>Peterson talks could stall?
A report by Michael David Smith on ProFootballTalk.com says, “We're hearing talk that the agents of two of the highest-profile players in this year’s rookie class – Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Browns quarterback Brady Quinn – are expected to drag their heels in contract negotiations, waiting for the players chosen in the slots around Peterson and Quinn to get deals done and then trying to beat those deals. For the Vikings, who chose Peterson seventh overall, that means Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, will likely wait and see what kind of deal sixth overall pick LaRon Landry gets from the Redskins and what kind of deal eighth overall pick Jamaal Anderson gets from the Falcons.” Head coach Brad Childress is already on record saying how important it is for rookies to be in on time to learn the new system. Peterson will sign. He might be a few days late, but it isn’t as critical at his position (running back) as it might be at other positions. The Vikings are fair, and so is Peterson's agent, Dogra. They will come to terms...hopefully.
>Culpepper trade reportedly fell through, delaying release
According to Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron in an OrlandoSentinel.com story, ex-Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper had drawn trade interest from another team and that’s what delayed his release by the Dolphins earlier this week.
>Vikes OL ranked No. 5 by FOXSports
Another position ranking has the Vikings offensive line ranked No. 5 overall according to a report by FOXSports.com. “Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie are a very good — and very expensive — left side,” the report says. “Quarterback Tavaris Jackson will feel confident knowing that he won't have much pressure coming from his blind side, and that's a huge comfort for a young quarterback.” They also say center Matt Birk is “one of the best centers in the game,” that right guard Artis Hicks is “a decent player,” and that right tackle Ryan Cook is “the line’s biggest wild card.”
>Jones making transition to the pro game
Rookie tight end Braden Jones could be a sleeper in the competition for roster spots in training camp this summer. Although Jones signed as a free agent, he feels he's being given a fair shot to make the Vikings. “Everyone is pretty much equal, they made that clear the first day,” he told Les Winkeler of the Southern.com. “For the most part, we're all out there doing the same thing. Practice is practice; it doesn't matter where you came in.” Jones and Visanthe Shiancoe are the two best pass-catching tight ends on the roster right now. If you missed it before, here’s our full scouting report on Jones (you have to be an Insider).
>Squashing the WR speculation
Some reports out of New England suggest that Kelley Washington (career stats), Jabar Gaffney (career stats) and Reche Caldwell (career stats) are all on the bubble to make the team after the Patriots added Randy Moss, Donte’ Stallworth and Wes Welker. The Patriots also brought back veteran Troy Brown and also have high pick Chad Jackson on the roster. Of course the rubes out there jump on every name they’ve ever heard of for the Vikings, but don’t hold your breath on any of these guys. Washington has serious character baggage and would likely be off the Vikings’ radar for that reason alone. Gaffney and Caldwell are both former second-round “busts” with Houston and San Diego respectively before going to New England. Neither truly offers anything more than what the Vikings already have on their roster. Gaffney’s potential would be similar to that of Bobby Wade, as a slot receiver. Caldwell is probably a No. 3 receiver as well, who struggled with some critical drops down the stretch last season.
>OL stats for McKinnie
In a portion of an ESPN Insider report by KC Joyner, some of the statistics for offensive linemen are tracked. According to the report, former Steve Hutchinson teammate Walter Jones, widely regarded as the top pass-blocking left tackle in the league, gave up 8 sacks last year – the highest sack total allowed by any of the nine tackles either voted into the Pro Bowl or chosen as injury replacements. Jones was also guilty (caught) of one holding penalty; still impressive, but below his standards. Meanwhile, the Vikings’ Bryant McKinnie reportedly allowed 6 sacks last season and also had five penalties called against him (four for offensive holding and one for tripping).
>Personal issues likely kept Vikings on sidelines for supplemental draft
The Vikings, like other teams, identified two players – Georgia defensive back Paul Oliver and Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither – as legitimate talents in last week’s supplemental draft. Vikings Vice President of Player Personnel tells Sid Hartman that, “We had discussions on it, talked with coach [Brad] Childress, talked with my staff, and decided to just go ahead and pass on a supplemental draft.” Neither player reportedly had bad character issues, but both were in the supplemental draft because of academics and there was legitimate concern about their ability to contribute early, which occupies a roster spot ahead of someone else who might be more ready in terms of maturity and football intelligence.
>Vikings fantasy football team preview
Here’s an in-depth team preview of the Vikings for fantasy football players from ESPN.com.
>Training camp preview
Here’s a brief Vikings training camp preview from The Sports Network.
>Metrodome renovation being studied
A renovation of the Metrodome is being studied, but Vikings officials say the site isn't big enough. StarTribune report.
>Culpepper’s first stop: Tampa Bay
Ex-Viking quarterback Daunte Culpepper is a free man, and his first stop was a visit with Bucs head coach Jon Gruden according to ESPN.com. Culpepper could do worse than an opportunity with Gruden, an adept developer of quarterbacks. He also wouldn’t be coming in as the savior with a depth chart already filled with quarterbacks. Here’s the PioneerPress report.
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