Vikings Trying to Seal Up Birk Contract

The Vikings are trying to get some last-minute dealing done before the final cutdowns -- expected this evening or tomorrow -- and one order of business is trying to get Matt Birk signed to a long-term deal.

With the losses on the offensive line the Vikings have experienced the last two years -- Randall McDaniel, Jeff Christy, Todd Steussie and Korey Stringer -- the team doesn't want to risk losing Matt Birk.

VU has been told that the Vikings are trying to close a deal with Birk, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, to a long-term deal to keep him with the team.

Historically, the Vikings have broken off negotiations once a season starts, so the timetable is short to get a deal done, but VU is hearing that the sides aren't that far apart and that a deal might get stuck quickly.

* Despite the fact that the Vikings appear stocked at defensive line with youngsters Shawn Worthen and Fred Robbins both looking solid at nosetackle, VU is being told the Vikings have extended a contract offer to Cortez Kennedy and that he is currently comparing two offers -- one from the Vikes and one from New Orleans. Apparently, the Vikes are still promising a starting job for Kennedy.
* What makes the Vikings win over Miami a little frustrating for Dennis Green is that the first-team offense struggled against a Miami team missing five starters, including DT's Tim Bowens and Daryl Gardener and MLB Zach Thomas.
* For Vikings fans with the Game Show Channel, you may want to tune in this weekend to the lamentable show "Tattletales." One of the celebrity couples on the 25-year-old show are former Viking RB Tommy Mason and his then-wife Cathy Rigby.
* In the first quarter of the four preseason games, the Vikings scored just seven points.
* What a difference a quarter makes. Miami scored on the second play of the second quarter Friday night, the first points allowed by the Vikes in the second period. For the preseason, the Vikings outscored their opponents 55-7 in the second stanza.
* Talk about preseason -- Vikes fans had to endure one of the worst local broadcasts of the Vikings-Miami game ever, as broadcasters Curt Menefee and Bill Maas showed how little they actually knew about the Vikings. At one point, thinking the mikes were off and they were in a commercial break, Maas said, "This a really bad game." Great for helping the ratings, pally.
* One of the big questions for the coming cuts is who makes the team as the punt returner and fifth or sixth receiver -- Troy Walters or Nate Jacquet. There are some in the organization who think the team won't keep both and, with punt returns of 76 and 52 yards in the last two games, Jacquet may have won himself a roster spot.
* Not only making the roster are DT Fred Robbins and rookie LB Patrick Chukwurah, but Dennis Green hinted that both may start next week vs. Carolina.

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