Vikings ready to jump into the fray for linebacker's services.

The Vikings surfaced yesterday as a potential destination for linebacker Shawn Barber, The Insiders has learned. Minnesota phoned Barber's agent, Brian Mackler, late yesterday morning and, though a solid date was not set for a visit during the conversation, there is strong interest on the part of the Vikings.

A visit could be scheduled for later this week or early next week, pending the outcome of his visit with the Giants and the ongoing talks with the Browns.

The Insiders has also learned that another team vying for Barber's services -- the Browns -- have begun very preliminary contract talks with the free-agent linebacker.

Talks between Cleveland and Barber will not reach the serious stage until there is a resolution to the Earl Holmes situation, a Browns source said. Mackler confirmed to The Insiders that there have been contract numbers discussed with the Browns,

Mackler also added that the presence of Foge Fazio as the Browns' defensive coordinator "certainly would help Cleveland's cause."

Barber visited Cleveland on Monday, and left yesterday for a two-day visit in New York with the Giants. It's believed that the Giants are Barber's top choice, but the cap-strapped club may not have the space to make the LB an offer he can't refuse

While the Redskins have an interest in re-signing Barber, it's highly unlikely, given the signing of Jessie Armstead, that they will be anything more than a minimal player.

Viking Update Top Stories