Johnson Mum on Contract

Brad Johnson isn't screaming right now. In fact, he isn't saying anything. But, with four weeks to go until training camp, the Vikings have done little in the way of what many of us thought was obvious three months ago -- reworking Johnson's deal to pay him a starter's money.

The Vikings made a commitment twice to Brad Johnson in the last year-plus. The first was to sign him to a backup contract to serve as a veteran insurance policy to Daunte Culpepper -- a deal that runs through 2008. The second was to make him the starter when the team shipped Culpepper away to the Dolphins.

But the third, which many of us thought was an inevitable part of the package, hasn't come to fruition -- increasing Johnson's contract to pay him the money given to a starter.

As of today, the Vikes have yet to approach Johnson about re-working his contract. As it stands, he is due to make the $1.2 million his contract calls for. But that was money intended to be invested for Johnson to be an emergency backup in the event Daunte Culpepper got injured -- which happened last year. Now the Vikings prepare to start training camp with Johnson as the clear No. 1 QB option.

In the past, Zygi Wilf hasn't been shy about opening up the franchise purse strings to reward players who have outperformed their contracts. It would seem fitting that, with Johnson entrenched as the starter, he will get an increased deal. But, as of now, no talks have been discussed publicly. In fact, both sides have been intentionally quiet on the issue. The time is now to get something done. While it is unlikely that Johnson would hold out, being the lowest-paid starting veteran quarterback isn't a designation the Vikings or Johnson want to keep.

* The rookie signings are beginning to trickle through and the Bears made a couple of signings over the weekend, locking down second-round CB/WR Devin Hester and fourth-round linebacker Jamar Williams.
* Don't expect to see the Vikings make any signings until after the Fourth of July holiday.
* From the Inflated Ego Department comes this: Former Viking Kelly Campbell is vying for the No. 3 receiver job with the Dolphins and, when asked about his potential role, Campbell said of himself in a Miami newspaper, "I'm a great player." Consultation with the Vikings depth chart puts that assertion into question.

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