Vikings To Get Bates Today?

The Bears are on the clock with D'Wayne Bates and apparently there are two schools of thought factoring into a final Bears decision.

It's nice to see the Chicago Bears sweating and, according to sources close to the D'Wayne Bates situation, there are conflicting views on whether to match the Vikings offer.

The Bears have until 3 p.m. Central Time today to match or decline the Vikings' three-year, $2.85 million offer sheet and may wait until the last minute to actually make their final decision.

The word in the Chicago media is that the Bears likely won't match the offer, but conflicting sources say the Bears don't want to wind up with egg on their faces over a clerical error that made him available without compensation in the first place.

Also factoring in is the contract status of Marcus Robinson. The Bears have been working behind the scenes to restructure Robinson's deal. Since he signed for megabucks two years ago, he's been injured for the majority of each of the last two seasons. If the Bears match the Vikings offer for Bates, Robinson is all but gone. If they don't match, Robinson will still be asked to re-work his deal, but Chicago will have far less leverage.

Don't be surprised if an announcement -- either way -- doesn't come until close to the deadline because the Bears won't commit to not re-signing Bates, but may not be willing to back up their confidence in him by showing their hand to the rest of the team.

* VU has been told that Texas CB Quentin Jammer is scheduled to visit next week, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. A source close to the Cowboys draft situation says that owner Jerry Jones has been told if Dallas (at No. 6 overall) wants Jammer, they may have to move up to No. 2 or 3 to get him -- which likely won't bode well for the Vikings, who draft behind Dallas.
* In other Cowboys-related news, important to the Vikings because they pick directly before Minnesota, 20 players have been invited by Jones and Co. for private visits. Absent from that long list are OTs Bryant McKinnie and Mike Williams. What does that mean? Either Dallas is convinced both will be gone before it picks or that, if one of them makes it past San Diego at No. 5, he will be available to the Vikes at No. 7.
* Former Viking John Randle was a no-show at a Seattle minicamp that opened Tuesday. He is still recovering from off-season surgery and was given the three-day camp off.
* Cris Carter is now talking with FOX Sports about an analyst or studio job. It's ironic that two networks (FOX and HBO) are both interested in C.C., while apparently no NFL teams are.

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