The June 1st Cut-Date Commeth

With the June 1 cut date on the horizon, the anticipation and expectation level has increased for the promising Vikings. One team source has some insight on targeted players in the coming phase of free agency.

The new look of the Vikings defense is quickly taking shape, rising the hopes of the organization. Safety Ronnie Bradford and cornerback Corey Chavous have made quite an impression on the coaching staff and team members, The Insiders has learned.

"Chavous coming in was a move that could greatly impact the team. The defense has been questionable for the past few years, losing (Robert) Griffith and (Orlando) Thomas in the secondary was thought of as being unfathomable," the source said. "Both were good players, but Chavous brings aggression to the corner position and Bradford has been spectacular in camp and has already walked into the starting role."

With the immediate impression made by the recently acquired Bradford, the Vikings continue to maintain an interest in safety Victor Green, but the interest may not be as pressing, as it was ten days ago, a source tells The Insiders.

"There hasn't been much dialogue between the two sides (Green - Vikings) recently. Minnesota is right now in a holding pattern and they do not intend on doing anything until the June 1 cut date," the source said. "Once they (Vikings) have their wide receiver situation rectified, they will look into the defensive backfield and linebacker positions."

The middle linebacker position is a position that the Vikings coaching staff and personnel department have discussed in the days leading up to the June 1st cut date. One potential cut-day target is veteran Hardy Nickerson, according to a team source.

Nickerson, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers and of recent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, could provide the Vikings with a veteran presence that still has the ability to play the game.

"Nickerson has some gas left in the tank. Although not much is being said at the present time, the coaching staff is not comfortable going into training camp and the season with the depth at the position," the source said.

Rumors are circulating about what wide receiver will land where after the June 1 cut date. Derrick Alexander has been tied to the Vikings, Browns, Buccaneers, Falcons, Raiders and Packers.

The Vikings maintain a serious interest in the talented but oft-injured wide receiver, the Insiders confirmed today.

"Minnesota will make a strong and quick run at Alexander," the source said. "In no way will Minnesota get into a bidding war for his services or the services of any other receiver on the market. They (Minnesota) really like McCardell as well, but his price will be extremely high."

"One player to watch is Antonio Freeman from Green Bay. He hasn't decided if he will accept a reduced offer from the team. If he doesn't, he will be released at some point. The question then becomes when will he be released. The Packers don't appear to be in a hurry to get anything done."

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