Smith Signs, Only McKinnie Remains

The Vikings signed Raonall Smith late Thursday, leaving just one rookie unsigned as the team reports for training camp today.

The Vikings front office has a mantra when it comes to getting players signed -- Vikings don't have holdouts.

Even though the Vikings knew that one of Bryant McKinnie's agents advised Cincinnati's first-round pick last year -- DE Justin Smith -- to hold out for 51 days before signing, the Vikings maintain their practice of negotiating and getting their players signed.

That continued Thursday, as the team signed LB Raonall Smith. While terms of the contract were not immediately released, VU has been told it's a four-year contract with a signing bonus between $1.7 and $1.8 million.

Smith is the latest in a battery of signings of which the Vikings have become famous for -- wait until the final two weeks before training camp and get everyone signed.

Now the question is can the magic be maintained by getting McKinnie signed and at Winter Park before practice begins tomorrow.

* Tice has made it clear that, if McKinnie isn't in camp when practices start, he will lose his starting position and have to earn it back.
* One player who is looking forward to camp is Randy Moss. He has given a sound endorsement of the offensive scheme of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and believes the Vikings are going to excel on offense this season.
* One clear indication of things being different under Tice is the cancellation of the rookie show. Every year, rookies would have to show singing or dancing talent -- talent being a bit overemphasized -- in a display humorous for the veterans and often humiliating for the rookies. Tice, who has never liked the concept, said the team will add another practice and eliminate the rookie show.

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