Kampman Situation Could Alter Draft

The Vikings are still waiting to see if Green Bay will match the offer sheet signed by defensive end Aaron Kampman. If the Packers don't match the Vikings' strategic move, it could signal a dwindling draft need at defensive end.

Yes, the Vikings think highly of Packers restricted free agent Aaron Kampman. But it's unlikely they would have extended an offer sheet to him this week had he not played for Green Bay.

By making him a one-year, $1.2 million offer, the Vikings knew they were putting their NFC North archrivals in another tough financial situation. The Packers are struggling against the salary cap, but can ill afford to lose another player, especially to the Vikings.

Green Bay already has lost free safety Darren Sharper to the Vikings. Sharper was signed by the Vikings last month, just two days after he was cut by the Packers in a salary cap move.

Kampman isn't a star player, but he's a promising 25-year-old with three years of NFL experience. He started all 16 games last season and led all Packers' linemen with a career-high 77 tackles. His 4.5 sacks were second on the team.

"He brings a lot of energy to the team," said Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings vice president of football operations.

The Packers have seven days to match the offer, meaning Wednesday is the key day. Ted Thompson, Green Bay's general manager, said Thursday that the team would take time to study the offer sheet.

Kampman probably would start at left end for the Vikings. The team might be looking to dump veteran Kenny Mixon. They've already moved second-year pro Darrion Scott ahead of Mixon on the depth chart. Scott, a third-round pick in 2004, isn't anything special.

Because Green Bay extended Kampman the lowest tender possible, $656,000, the Vikings would owe the Packers a fifth-round draft pick this year because that's where the Packers selected him in 2002.

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