Vikings' Interests Go Beyond Signings

The Vikings were busy signing two free agents on Sunday and another on Monday, but their interest in one position was obvious from other inquiries they made. See which other players they were interested in and where they ended up. Also, find out two small-school draft prospects the Vikings have shown an interest in.

The Vikings signed running back Artose Pinner and defensive back Rashad Baker to their active roster on Sunday, claiming them off waivers from Detroit and Buffalo, respectively.

In both cases, they weren't the only team interested in those players. The Packers also put in a claim on Baker, and Pittsburgh did the same with Pinner.

Pinner, who started six of 28 games during his four-year career with the Lions, was the second-leading rusher for Detroit in 2005 after gaining 349 yards. He also finished second among running backs with 21 catches.

"He can be an every-down back," Vikings head coach Brad Childress said of Pinner. "I've seen him do things in the pass game and in the run game. If I'm not mistaken, we had a claim in on him, and Pittsburgh was right behind us. We're happy to have him, and I think he's a multiple-use back."

With Pittsburgh being last in the waiver priorities, Pinner was awarded to the Vikings.

However, since the Packers also put in a claim on Baker, the Vikings were awarded him while the Packers were awarded another defensive back they claimed with a higher priority – Jarrett Bush from the Panthers.

The Packers also put in a claim on former Vikings defensive back Dustin Fox, who was assigned to the Eagles after the Vikings waived him. Fox was a third-round draft choice of the Vikings in 2005, but spent his entire rookie season on the injured reserve list with a broken arm.

The Vikings will place Baker at safety, but he wasn't the only defensive back the Vikings were interested in. They also inquired about Nate Salley, another defensive back waived by the Panthers who, like Fox, played for the Ohio State Buckeyes as well.

The Vikings also had an interest in Eric King, another defensive back waived by Buffalo, just like Baker.

He ended up with Tennessee, which received priority over the Vikings in the waiver system.

One of the biggest names on the waiver system over the weekend was defensive end Michael Haynes, who was waived by Chicago after being a former first-round choice of the Bears. The New Orleans Saints claimed him.

The didn't go after Haynes, but they did visit with former Bears offensive lineman Steve Edwards, whom they signed on Monday.

Even with this initial flurry of activity, head coach Brad Childress said Monday he thought the team would continue to scan the waiver wire and could make some more moves up until the team's season opener in Washington on Sept. 11.

"We will continue to work on this roster right up until game time, in terms of tweaking it, looking for people out there, seeing who best fits our situation," Childress said.


  • The Vikings were one of four teams that have visited Lindenwood College in Missouri to look at two of that NAIA school's top prospects – running back Marcus Crawford (who played at Utah State last year) and 6-foot-3, 235-pound wide receiver Steven Kennedy.

    Lindenwood is an NAIA college that has at least one player on a current NFL roster, as running back DeDe Dorsey was just added to the Colts. The Giants, Raiders and Texans have also been in to take a look at Crawford and Kennedy as well.

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