Primary Target?

It's no secret that the Vikings are still in need of help at wide receiver to go with veteran Bobby Wade and prospects Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison. Denver's Javon Walker could be on the team's radar if he becomes available.

Broncos’ Walker would be a good fit

He’s coming off an injury-marred season and has had major knee surgery, but Denver’s Javon Walker has twice proven he can be a big-time receiver in the NFL with 1,000-yard seasons twice in his pro career.

Walker himself suggested earlier this week that it might be best for everyone if he and the Broncos parted company.

“It’s not that they don’t want me here, but I just don’t think it’s the best fit for me,” Walker said in this AP report.

The key element to his potential departure in Denver is that he’s due to make about $7.5 million in salary and bonuses.  That, combined with the emergence of second-year pro Brandon Marshall, who caught 102 passes for 1,325 yards and 7 touchdowns, and the effectiveness of Brandon Stokley, who recently received a three-year contract extension put him third on the team’s current depth chart.

“I just don't see it happening for me here [in Denver],” Walker said.  “What it boils down to at this point is I've got to go where the best fit is for me. ... And if it's not the best situation for me, it's the best situation for Brandon Marshall.”

Another factor in the benefit of a fresh start for Walker is the incident a year ago when cornerback Darrent Williams died in his arms in a New Year's Day drive-by shooting that remains unsolved.

Besides the previously stated need the Vikings have, Walker has played in the West Coast Offense his entire pro career.  He is a near prototype for the system with his athletic ability, size, speed and run-after-the-catch skills.  Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is very familiar with Walker from their days together in Green Bay.

Walker is still 29 years old.  He’s coming off an injury-plagued season in which he missed eight games and caught just 26 passes for 287 yards (11.0 avg.), zero touchdowns and a long reception of just 24 yards.

But in 2006, his first season with the Broncos, he started all 16 games and caught 69 balls for 1,084 yards (15.7 avg.) with 8 touchdowns, including a long of 83 yards.  He also scored a 72-yard touchdown on an end-around.

His 2005 season with Green Bay was wiped out after a serious knee injury, but in 2004 he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards (15.5 avg.) and 12 touchdowns.

Those numbers in 2004 and 2006 are clearly numbers of a legitimate No. 1 receiver, which is just what the Vikings need to complement the nifty Bobby Wade in the slot and promising young prospects Sidney Rice and Aundrae Allison.

It would not at all be a surprise if the Vikings were among the primary suitors for Walker should he become available.

Contract numbers likely to seal Williamson’s fate

The Vikings coaching staff has likely run out of patience with receiver Troy Williamson, but it’s the business side of things that might truly seal his fate with the team.

Williamson is scheduled to make $910,000 in 2008, $1.44 million in 2009 and $1.9 million in 2010 and 2011.

Given his productivity to this point and the $13.3 million in guaranteed money he’s already received, it would seem to spell a fresh start for the former first-round pick who has just never panned out.

Extra Points

For those of you blaming Childress for losing to Denver, please click here.

Three former Viking assistants also got the boot along with Brian Billick in Baltimore.  Gone are Chris Foerster (Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line), Wade Harman (Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line) and Jeff Friday (Strength and Conditioning).

Two ex-Vikings were among players signed by the Denver Broncos recently to futures contracts – C Norm Katnik and FB Steven Jackson.

Other stories:

>Six plays that cost the Vikings in 2007
>Late stumble followed nice strides
>Hope for an ear from legislature fade
>Wilf has put money where his team is

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