Countdown to Camp

With rookies expected to hit Minnesota State-Mankato for training camp one month from today, the countdown to camp has begun in preparation for Brad Childress' first training camp as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Let the countdown begin.

Vikings rookies and select veterans are expected to show at training camp one month from today, but, as has become a part of the gamesmanship of signing rookies, to date none have yet been signed.

Vikings capmaster Rob Brzezinski said that preliminary talks are underway with the agents of all six of the Vikings draft picks, but that no signings are likely imminent before the Fourth of July weekend.

The Vikings have one of the smaller rookie pools from which to draw -- just $3.7 million -- and much of that is expected to be eaten up by first-round linebacker Chad Greenway.

Not signing rookies until the 11th hour has become something of a tradition around the NFL -- many of them don't sign until days or even hours before the start of training camp. At this point, only a trickle of signings have taken place and most of those are players that were taken on the second day of the draft.

Brzezinski said he's confident that the Vikings will get all of their draftees in camp on time, but, as has become commonplace, it may not be until the final days before the start of camp -- making this countdown more of a nailbiter.

* Vikings veterans are scheduled to report to training camp July 30, the last date in which teams will have their vets report. Only four other teams will have their veterans report that late -- the Cardinals, Colts, Ravens and Redskins.
* The Vikings hope to not have a repeat with the 17th pick in the draft that the Bengals had last year, when linebacker David Pollack held out 17 days before signing -- he was the last first-rounder to sign. The holdout stunted his early growth and he was a non-factor early in the season. The Vikings hope to use his contract (five years, $13 million with $7.65 million of that guaranteed) as the base numbers to start talks with Chad Greenway. Greenway has vowed that he won't be a holdout.

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