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Vikings OT Bryant McKinnie is scheduled to be among those participating in the NFL Players Choir at the 9th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, taking place at Phoenix Symphony Hall on Friday evening.

McKinnie to sing with NFL Players Choir

Bryant McKinnie will be among several current and former NFL players who will be part of the 9th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration in Phoenix this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature performances by Patti Labelle, Donnie McClurkin, Martha Munizzi, CeCe Winans and Marvin Winans.

The all-star roster scheduled to perform as part of the NFL Players Choir includes:  Mike Adams (Browns); Josh Brown (Seahawks); Derrick Brooks (Buccaneers); Correll Buckhalter (Eagles); Don Davis (Patriots); Chris Draft (Rams); D’Brickashaw Ferguson (Jets); George Foster (Lions); Michael Gaines (Bills); Billy Gates (Patriots); Tommie Harris (Bears); Eric Henderson (Bengals); J.D. Hill (Bills/Retired); Joe Jackson (Jets and Vikings/Retired); Brandon Jones (Titans); Sid Justus (St. Louis Rams/Retired); Eddie Kennison (Chiefs); Ray Lewis (Ravens); Roy Manning (Bengals); Darnerian McCants (Eagles); Bryant McKinnie (Vikings); Ovie Mughelli (Falcons); Ryan Nece (Buccaneers); Steve Pierce (Browns/Retired); Duke Preston (Bills); Frank Sanders (Cardinals/Retired); Richard Seymour (Patriots); Brad Smith (Jets); Thomas Tapeh (Eagles); Troy Vincent (Redskins); Ty Warren (Patriots); Benjamin Watson (Patriots); Leonard Weaver (Seahawks) and Roland Williams (Rams/Retired).

Gary Baxter (Browns); Gerald Hayes (Cardinals); Ken Harvey (Cardinals, Redskins/Retired); and coach Tony Dungy (Colts) are also scheduled for guest appearances.

Joe "Joey" Jackson played one season with the Vikings (1977).  He finished second in quarterback sacks as a rookie with the Jets.  Currently he is an evangelist to athletes in Arizona.

He attended and played for the New Mexico State and was elected to the New Mexico State University hall of fame.  He was later drafted in the fifth round by the New York Jets.  He was in the Superstar Sports Magazine all-rookie team.

Here’s a little promo video, complete with classic MNF music, from Jackson’s playing days with the Jets.

Don’t expect big splash in free agency

WCCO.com’s Mike Max reports that according to player personnel man Rick Spielman, the Vikings are not expecting to make a big splash in the free agent market.

A lot of teams have gotten a handle on managing the salary cap and most of them have enough room under the salary cap to figure out ways to keep the players they really want to retain.

Ocho Cinco not likely for Vikings

It’s no secret the Vikings are in the market for a bonafide No. 1 receiver, and disgruntled Bengals receiver Chad Johnson is clearly lobbying hard to get himself out of Cincinnati.  But don’t connect the dots too quickly on that one.

Johnson has petitioned for a trade to the Miami Dolphins.  And most recently he was interviewed and suggested that he and Carolina’s Steve Smith would make an unstoppable combo.

Johnson has immense talent, but it’s not likely that his ego would fit in the locker room that Brad Childress has built.

Mock draft pegs Cal’s Jackson to Vikings

The latest first-round mock draft by the folks at the War Room has the Vikings taking California wide receiver/return specialist DeSean Jackson at No. 17.  “With first-round bust Troy Williamson on the way out, the Vikings remain in need of more perimeter weapons for QB Tarvaris Jackson,” according to the War Room.  “Coach Brad Childress likes 2007 picks Sidney Rice (second round) and Aundrae Allison (fifth) as complementary weapons, but Jackson has the big-play potential be a No. 1 NFL receiver.”

Jackson lacks some size but some compare him to Steve Smith (Panthers) and Santana Moss (Redskins) with the talent to become a very dangerous receiver and return specialist.  He is currently rated No. 9 overall on the War Room’s draft board.

Extra Points

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Fred Taylor was named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year.  Taylor rushed for 1,202 yards (ninth in the NFL) on 223 carries with 5 touchdowns.  He beat out Adrian Peterson (1,341 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns) and San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson (1,474 yards with 15 touchdowns) for the honor.  Not sure how the ninth-best rusher wins such an award.

New Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has retained tight ends coach Wade Harman , who is entering his tenth season with the Ravens.  Harman spent two seasons (1997-98) with the Vikings as a coaching assistant, helping tutor the offensive line under Mike Tice.  He also assisted with playbook development, practice plans and schedules, game plans, opponents scouting reports and assisted the pro personnel department while with the Vikings in what was his first coaching job in the NFL.

Another former Vikings coach, Scott Linehan, who is the top man with the St. Louis Rams, scored a significant coup when he was able to add veteran coach Al Saunders as their new offensive coordinator. Saunders was a Rams assistant coach in 1999 and 2000.  Linehan was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Vikings from 2002-2004.

Other stories:

>NFL Draft early entries list
>PFW first round mock draft (Nolan Nawrocki)
>Sharper teeing off for charity in Phoenix
>Spach revives football life with Patriots
>Winfield among menswear guru customers

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