Four Down, Four To Go

The Vikings began the process of signing the 2004 rookie crop Thursday, agreeing to terms with three players.

The Vikings got the ball rolling on getting their players signed before next weekend's start to training camp. The team will officially announce today that they have reached agreement with LB Rod Davis (5th round), DB Deandre' Eiland (6th round) and TE Jeff Dugan (7th round) to three-year contracts.

VU has been told the deals are each for $920,000 -- the combined minimum for NFL players in their first three seasons. If any or all make the team this year, they will receive a base salary of $230,000.

The signing bonuses haven't been officially announced pending signatures on the contracts, but VU has been told Davis will likely get a signing bonus in excess of $100,000, while Eiland will get between $60,000 and $70,000 and Dugan will get about $40,000.

The Vikings now have half their draft class signed and will now turn their attention to third-round DE Darrion Scott and fourth-round OT Nat Dorsey. Talks are scheduled with DE Kenechi Udeze and LB Dontarrious Thomas next week. Both are expected to be signed before camp begins.

FRIDAY NOTES
* In a story that will likely go largely unreported or under-reported locally and around the country, Randy Moss hosted his sixth annual "Kids Appreciation Day" in Charleston, West Virginia by his hometown of Rand.
The event is a night out for children in the area that gives them a chance to meet NFL players like Moss, Rams QB Marc Bulger (who played for West Virginia University) and draftee Darrion Scott (who is from Charleston) as well as enjoying free amusement rides.
Moss spoke to Charleston Gazette reporter Nick Scala about his football career and affirmed a desire for the game that rarely gets discussed by the talking head "experts" who still dwell on the "taking plays off" rant.
"If they took the money out of football, I wonder how many guys would still be playing?" Moss asked. "I think I'd still be playing, though, for the love of the game."
What are the chances ESPN will run a five-minute story on that? Don't hold your breath.
* To put the signing bonuses for the recently signed Vikings rookies into perspective, consider this: Antowain Smith has two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots and signed a one-year deal Thursday with the Titans for the NFL minimum. His signing bonus? $25,000. Ouch.

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