Badger Released, Vikings Look to Draft

The Vikings continued to purge their lineup, as Brad Badger was released Tuesday after refusing to re-work his contract.

Mike Tice is quickly getting the reputation as a "my way or the highway" type of coach.

First Mitch Berger refused to take a pay cut and was summarily released. Chris Walsh was given an ultimatum and accepted. Tuesday, after trying for a couple of weeks to get a new deal done with offensive tackle Brad Badger, the Vikings released him.

Badger, who was handed the starting job after Dennis Green released Todd Steussie last year, started most of the season for the Vikings -- leaving a hole in the starting offensive line.

While there has been some speculation that Matt Birk might move to left tackle, Tice didn't give an endorsement of that plan Tuesday. Instead, it looks like the Vikings may opt to use their top pick in the coming draft to take a big-time offensive tackle if one is available -- either LT Bryant McKinnie or RT Mike Williams, who many believe will be able to make the transition to LT in the pros.

* The Vikings signed 325-pound nose tackle Darius Holland Tuesday, yet another part of the revamping of the team's defense. While Holland is not viewed as a long-term answer at DT, he could well be in line for a starting job in September.
* The Vikings have re-opened talks with Byron Chamberlain, the last of the Vikings free agent Tice targets before free agency began. Chamberlain and Holland are represented by the same agent and there is reason for optimism. Although Chamberlain has been contacted by several teams, he has yet to make any free agent visits.
* The latest in the Cris Carter saga. VU has been told he has parted with agent Mitch Frankel -- it's uncertain if Frankel, like so many NFL teams, is disgusted with Carter or if Carter wants to negotiate a contract on his own. Either is possible, since Carter took the initiative Monday to call Rams QB Kurt Warner to apologize for blowing off the scheduled dinner meeting with Warner, other Rams players and assistant coaches and head coach Mike Martz. It's clear Carter is trying to mend fences and end up with the Rams, but Mike Martz maintains no contract is forthcoming.
* One player the Vikings had targeted as a Carter replacement was Carolina WR Donald Hayes. But that ended Tuesday when Hayes signed with the Patriots.

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