Top Guard to Hit Market

The Vikings are already showing interest in a couple offensive linemen scheduled to hit the free agent market, and we might soon be adding a multiple-time Pro Bowler to that list. has confirmed that the Vikings have a strong interest in free agent guard Jason Whittle, who was released by the New York Giants last week, but there is a much bigger guard expecting to hit the open market today. has confirmed that the Kansas City Chiefs plan to release All-Pro G Will Shields on Thursday.

"Will understands the landscape of the NFL without a CBA and it's disappointing that his career with the Chiefs went this way now," his agent Joe Linta told Thursday.

Linta confirmed Shields still wants to play and it's not out of the question he re-signs with the Chiefs. The Vikings had immediately shown an interest in him early Thursday afternoon, but that could quickly change. Shields has been named to 11 consecutive Pro Bowl squads.

"Will Shields will play this year, hopefully with the Chiefs but certainly with someone."

Litna added he expects several teams to be interested due to him being in excellent shape. Shields has never missed a game in his 13 years of service.

The team also is reportedly interested in San Diego Chargers guard Chris Dielman, who is a restricted free agent, and New Orleans center LeCharles Bentley. Like Whittle, Bentley can play either center or guard and has been successful at both, being named to the 2003 Pro Bowl squad as a guard, then switching to center in training camp of 2004 and starting all 16 games. The signing of Bentley, or even Whittle, would be a security blanket at center, where Pro Bowler Matt Birk is expected to return to full strength after sitting out a season on injured reserve following his fourth surgery in 13 months.

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