Will Vikes Be Free Agent Players?

With free agency just two weeks away, the Vikings' stalled ownership question could let players like Jeremiah Trotter and a host of other free agents get away without the Vikings even making an offer on them.

With the NFL being hard-pressed not to accept Reggie Fowler's proposal to buy the Vikings – the historical significance of breaking the ownership color barrier will likely overcome most potential hurdles between purchase agreement and purchase itself – the biggest hurdle facing the Vikings is what to do in the meantime.

No team has more room under the salary cap than the Vikings – an estimated $30 million if unachieved bonuses are tied in. But, who has the authority to make decisions? It's clear Red McCombs has sunk the last dime he plans to into the Vikings – he's waiting at the pay window for his ticket to get punched. And, until he takes official ownership of the team next month, Fowler can't put his stamp any roster decisions.

It's a dilemma of timing, because the Vikings have the resources to make a big splash in free agency, but until the final disposition of the ownership is made, the Vikings will be hamstrung until mid- to late-March at the earliest before finding out the answer to the critical question of whether Fowler's proposal is accepted. Until then, free agents will start flying off the board and there is little to nothing the Vikings can do about it.

With the uproar surrounding having an African American owner in the NFL, it seems clear that, barring something very bad in his financial records, Fowler will end up owning the Vikings. But, the bigger concern at this point is will it be too late to be the active free agency player the team can be?

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