Brien's Future at Other's Mercy

The Life of Brien takes a bizarre twist today, as a one-day minicamp to potentially find his replacement is being conducted -- and he's not involved.

You have to feel for Doug Brien. He has made 80 percent of his field goal attempts during his career, but made just one of five attempts in the preseason. Now his future with the Vikings may not be in his own hands.

The Vikings are going to conduct a four-man kicking tryout today, but Brien isn't one of the kickers taking part in the festivities. Along with Tim Seder, who the Vikings made a claim on after being waived by Dallas, Jon Hilbert, James Tuthill and Lawrence Tynes are all in a kickoff today. If one of them wows the coaches, Brien will be gone.

While Mike Tice has not ruled out keeping Brien and releasing Seder if the kicking audition doesn't go well, it's not the kind of day Brien was hoping for, since he has no control at this point over his future with the Vikings.

* When the Vikings signed Seder, they had to release guard Ed Ta'amu. He is expected to be added to the Vikings five-man practice squad today. Tice has indicated as many as three offensive linemen will be protected on the practice squad.
* Because the Vikings haven't officially announced the signing of LB Greg Biekert -- that will come today -- to the league office, the team has yet to release a player to open up a spot on the 53-man roster. VU has been told that the spot will be either when Brien or Seder (or possibly both) are released.
* The Vikings likely aren't done fine tuning their final roster. Former Gopher offensive lineman Adam Haayer is still on the 53-man roster, but many expect he too will be sent to the practice squad if the Vikings sign another player.
* Raonall Smith's injured shoulder may be more serious than originally thought. He has a tear in the shoulder that eventually is going to require surgery and the Vikings are hoping it is a surgery that can be delayed until after the season.
* As proof that the Vikings are still looking to tweak the roster, the team made a claim on CB Pat Dennis when he was waived Sunday. However, Houston gets first dibs on all released players and the Texans also made a claim on Dennis and got him.
* The Vikings apparently don't have the same level of interest in former Detroit CB Terry Fair as other teams do. Fair has scheduled visits with Miami, Baltimore, Carolina, Green Bay and Jacksonville, but, as of today, has no vist scheduled with the Vikings.

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