A Little Salty, Are We?

You have to think the Seattle Seahawks are more than just mildly upset about losing guard Steve Hutchinson to the Vikings. Today they've offered Nate Burleson a mirror-image contract with a proviso the Vikings can't and won't match.

The Vikings are on the clock. Well, sort of.

After clearly infuriating the Seahawks with the offer sheet given to Steve Hutchinson that included a couple of poison pill provisions that would guarantee the entire $49 million of the deal if the Seahawks matched, Seattle has struck back ... with a vengeance.

The Seahawks signed Burleson, a Seattle native, to an identical seven-year, $49 million offer sheet. But, different from Hutchinson's deal, only $5.25 million of the contract is guaranteed. But that's only half the story.

The poison pill provisions put in the contract include a hilarious stipulation that makes the deal virtually impossible for the Vikings to meet. According to one source, one stipulation says that if Burleson plays five or more games in the state of Minnesota during the length of the contract, the entire amount becomes guaranteed. The only way that could possibly happen if he's with the Seahawks is if the teams end up in the same position in their divisions, which is already an impossibility. The Vikings play Seattle in 2006, but it's a road game. In 2007, they will play one team from the NFC West, but that too will be on the road. With the balanced schedule the NFL has devised since the Texans joined the league and realignment was finalized, there is no chance that Burleson could possibly play five games in Minnesota in seven years.

Another poison pill involved Burleson's salary in relation to the running backs on the Vikings roster, but, in light of the first unmatchable situation, that one seems to be little more than overkill.

The Vikings have seven days to match the offer -- which reality says they won't. If they don't match, they will receive a third-round draft choice as compensation.

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