Harris To Hit Market?

The Vikings have five unrestricted free agents, headed up by linebacker Napoleon Harris. But, barring an 11th-hour change of heart, it looks like Harris and the other UFAs will be allowed to test the free agent market.

The Vikings made a couple of big signings late last year when they locked up Kevin Williams and E.J. Henderson, but, as it currently stands, the Vikings are likely to allow their five unrestricted free agents – Napoleon Harris, Travis Taylor, Jason Whittle, Bethel Johnson and Ross Kolodziej – to test the free agent market.

In Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine, Rick Spielman acknowledged that the Vikings have met with Harris' agent, but that no firm contract talks have been completed.

There is still no word as to what the Vikings plan to do with high-priced rostered players like Brad Johnson, Jim Kleinsasser, Fred Smoot, Dwight Smith, Mike Rosenthal and Jermaine Wiggins. There remains a possibility that some or all of them may eventually be released to open up addition cap space to go after free agents.

* Rick Spielman hinted that the Vikings might be interested in taking QB Brady Quinn if he falls to the Vikings at No. 7. Many fans and those in the media have made a big deal about the Vikings trading up to take Tarvaris Jackson, but it should be kept in mind that, if he had been taken one pick later, he would have been a third-round draft choice – it sounds like a lot less of an investment to say you traded up in the third round than you traded into the second round to get the 64th pick in the draft. Whether it's a red herring to get other teams interested in a trade is a possibility, but there are some who believe Quinn can be a franchise type of quarterback and that the Vikings interest might be legitimate.
* A Super Bowl appearance must not be worth what it used to be. According to reports out of Chicago, the team has balked giving Lovie Smith and his coaching staff a raise despite having the best record in the NFC over the last two seasons. Smith remains the lowest-paid coach in the league and his staff is also the lowest-paid group in the NFL.
* The free agent market could get a push from a couple of veterans who are seeking to be traded or released. Corey Dillon, who split time with Lawrence Maroney last season for the Patriots, has asked to get out of his contract, and the Bears' Thomas Jones, who has one year remaining on his current deal, has asked to be traded.

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