As discussed here over the last month or so, the Vikings are heading into free agency with about as much available money as any team in the league. Some may have more money, but they also have some high-end free agents to worry about re-signing.
The Vikings have one potential big-ticket item -- TE Jim Kleinsasser. It's been a year since he was franchised and prevented from exploring the 2003 free agent market. But it looks like that won't happen again -- and the Vikings may already have some competition lining up.
VU has been told that the Rams are very interested in the potential availability of Kleinsasser. Since their Super Bowl runs, the Rams have had a revolving door at tight end -- signing injury-plagued veteran pass catchers and hoping youngsters like Brandon Manumaleuna will pan out. To date, nobody has been able to replace what Ernie Conwell did for the team as a blocker and receiver (and occasional rusher and passer).
From what our source is telling us, Mike Martz is impressed with Kleinsasser's blocking ability, as well as his size-speed ratio. He could envision Kleinsasser as a part-time lead blocker for an aging Marshall Faulk, providing pass protection for Marc Bulger and being a receiver capable of catching 50 to 60 passes in the Rams' pass-happy offense.
While no contact with players can be made until free agency opens in March, if Kleinsasser makes it to the open market, don't be surprised to see the Rams make an early push to get him in for a visit.
Rams Interested In Kleinsasser?
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