Henderson's agent, James Williams, told Viking Update after initial negotiations on Wednesday that the signing bonus was the sticking point. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, Henderson is seeking a signing bonus of $3 million and when the two sides resumed negotiations on Thursday the stalemate continued.
According to a league source, it's believed Henderson is leaning toward re-signing with the Green Bay Packers. Henderson, according to the source, wanted more than the Minnesota Vikings were willing to pay in a signing bonus. The Packers have plenty of room under the salary cap and the Vikings aren't able to accommodate his demand.
Considering the number of quality fullbacks on the free agent market and the limited demand for them, the Vikings might be inclined to look elsewhere for another fullback.
They aren't the only team that has balked at Henderson's financial request. Asked Tuesday night about the Packers' level of interest in re-signing Henderson, Williams said: "I think it's about money. How do you value the fullback position? It's one of those things where we have to see what's out there. They've got a brand new coaching staff, so we don't really know which direction they are going to go with it. You all (Minnesota) have a brand new coaching staff too. However, there are a number of people that William knows and respects there, guys that he previously played with."
Henderson said that the Packers had a good chance to sign him before he hit the free agent market, but that he was going to look into his options after they failed to do that. For the first time in years, the Vikings will value the fullback position, but, like the Packers at the outset of free agency, the Vikings probably aren't willing to sink a guaranteed $3 million bonus into the position.
Henderson, like a number of other former Packers, seemed disenfranchised with the direction Green Bay has been heading the last few years if words from his agent are an accurate reflection of Henderson's feelings. However, after failing to get the Vikings to succumb to his financial request, Henderson may settle for less to rejoin Green Bay.
Henderson, a 6-foot-1, 262-pound fullback, is a 1995 third-round draft pick of the Packers. He has played in 174 of Green Bay's 176 regular-season games since then, with 103 starts, and earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 2004. He has 426 yards rushing and 2,347 receiving in his career. The Vikings will use a fullback in their new offensive scheme this year and already signed street free agent Joey Goodspeed last month.
"There are about three other teams that have expressed a level of interest in him," said Williams, who, like Henderson, declined to name the other suitors.
Henderson said he wanted to shut door on the opportunity in Minnesota before pursuing those other options. The Vikings seem inclined to pursue their other options as well if the guaranteed asking price is $3 million.
NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported that it looks like the Seattle Seahawks are leaning toward matching the offer sheet. The team has until Monday to make its decision.
When Hutchinson was signed to the offer sheet, the Seahawks were a reported $17 million under the salary cap, including the money they will need allocated to their rookie draft picks. With $16 million in guaranteed money and a 2006 cap figure of $13 million for Hutchinson, it seemed like it would be extremely difficult for Seattle to match the offer.
Then the Seahawks signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard. Then they scheduled visits with high-priced free agents such as linebacker Julian Peterson. It all seemed to add up to Hutchinson going to Minnesota and the Seahawks looking to spend their money elsewhere.