Carter Given Permission to Talk to Others

The Vikings may say otherwise, but VU has learned the team has given Cris Carter permission to speak to other teams -- making him a free agent a little early.

Cris Carter has been known to work the Super Bowl circuit even though he has never been there as a player. Last year, he held a press conference to say he was coming back to play another season. This time, he may have a resume in hand.

Although still under contract until the team voids the final years of his deal, VU has been told Carter has been granted permission to talk to other NFL teams about working out a contract deal.

This is a clear indication that Carter won't be returning to the Vikings, unless he finds a luke-warm reception on the open market. That is unlikely, however, since he has been talked about as a possibility in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Denver and even Green Bay.

VU has also been told through our own rumor mill of sources that Carter may end up playing in a dome next year, but not the Metrodome. Word is that if Tony Dungy is hired in Indianapolis, Carter would consider going to the Colts. With a tremendous offense already in place, Carter could do for that offense what Jerry Rice did for Oakland teaming with Tim Brown. This part of the rumor needs several things to happen -- first of which is Dungy being hired -- but with Indy moving to the AFC South with a collection of talented, but underachieving teams from 2001, the possibility is looking to have more legs than it might have seemed at first look.

* Jim Zorn officially took himself out of the sweepstakes to become Vikings offensive coordinator. While few saw Zorn as the top prospect, he ended any questions by removing his name. Kevin Gilbride, who used to coach at Houston and San Diego, is meeting with Vikings officials today at Winter Park.
* The Vikings got permission to talk to a couple of NFL special teams coaches as possible replacements for departed Gary Zauner. The teams asked and received the chance to talk to San Diego's Bruce Read and Atlanta's Joe Decamille about the vacancy.

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