The NFL rumor mill officially began when 20 of the league's 32 teams missed out on the playoffs. With the Super Bowl now behind us, the rumor chatter has intensified and, if we're to believe sports talk coming out of Baltimore, the Vikings and Ravens are mulling pulling the trigger on a huge deal.
A VU staffer spent the early portion of Friday morning trying to talk Ravens fans down on a Baltimore sports talk radio station to quell a rumor that has spread through that city that the Vikings are going to trade Daunte Culpepper to the Ravens.
The rumor, as it's being reported there, would have the Ravens giving the franchise tag to running back Jamal Lewis and then trading him to the Vikings in exchange for Culpepper. While this trade would make great sense for the Ravens, the biggest problem with this potential trade is what would be in it for the Vikings?
Lewis, who a year ago at this time was heading to jail to serve four months for his role in financing a drug deal, doesn't seem to be the type of player that new coach Brad Childress would want coming in as his go-to running back. Even if he was, why not wait until free agency when he could likely be had without compensation or, better yet, if the team is going to spend millions on a long-term contract, why not spend the money on someone like Edgerrin James -- who doesn't have a parole officer and didn't show all the signs of wearing down last year that Lewis did.
Of all the teams for the Vikings to make a deal with, few make less sense than the Ravens. Three years ago, it was Ozzie Newsome and Baltimore that bilked the Vikings on draft day and made them the butt of jokes nationwide. For those who don't remember, the Vikings and Ravens had a deal done -- the Ravens would move up to No. 7 at take QB Byron Leftwich and the Vikings would get a mid-round pick and drop to No. 10 and take Kevin Williams. Thinking they had agreed to a deal, the Vikings called in their end of the trade and sat back to watch the draft. Baltimore failed to get its end of the trade to the league and, as time expired, Jacksonville jumped in and took Leftwich. Before the Vikings could react, two more players went off the board and the red-faced Vikes finally jumped in to take Williams with the ninth pick. After that sort of dealing, it would be understandable if the Vikes refused to take any calls from the Ravens -- much less make a blockbuster deal.
As free agency approaches, Culpepper's name is sure to come up in more trade rumors. Hopefully those offers will be substantially better than the "Lewis and magic beans" being proposed by the Ravens.
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