Monday Morning Madness

The countdown has begun. At 3 p.m. the NFL will release the list of players on the transaction wire, and there may not be too many surprises. But the Vikings appear to have an interest in a pair of linebackers.

The clock is ticking and the Vikings are again on the clock.

The National Football league will release its tranaction wire today at 3 p.m. and the Vikings are ready to pounce on one player in particular.

Wide receiver Derrick Alexander has visited with the team and is looking to complete a deal with a team in the immediate future. For the Vikings, Alexander is the right player at the right time.

Not looking to get into a bidding war with other potential suitors for Alexander's services, the Vikings have courted the oft-injured but productive wide receiver.

Sources close to the Vikings and Alexander believe that a deal between the parties will happen quickly.

"There is absolutely no doubt that Derrick (Alexander) wants to play in Minnesota. He has expressed a serious interest in entertaining the opportunity of lining up opposite of Randy Moss in what could become an explosive offensive once again," the source said. "While financial terms are not to have been discussed, let's just say that it is extremely likely that something will transpire here and it shouldn't take long."

Other players have caught the eye of the Vikings. These are players that are/were expected to be released by their respective teams this past weekend.

Jacksonville linebacker Hardy Nickerson is a player that has been mentioned on more than a handful of occasions in the Twin Cities. Expectations of Nickerson being released have somewhat calmed as Jacksonville has cap space available at the present time and does not have to cut the veteran. It is likely at some point prior to training camp the Jaguars will cut Nickerson and the Vikings could maintain an interest, a league source tells The Insiders.

"Jacksonville has seriously engaged in discussions regarding releasing Hardy (Nickerson) and they are expected to do so at some point," the source said.

"Some indirect interest has been expressed by a handful of teams, while not at the liberty to discuss such details I can add that Minnesota is an intriguing opportunity."

The Pittsburgh Steelers have notified linebacker Mike Jones that he will be released on or around June 1 and again the Vikings are a team rumored to have an interest, according to a league source.

"Minnesota is looking for help at the linebacker positions, as well as improving their speed and special teams. Mike is that guy," the source said. "He knows how to play the game and has really been caught in a numbers game with a Pittsburgh team that is deep and talented at linebacker."

Could a saga be in the making between rookie offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and the Vikings?

Head coach Mike Tice and the Vikings organization have gotten a taste of the talented, but extremely laid back sensation from the University of Miami.

Not being in condition has been one of the knocks on McKinnie, whose physical talent dominated offensive linemen in the college game.

The pro game could be an entirely different story.

Prior to the 2002 NFL Draft, sources informed The Insiders that McKinnie, while a dominating player on the field, lacked the desire to compete off the field.

"Bryant (McKinnie) got by on talent at Miami. He is so huge that players couldn't handle his enormous wingspan and good drop-step," the source said. "The problem with Bryant is that he does not like to workout and he doesn't run well, or at the very least tends to concentrate much less on these areas as he should. He has the talent to be the best in the game and possibly the best to play the position."

"He will get a quick lesson when he hits the playing field in Minnesota. Mike Tice is a no-nonsense coach that will get in his face. That is exactly what Bryant needs to bring out the animal in him."

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