Minimal Compensation Expected

As the Vikings are slowly making the transition from adding free agents to concentrating on the NFL draft on April 20-21, they aren't expecting much in the line of compensatory picks.

The NFL is going to announce next week what teams will get compensatory picks and, while the Vikings may not be in for much of a windfall this year, the team is already preparing for a huge boost in picks next season.

The NFL gives out compensatory picks related to the number of free agents a team lost the previous year. While the Vikings didn't lose a lot of free agents other than Dwayne Rudd and Tony Williams -- their high-ticket free agents were the result of cuts like Todd Steussie and John Randle, which aren't subject to compensation.

That will change next year. Robert Griffith and Kailee Wong are viewed as tier one free agents and the team has also lost Dale Carter and Jake Reed to free agency. With three starters and a key backup off the team, the Vikings are in line to get some high compensatory picks next year, which could prompt a deal including next year's picks, since the team knows it will have additional picks to move.

* While the Vikings are in the process of winding down free agency, the team is still confident it will get TE Hunter Goodwin and CB Fred Vinson signed in the next week.
* The Chiefs signing of WR Johnnie Morton adds another name to the list of players that will be available after June 1. The Vikings may well have an interest in one of the cap-casualty wide receivers that could hit the market, including Kansas City's Derrick Alexander, Jacksonville's Keenan McCardell and Chicago's Marcus Robinson.
* Cris Carter is making no progress toward getting a contract signed with Miami and word is coming out that he is seriously contemplating retirement instead of continuing to seek a least for now.
* Miami has joined Indianapolis and St. Louis as teams with an interest in signing former Viking Mitch Berger.
* Offensive lineman Lewis Kelly is making quite an impression in NFL Europe and the Vikings are confident when he finishes his season there, he will be a big OL contributor with the Vikings next season.

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