The Vikings have signed seventh-round rookie wide receiver Chandler Williams. While the deal will likely be announced either today or Tuesday – don't expect much action over the business end of Memorial Day Weekend – it gives the team a pair of draft picks (along with fellow seventh-rounder Tyler Thigpen) signed earlier than usual.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but VU has been told the Florida International wideout signed a four-year deal.
While Williams faces some serious competition at wide receiver – the team currently has 13 wide receivers on their roster – it sends a message that the team isn't planning on waiting until the days and hours before training camp opens to get contracts done.
As if Vikings fans didn't need enough reason to get excited over Adrian Peterson, head coach Brad Childress fueled the fire Friday – saying that the first-round running back has met or exceeded expectations.
"He's done a great job, particularly in drills, with all the pass stuff," Childress said. "The run stuff comes very easy to him as well as you would think, but you get drilled with the nuances of the pass game, whether it be protection or route-running, and he's doing a good job with that. You learn as much standing at the back of the line with people sharing with you as you do in the classroom on the board … I like where he's at and where he's going."
* Dovonte Edwards worked with the first team at cornerback during the OTAs in the absence of Antoine Winfield. While his spot on the top of the depth chart is short term, Edwards is giving the coaching staff a chance to evaluate his abilities. Winfield has a starting job waiting for him when (not if) he returns. When he signed his current deal, his guaranteed money came up front – which may well be similar to the deal Peterson signs with the Vikings – who are currently still more than $20 million under the 2007 salary cap. The Vikings paid Winfield handsomely for a reason – he's worth it. Unlike a lot of free agent signings, there isn't a load of heavy lifting at the back end of Winfield's contract that would put the team at risk.
Winfield has been a media favorite because, even in the worst of situations, he has "manned up" and gone on record during the worst of times. As a result, he has called out the defense (in 2005) and called out the offense (in 2006). Last time we checked, the Bills were mediocre at best in his stint there, so he should be used to the fact that success at "The Ohio State University" doesn't always translate to success at the next level.
The Vikings are lucky to have Winfield, but shouldn't buckle under if he decides to play hardball. Ask Randy Moss or Daunte Culpepper. Being traded isn't a cure-all to your problems.
* Mike Doss has been a bright spot of the OTA workouts. After signing a one-year deal with the Vikings that had enough easy outs for the team, it was thought that he was a minimal risk signing. But, despite coming off ACL surgery, Doss has been well ahead of schedule and, from the looks of things, will make it hard for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to keep him on the bench.
* VU has gone out of its way not to get involved in the dustup between the league (and right-thinking people everywhere) and the allegations that Michael Vick has been involved in a dog-fighting ring. While political pressure may force charges filed against Vick – that he will likely beat in court even if he's technically guilty – the bottom line of the entire situation is that, even if he is completely exonerated, what national sponsor is going to hook its financial wagon to Vick? Nobody. Ask Daunte Culpepper where his income is coming from? From playing football. Period. While from a distance it looks like Vick is guilty of something – at a minimum bad judgment – it really doesn't matter how the legal process plays itself out. The Ron Mexico incident and pot-smelling compartment on his water bottle are minor infractions compared to this. There is no longer a corporate sponsor that will hook up with Vick – which means we may see even more of Peyton Manning commercials in the 2007 season.
* Nike representatives that have been trying to figure out why Troy Williamson allows balls to go between his hands and off his face spent Thursday and Friday testing 60 players that attended the OTAs. Hopefully, their analysis will conclusively explain how or why Williamson has tried to catch passes with his mouthguard.
Vikes Sign Williams
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