The Waiting Game

As impossible as it may be to believe, the Vikings are playing the waiting game on guys like former kicker Doug Brien as the possible cure to their kicking woes.

When the Jets moved in front of the Vikings to draft kicker Mike Nugent, many draft weekend observers were shocked, but, within seconds, a couple of VU reporters discussed why the Jets would use their first pick on a kicker -- Doug Brien.

The same guy who forced Mike Tice to release Gary Anderson on a draft weekend three years earlier had run himself out of town by almost singlehandedly losing a home game vs. the Bills. The same guy who did everything he could to help the Jets exit the playoffs last year. Yeah, that Doug Brien.

Shockingly, when VU asked Mike Tice if Brien is a possibility to return, Tice not only didn't shoot down the notion (or the questioner), he actually shrugged and said the possibility had already been discussed.

The reaction from the Vikings war room was similar to that of the media -- immediate chuckling, replaced by jaw-dropping when the reality hit that Tice was serious. His vow to not go with two kickers on the 53-man roster is not just lip service. The Vikings are going to have a tough time making the required cuts because of the added depth created by free agency and the draft. If things don't work out elsewhere, Brien has become a legitimate option.

The team can't do anything immediately -- Brien is currently still under contract with the Jets -- but he has already been informed that he will be released. In another strange moment of deja vu, Bears kicker Paul Edinger -- who is playing under a contract worked out by the Vikings in an offer sheet two years ago that Chicago matched -- is also rumored to be a June 1 salary cap casualty.

Ideally, the Vikings would have liked to get their kicking situation settled on the first day of the draft. Now they're playing the waiting game -- with an eye on their recent past.

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