Maddox Released

The Vikings had the unpleasant task of getting rid of a player after signing OL Adam O'Connor Tuesday. That player wound up being safety Andre Maddox.

In light of signing offensive lineman Adam O'Connor earlier this week, it was clear that somebody had to go. That somebody turned out to be safety Andre Maddox.

Maddox was a second-year safety out of North Carolina State who was an undrafted rookie in 2006 and didn't play in a regular-season game after being signed by the Jets. He was added in the offseason by the Vikings, and played this spring for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europa. But, with the competition expected at safety with veterans Darren Sharper, Dwight Smith, Mike Doss and Tank Williams, his chances of making the team seemed a long shot at best.

With almost a month to go before the opening of training camps, his early release likely gives Maddox a better chance to hook on with a team without as much depth at the safety position.

THURSDAY NOTES
* The Bears have initiated some informal talks about getting a long-term contract done with Lance Briggs. The team signed first-round pick Greg Olsen to a deal Tuesday. Olsen is represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who also represents Briggs, and some have speculated the early signing might be the precursor to getting a new deal done for Briggs – who has threatened to sit out the first 10 games of the season rather than accept the franchise tag. The team has until July 16 to reach a long-term contract extension with Briggs in order to remove the franchise tag.
* There is some talk that getting first-round rookies signed this year may be more difficult than in previous years due to the collective bargaining agreement stipulations agreed upon in 2006. Teams are looking to hedge their own bets when it comes to signing bonuses, as teams and agents work out deals that have roster bonuses and option bonuses rather than pro-rated signing bonuses that count against the salary cap for the length of the player contract. Olsen's deal, for example, includes just $250,000 in what is termed as a signing bonus, but has $720,000 in "roster bonus" money and $3.5 million in "option bonus" money. Considering how far under the cap the Vikings are, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Vikings structure a deal for Adrian Peterson that does most or all of the heavy lifting in the first year of the deal to open up cap space for future seasons.
* Sports Illustrated wasn't too kind to the Vikings or Zygi Wilf in a recent article ranking NFL owners from first to worst. Zygi checked in at No. 23 and his paragraph includes the lines "The team's starting quarterback is…uh…who is it again? The head coach is, uh, you know, that bald guy." Ouch! That will leave a mark.

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