Vikings Enter Next Phase Of Free Agency

The Vikings just finished inking what many insiders believe is their biggest signing in free agency to date — not just this year, but since free agency started in 1992. So what's next? We're told they are interested in another big-name player.

The Vikings inked their top priority on the open market, and by all accounts cornerback Antoine Winfield was by far their biggest interest. He was described by some as a cornerback without a real weakness (we'll get into the Vikings' in-depth analysis on him next week). Others described the signing as breathing new life into the attitude around Winter Park.

The Vikings don't feel like they "have" to sign any other top-notch right away, but they still sound very interested in trying to work a deal with another big name on the other side of the ball — wide receiver Marcus Robinson.

Robinson worked out at Winter Park today, and indications are the workout went well.

"(He looks) real good. His body looks lean," Vikings scout Jeff Robinson said. "The last two years he's been healthy. He's just had that bad run for two years in Chicago. Track guys always keep their bodies right.

"He's a proven talent and he's played in this division, so it's not like he's afraid of anything about this division."

After an uneventful rookie year in 1998, Robinson had a breakout second season with the Chicago Bears when he caught 84 passes for 1,400 yards. His productivity never returned to that level, catching 55 for 738 yards in 11 games in 2000 before missing substantial time due to injuries in 2001 and 2002. He signed with Baltimore last year and caught 31 passes for 451 yards in 15 games (five starts).

Are the Vikings seriously considering Robinson?

"Why not?" the scout asked. "He's a big guy who can run and jump. It seems like we've heard that around here before (a reference to Moss). Two of them makes it really tough."

It's unclear what kind of money Marcus Robinson is seeking, but the Vikings are believed to be looking at that tonight. Even after the Winfield signing, who commanded an organization-wide effort to woo, Robinson was still at Winter Park at dinner time and Mike Tice was still in a suit heading upstairs for his next project.

"I think we'll have to work through that process," Robinson said. "But anytime you can get a guy in in the first week, there's got to be a thought in his mind of, ‘I might like to be there.' It's hard to say (the likelihood of him signing) because you never know how many other visits he has lined up. If they've got two other teams waiting for them, they're going to try to play them against each other."

Another less likely option that is receiving mild whispers is Seattle's Darrell Jackson, but that would seem like a long-shot acquisition because Jackson is expected to command a big contract as one of the top wide receivers available in free agency.

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