It had all the makings of a whirlwind courtship. Robert Griffith so impressed Butch Davis of the Cleveland Browns that Griff's agent was brought in to finalize a deal Tuesday.
Then a snag set in.
VU has been told by a source close to the Browns that talks between Griffith and the Browns broke off Tuesday night, apparently because the initial contract demands of Griffith's agent "are just too high."
This isn't to say that the Browns have given up on their pursuit of Griffith. Far from it. The team intends to remain in contact with Griffith, but apparently will allow him to visit with other teams -- including the Vikings -- to see if he can get a better deal elsewhere. This is a departure from the Browns' initial plan of getting Griffith signed quickly and having a deal struck and finalized by today.
Instead, there is still faint hope Griffith can return to the Vikings.
* The Browns are courting a couple of other Vikings as well. VU has been told the team was impressed with Kailee Wong, and Cris Carter was in town Tuesday night to meet with team officials before heading to St. Louis today.
* Carter is saying all the right things to the media in his tour of the league. In Miami Tuesday morning, Carter said he would love to play with the Dolphins, despite earlier reports that he wasn't interested in playing near his home in Boca Raton, Fla. He said the only thing that can keep him from playing for Miami is if the team is interested in spending its available cap money to shore up other areas of the team.
* The talk of the Vikings being interested in a defensive tackle shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's the cyclical effect of the NFL. After Baltimore succeeded with huge DT's in the middle of its defense, an NFL record six defensive tackles were taken in the first round of last year's draft. Many draft projections, including that of VU's John Holler, have five or six DT's going off the board again in the first round in April and there has been a lot of speculation that the Vikings could be interested in Tennessee DT's John Henderson or Albert Haynesworth.
* VU has been told the Eagles may be willing to make a trade with the Vikings for center Cory Withrow. Mired behind Pro Bowler Matt Birk, Withrow has been given permission to shop around with other teams in search of a starting job.
* Daunte Culpepper's rehab continues to go well. He has begun jogging on his surgically repaired knee and is said to be on pace for a normal recovery.
* The Vikings have been rumored to be considering trading down in the first round, but apparently have earmarked $5 million to sign draft picks this year -- a figure in keeping with the team holding on to its No. 7 spot and making a selection there.
* The Saints are expected to make a proposal to Dale Carter today in hopes of signing the nine-year vet to a five-year deal in the $20 million range.
* The Vikings aren't standing pat on their own front. After meeting with three defensive linemen -- Kenny Mixon, Lorenzo Bromell and Brandon Mitchell -- Tuesday, the Vikings immediately began conversations with Mixon's agent about trying to work out a contract and bring him to the Vikings.
* A source with the Packers has told VU the Pack is close to working out a trade for Terry Glenn, the troubled wide receiver who spent most of the year suspended by the league and the Patriots. Glenn has a huge cap number if he stays with New England -- an $8.5 million hit that would cripple the team if cut or traded -- but he is willing to drop the matter if he gets a huge signing bonus. The Packers are being asked to give him between $5-7 million up front and the teams have agreed on the trade. Now it's up to the Packers and Glenn to finalize the deal.
* In a correction from yesterday's update, it was stated that the Sept. 5 NFL opener on a Thursday night between the 49ers and Giants would be the first time an NFL opener hasn't been on a Sunday. A few VU readers corrected this, stating that more than 20 years ago the Vikings and Bucs opened a regular season on a Saturday night. A couple went so far as to still hold a grudge against QB Steve Dils, who started for an injured Tommy Kramer, as the Vikings lost to the Bucs.
Griffith Deal Falls Through...For Now
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