After a strong opening weekend in free agency, the past three days haven't been as kind to the Vikings. They have met with several free agents without any terms being agreed to. Find out why, and the other possibilities they might be pursuing in the near future.
Green Bay unrestricted free agent fullback William Henderson
had an encouraging meeting with the Vikings coaching staffing Wednesday, but he left town without a contract.
The Vikings and Henderson's agent, James Williams, began financial discussions immediately following Henderson's meeting with coaches, but the sides couldn't come to an agreement on the signing bonus, Williams confirmed.
Henderson said he was encouraged about the possibility of playing with former Packers and current Vikings Darren Sharper
and Ryan Longwell
, and playing under new Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell
He said the offensive system run by Bevell, the quarterbacks coach in Green Bay last year, and head coach Brad Childress
will be similar to the one run by the Packers last year.
Williams told Viking Update that Henderson was excited about the possibility of blocking for new Vikings running back Chester Taylor
, and the two sides are expected to resume negotiations on Thursday.
The free agent market has a number of talented fullbacks, including Mack Strong
(Seattle), Tony Richardson
(Kansas City) and Jeremi Johnson
(Cincinnati). It could be a buyer's market.
VikingUpdate.com has confirmed that restricted free agent wide receiver Nate Burleson will be visiting with the Seattle Seahawks tomorrow afternoon and leaving Friday afternoon, according to Burleson's agent, Ken Sarnoff. Burleson was given a third-round tender of $712,000 by the Vikings. Sarnoff, who is also the agent for new Vikings running back Chester Taylor, declined to comment further on the trip.
If the Seahawks sign Burleson to an offer sheet, the Vikings would have seven days to match it or receive a third-round draft pick as compensation. Burleson is from Seattle and is the type of strong possession receiver the Seahawks are looking for after losing Joe Jurevicius to Cleveland, Jurevicius' hometown, earlier this week.
The Vikings signed Seattle transition guard Steve Hutchinson to a seven-year, $49 million contract on Sunday that the Seahawks will be hard-pressed to match. If the Seahawks don't match that offer by this Sunday, they would have plenty of money to use in signing free agents. They were thought to have $17 million in cap space before they re-signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard to a three-year, $13.5 million deal with a $5.5 million signing bonus on Wednesday.
Scout.com has learned that another unrestricted free agent from the Packers, quarterback Craig Nall, was also unable to come to a contract agreement with the Vikings because of the signing bonus. Nall met with the Vikings on Tuesday. The Vikings also wouldn't commit to him being the No. 2 quarterback on the team.
The Vikings may be interested in talking with unrestricted free agent Josh McCown (Arizona), but as of Wednesday evening the Vikings hadn't set up a visit with McCown, who is being pursued by several other teams.
Besides McCown, another possibility for the No. 2 quarterback job in Minnesota is Gus Frerotte, who was released Tuesday by Miami after it traded for Daunte Culpepper.
The New Orleans Saints released QB Aaron Brooks on Wednesday. Teams that could be interested in bringing him in as a backup are the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons (should they deal Matt Schaub), New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Vikings visited with safety Will Demps on Tuesday, but Demps visited and subsequently signed with the New York Giants on Wednesday.
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with safety Chris Hope, an unrestricted free agent from the Super Bowl Championship Pittsburgh Steelers. He might have been the last safety currently on the market for the Vikings to consider pursuing.
Scout.com has learned unrestricted free agent guard Toniu Fonoti, who started one game for the Vikings last year and failed the Oakland Raiders' team physical this week, is close to agreeing to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fonoti, whose weight has approached 400 pounds, was traded to Minnesota last season but reported to Oakland at 385 pounds and was recovering from a broken hand. He finished the season on injured reserve because of a groin injury.
The Arizona Cardinals met with former Vikings cornerback Kenny Wright on Tuesday but didn't offer him a contract.