Solely Minnesota

Bates wants to wear purple, Bears manipulate the system, and what is expected heading towards the 2002 NFL Draft

Windy-City Blowing: The strange saga of D'Wayne Bates will come to a conclusion early next week. The three-year veteran that was signed to an offer sheet by the Minnesota Vikings just may find his way to the Twin Cities after all, The Insiders has learned.
When the Chicago Bears matched the offer provided Bates by the Vikings, they did so with motives other than Bates playing another game with the Bears.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo needed to save "face". After the Bears failed to properly submit paperwork to the league offices that would have entitled the Bears compensation, all Angelo could do was attempt to manipulate the system, league sources tell The Insiders.
"What they (the Bears) have done is legal, but it is really troubling that they would go to that extreme to basically screw the Vikings and really stick it to the player," the source said. "The Chicago front office isn't a well-liked bunch in the NFL, matters such as this just cloud issues between the league and the union."
The Vikings have had further discussions with Bates' agent, Ben Dogra, The Insiders has learned. Reportedly those discussions have enforced the Vikings' stance that they fully intend to add Bates, as long as he isn't picked up on a waiver claim by another team.
Six teams now have an opportunity to claim Bates, prior to the Vikings having the chance to utilize their rights to obtain him. Sources tell The Insiders that it is expected that Bates will slide to the Vikings on waivers, right where he wanted and should have been in the first place.
Team Needs: The smoke-blowing machine that is customarily fired-up this time of year has been plugged in. Looking at the Vikings roster, questions about key roster positions are asked and a source within the Vikings organization pulled no punches with The Insiders this past week.
"Our roster has some areas of concern, we have a lot of work ahead of us as we improve the defense and add weapons," the source said. "We must add two receivers, another linebacker, and more help in the secondary."
"We have been trying to get something done on the defensive line, but the players that are on the market are asking for an extrodinary amount of money and we will not pay it. We have the opportunity to address the defensive line in the draft if need be. There is some very good talent available."
With the Seventh Pick: Players being linked to the Vikings have been thrown around like old dish towels in the past few weeks. Some of which have been discussed and many others that are strictly rumor and wishful thinking.
We have heard that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was a lock in Minnesota. Then it was wide receiver Donte Stallworth or cornerback Phillip Buchanon who would be soiling their football roots in Minnesota.
Barring a modern-day miracle or something its equal, the Vikings are looking at the defensive linemen and defensive backs, with their first-round selection, The Insiders has learned.
Not expecting Bryant McKinnie or Mike Williams, the two dominent offensive lineman to be available when the Vikings are on the clock, defense appears to be the path that will be followed, according to an NFC North personnel assistant.
"Minnesota has had a strong interest in defensive tackles Ryan Sims, Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson. Not being able to sign one of the top-tier free agents for the defensive line has somewhat hampered them," the source said. "We believe that Sims is extremely solid and the best defensive tackle in the draft, others like Haynesworth and Henderson (John) have the size to possibly play the defensive end position as well as tackle."

Viking Update Top Stories