Minicamp Begins With WR Questions

Derrick Alexander may be taking a cue from the hit song "Soak Up the Sun" -- spending today in Florida instead of minicamp with the Vikings.

The Vikings open their mandatory three-day minicamp today and Mike Tice is none too happy that he didn't get his wide receiver situation done with Derrick Alexander.

Tice reiterated Thursday that he had expected that, given the interest Alexander has shown in the Vikings, that he would be signed by now, but he continues his tour around the league, spending Thursday again meeting with Tampa Bay officials.

However, VU has been receiving some interesting information from some of the teams involved. To wit: Alexander won't sign with New England, since Pats sources have told VU the team isn't willing to spend more than veteran minimum to add another receiver. The Bucs are clearly looking for Keenan McCardell, who was taken out on the town by Warren Sapp and John Lynch Wednesday as coach Jon Gruden is rolling out the red carpet for him.

It doesn't end there, however. VU has been told that Tampa won't even extend an offer to Alexander until it knows for sure that it can't sign McCardell. That could take some time, since McCardell is being viewed as the top priority of the Chiefs -- which released Alexander. Dick Vermeil wants McCardell badly and is sending signals to get him signed as early as this weekend.

So where does that leave the Vikings? Preparing for business today without Alexander and possibly bringing in Antonio Freeman early next week as a next option. With Tice now thinking Alexander may be, as it has come to be known in free agent circles, "pulling a Cris Carter" on the team, his impatience is growing with each passing day.

* Although the team is razor thin at depth in the safety position, the team cut Don Morgan Thursday in order to give younger players more reps during the minicamp.
* Ed McDaniel is a name that continues to be rumored about coming back to the Vikings, but he was in Tampa Thursday looking to sign on with the Bucs.
* WR Michael Westbrook is close to signing with Jacksonville, according to a VU source close to the Jags. He has been viewed as a last resort-type receiver for the Vikes if all else fails with Alexander, Freeman and McCardell.
* Tice has said he wants 13 defensive linemen in training camp and will bring in a couple more next week. However, he said nose tackle Sam Adams is not one of those being looked at because his asking price is simply too high.
* TE Jim Kleinsasser may miss the minicamp with a chest injury.

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