Yary, who thanked his former teammates, coaches and family for helping fulfill his career. Yary was the total team player, knowing that All-Pro blocks were only part of the equation to the Vikings' success.

Yary was rarely outworked on the practice field and had epic battles in practice going against defensive end Carl Eller. After facing Eller five days a week, Sundays were rarely as bad.

Also inducted as the Class of 2001 were Nick Buoniconti (Dolphins linebacker), Marv Levy (Bill coach), Mike Munchak (Oiler guard), Jackie Slater (Rams tackle), Lynn Swann (Steelers receiver) and Jack Youngblood (Rams defensive end).

* At some point this week or in the near future, the Vikings will likely look at their salary cap options with the death of Korey Stringer. It is part of the harsh reality of the NFL. In 1998, Stringer signed a five-year, $18 million contract. Much of the base salary money from that contract was due in 2001 and 2002. While some numbers vary depending on the source, Stringer's cap number was expected to be in the $4 million range this season and higher next year. While the Vikings likely will get no relief for the pro-rated final two years of his signing bonus against the cap, there is reason to believe the team will be able to use much of his salary and perhaps part of his signing bonus -- anywhere from $1 to $3 million from league sources VU has talked to -- to go after a possible replacement or other players to help strengthen the team.
* Today's public visitation of Stringer in Warren, Ohio, was expanded to the hours of 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. His funeral is at 1 p.m. Monday. A contingent of current Vikings will be attending his funeral while others will be practicing in Mankato. Tuesday the Vikings are back to their original training camp schedule and start in earnest on remembering Stringer while preparing for the season.
* How much do some fantasy football experts hate the Vikings defense? Pro Football Weekly, which seems to love the Vikings skill position players, came out with a fantasy draft board of defensive players for the hard-core fantasy geek fringe. The draft board listed 50 defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs in a scoring system based on tackles, sacks, interceptions and fumbles forced/recovered. Of the 150 players, not one Viking made the list, while five Cleveland Browns were listed.
* Former Vikings quarterback Jeff George, now with the Redskins, has been taking time off because of tendinitis in his throwing arm.

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