The NFL informed team capologists how much money they had to spend to sign their rookie crop from the Class of 2006 and topping the list is the Green Bay Packers with $6.65 million
The Packers have 12 picks in the 2006 draft – seven other teams had 10 draft selections. The Jets were given the second-highest amount with $6.63 million. The Houston Texans, who had the first overall selection in the draft, were given the fifth-highest amount with $5.39 million – most of which has already been absorbed by first pick Mario Williams.
The Vikings finished 21st in allocated signing money with $3.7 million – primarily because the team ended up with four picks in the first two rounds of the draft.
The Vikings had only six draft selections, which was the second-least number of picks for any team. Only the Falcons had fewer – just five draft picks. Atlanta surrendered its first-round pick to get Jets defensive end John Abraham.
Teams can sign draft picks at any time, but most will wait until July to sign the first-round selections.
* From the "Let's Go To the Audio Tape" Department comes this: The Fran Foley era with the Vikings may have ended on a note that the team never officially recognized. In a printed transcript of the April 29 post-draft interview with Foley and Director of College Scouting Scott Studwell following the first day of the draft, Foley made a comment that was noted by VU reporters in attendance, as well as other local media present at the time. The press conference began with Foley doing a rundown of the three players taken after the first-round selection of Chad Greenway – a press briefing that included Foley, Studwell and head coach Brad Childress. In an opening statement about the players selected, Foley discussed quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. After giving an overview as to why the Vikings traded two third-round picks to take Jackson, Foley explained some background information about assistant coaches working out Jackson. In that summation, Foley said, "We were very pleased with everything that we learned about the boy." In the transcript, the phrase "about the boy" was deleted from the text. The offensive nature of such a statement to an African-American player goes without saying. Whether that had anything to do with Foley's dismissal from the team isn't certain, but it was clear at of the time the press conference was transcribed that Foley had made a mistake. Unfortunately for him, reporters that have ever been accused of misquoting source keep their audio. He said it and it may have contributed to his eventual demise. If nothing else, it didn't help his cause.
* Onterrio Smith's agent has indicated that he will likely be re-instated to the league in October. There has been speculation that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL are interested in signing Smith. The CFL season ends at approximately the same time as his NFL re-instatement is rumored to be approved. If Smith signs a CFL deal to play in the interim, there is a possibility his suspension may be extended. But, if his re-instatement will stand in October, Smith could become a hot property to a team with injury concerns at the running back position.
* From the Malaise Department comes this: The Seahawks are still bitter about losing guard Steve Hutchinson. As a way to salve the wound, the Seahawks signed Patriots guard Tom Ashworth. Unfortunately for him, Seattle is going through its first minicamp with converted tackle Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack as the starting left guard – a drop in quality no matter how one looks at it.
* Gus Frerotte should be getting pension money for both a player and a coach in St. Louis. New coach Scott Linehan made Frerotte one of his early signees in free agency. When Daunte Culpepper had a Pro Bowl season in 2004, it was Frerotte that relayed plays to him and went over play-by-play photos with him on the sidelines. He is being asked to do the same for the Rams. In an interview at minicamp Friday, Linehan said Frerotte "feels like an assistant coach" on the practice field. Frerotte concurred, saying "That's what I feel like sometimes." Marc Bulger is in safe hands as long as he stays healthy – and the Rams likely won't see a dip in production in the event Bulger goes down.
* The Lions won't be able to require players to do off-season workouts Monday or Tuesday. The league announced Friday that a two-day suspension was warranted, but failed to acknowledge what offense led to the two-day hiatus of team activity. The players will get paid for the time, but unless they lock the doors, it's likely most players will show up regardless.
Vikes Get $3.7 Million For Rookies
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