Notebook: Still in Ian Scott Competition

Vikings coach Brad Childress expanded on his visit with free-agent defensive tackle Ian Scott and gave his assessment of the competition to sign him and why it has taken so long.

First, the Minnesota Vikings had to wait on free-agent wide receiver Kevin Curtis while he visited Minnesota, the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles.

Now the team is waiting on free-agent defensive tackle Ian Scott.

After visiting with the Minnesota Vikings, Scott was in Atlanta late last week and was reportedly negotiating with the Falcons. While the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Scott was most likely to re-sign with the Chicago Bears, Vikings coach Brad Childress wasn't ready to concede. He said Wednesday that they are still in the competition.

"I think we are, yeah. His agent is right down here, as a matter of fact," Childress told Scout.com's Adam Caplan at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona on Wednesday. "I think the agent, sometimes they get caught in the landscape of, ‘I can get you this much money.' When that pot of gold is not there, you can get this kind of holding period.

"It's got to be good for him and it's got to be good for us."

One of Chicago's starting defensive tackles, Tank Johnson, got sentenced to four months in jail, which will cause him to miss the team's offseason minicamps and conditioning program but allow him to be released on time for training camp. The Bears also lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris in December to a ruptured hamstring, but he is expected to be ready for training camp as well.

Scott also has made trips to see the Denver Broncos, but they have since signed defensive tackle Alvin McKinley, which is believed to take them out of the running for Scott. A 6-foot-3, 302-pound defender, Scott has missed only five games in the last three years, and in that timeframe he has accumulated 66 tackles and two sacks. He started seven games for the Bears last year, 13 in 2005 and the final 13 of 2004.

With the Vikings, he would be expected to back up Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, both being named to the Pro Bowl following the 2006 season. Scott is known as a solid run defender and could be a good rotational interior lineman to allow more rest for the Williamses.

Asked about his role if Scott signed with the Vikings, Childress said: "Inside guy who arguably had his best years with (Vikings defensive line coach) Karl Dunbar in Chicago. You kind of cut out the unknowns from the standpoint of work ethic, skill and ability you see on tape."

WINFIELD WORKOUTS NOT A CONCERN

Cornerback Cedric Griffin said Antoine Winfield has been around the Winter Park practice facility and his absence from some team workouts isn't a concern.

Childress said Winfield had other plans during the early stages of the offseason program.

"He's in and out. He's got his kids in school there and I think he's taking a vacation to the Bahamas. Those guys do that. They schedule different things," Childress said. "Anthony Herrera got married last week. All head coaches are like mother hens from the standpoint that you want everybody around at the right time, but he'll be there for plenty of time."


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