Veterans Continue Being Cut

Over the past week, big-name players like Zach Thomas, Trent Green, Marty Booker, Alge Crumpler and Byron Leftwich have all been cast aside by their former teams -- with veteran CB Ty Law expected to be cut. With the Combine right around the corner and free agency still a couple weeks off, these players could have an advantage for teams willing to take a risk that they can reclaim their greatness.

The big-time cuts around the NFL are continuing to make news, as players once viewed as franchise-type commodities have become salary-cap casualties.

The Dolphins released all-time leading tackler Zach Thomas along with quarterback Trent Green and wide receiver Marty Booker earlier this week. The Falcons, who are already without Michael Vick, who is three months into his prison sentence, cut tight end Alge Crumpler and quarterback Byron Leftwich. Now it appears as though the same fate is going to happen to Ty Law with the Chiefs.

Law is 33 and is an ideal corner in a zone system like the Vikings employ. The Chiefs are looking to move to more of a man coverage system and that doesn't play to Law's strengths. That, combined with a base salary of $6.5 million for the 2008 season, makes Law as much a liability as a strength for the Chiefs.

In the fickle world of the NFL, players can go from the penthouse to the outhouse in a hurry, just look at the strange twists and turns that the careers of players like Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper have taken in recent years. In the case of Moss, he proved that a veteran coming into a new team can have an immediate and profound impact. While Culpepper has yet to re-ignite his career, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank and in the right situation could again be a factor in the NFL.

While it's uncertain whether the Vikings will make a run at any of these players, the marketplace of the NFL is constantly in flux. When Pro Bowl talents like Law, Thomas and Crumpler can be simply discarded by their former teams, teams with the willingness to move quickly can add top-end talent without sacrificing too much against the salary cap. The Vikings haven't historically been one of those teams, but they have the money spend and some need areas to fill. Don't be shocked if some of the released veterans are given serious consideration and possibly brought in for a workout either before or after this week's NFL Combine.

* Brad Childress, Rick Spielman and most of the Vikings coaching staff will be in Indianapolis this week for the Scouting Combine. Media access begins Thursday. The Combine is perhaps the most important single element to where a player's draft stock ends up.
* Former Viking Michael Bennett signed a three-year contract to stay with the Buccaneers. One of the reasons for the signing is that Michael Pittman is a free agent and Carnell Williams may not be ready to return until midseason of 2008 with a knee injury.
* If the Vikings are looking to swing a deal to get a veteran wide receiver, it seems disgruntlement is the word of the offseason. We've already heard that Javon Walker and Chad Johnson would prefer to be elsewhere next year; now it appears that Laveranues Coles of the Jets is unhappy and may be looking for a new landing spot.

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