Vikings/NFL News of Note

While free agency is still six weeks away, we take a quick glance around the league at some potential player movement news that may or may not end up having an effect on the Vikings.

  • It's highly unlikely (OK, probably impossible) the Vikings will pursue wide receiver Terrell Owens after coach Brad Childress' experience with him, but there is one team that might have an interest in the controversial Philadelphia wideout, maybe even trading for him.

    Owens may be able to find a new home in South Florida. During an ESPN radio interview earlier this week, Dolphins coach Nick Saban left open the possibility of the Dolphins pursuing Owens, whose agent has been allowed to seek a trade. Despite his status as one of the NFL's top wide receivers, Owens was suspended for Philadelphia's final nine regular-season games for conduct detrimental to the team. Philadelphia is expected to release Owens before the start of the free agent signing period March 3 if a trade can't be finalized.

  • In free agent news, the Vikings might be looking to pursue linebackers because of Sam Cowart, Keith Newman and Raonall Smith all being free agents and the fact that the Vikings will be employing a new scheme in 2006 under defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin.

    Two respected free-agent linebackers are making news.

    New York Giants weakside linebacker Nick Greisen is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, and all indications are that the Giants will try hard to sign him to a new contract before he becomes available in the open market. He started at WLB and MLB this season and was a productive player. While he isn't considered a quick linebacker according to his timing, he is considered quick to diagnose. Another reason he might be of interest to the Vikings is that Greisen and Childress' paths crossed briefly at the University of Wisconsin when Childress was the offensive coordinator for the Badgers, and given Childress' propensity to seek Wisconsin connections, it might be a likely place to look if Greisen does hit the open market.

  • While the Vikings have no such connections to San Francisco outside linebacker Julian Peterson, he is considered one of the top free-agent linebackers available. However, his stock has fallen since an Achilles injury two years ago, but Peterson is still a big name around the league.

    Ironically, he is also expected to be one of the Giants' targets in free agency. It is unlikely that the Giants will bring back veteran SLB Carlos Emmons, but they might have to choose between Greisen or Peterson in today's salary cap structure.

  • While he has no such connection to free agency, we felt the need to mention a good act that deserves some attention, even if it is from the rival Green Bay Packers.

    Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher came away looking like a new man on Monday. Following through on a promise he made before last season, Tauscher had his shoulder-length hair shorn.
    A hospital in Tauscher's native Marshfield, Wis., raised $28,000 to support its children's services. Tauscher pledged to get the long locks cut if $25,000 was donated by the community.

  • The Vikings allocated several players to NFL Europe recently: offensive tackle Sean Bubin, who spent 2005 on the practice squad; WR Aaron Hosack, who spent the season on the team's reserve list; K Jonathan Nichols, who spent summer and training camp with the Vikings (Paul Edinger is a free agent and Aaron Elling with the Ravens); and defensive back Marvin Ward, who was signed recently.

    Tackle William Obeng, who spent some camp time with the Vikings in 2005, was allocated to NFL Europe by the Oakland Raiders.

  • Viking Update Top Stories