Vikings Free-Agent Activity, Rumors Continue

The Vikings continue to support their aggressive prediction in free agency with actions. Here are the latest on signings, rumors and denials involving several quarterbacks, including Derek Anderson, leading off with updates on Bernard Berrian and Madieu Williams.

The Vikings introduced their first free-agent signing – fullback Thomas Tapeh – Friday afternoon at Winter Park, but the action didn't sound like it will stop anytime soon.

Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman confirmed that safety Madieu Williams and wide receiver Bernard Berrian are in the Twin Cities and getting physicals. Williams has agreed to a six-year, $33 million contract with the Vikings and once he passes his physical is expected to sign that contract.

"I like him and it never quite worked out for him. I know he was injured a lot," NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell said of Williams at last week's NFL Scouting Combine. "I thought he would ultimately be a better player than he has turned out. Maybe the injuries prevented him from being that guy. I think he's got a chance somewhere else. I think he has a chance to be a good player because he can cover for a safety. He's got cornerback-type ability as a safety."

Williams played in 13 games last year, but he was eventually placed on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury.

The four-year veteran out of Maryland started 13 games in his rookie season and registered 103 tackles and three interceptions after being a second-round draft choice of the Bengals. In his first year, he started at cornerback, free safety and strong safety, adding to his reputation as an athletic safety.

In his second season, he played in only four games, starting three, before he was placed on injured reserve in October with a shoulder injury.

He returned in 2006 and started all 16 games and had 88 tackles and three interceptions while being on the field for more snaps (1,265) than any other Bengals player.

His rookie season was spent with current Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier when he was in the same role in Cincinnati, but they were different defenses.

  • Berrian doesn't have any known reasons why he wouldn't pass a physical either, but he might take a little longer to sign. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, expected plenty of activity for his services before he hit the free-agent market.

    "I expect there to be a lot of interest in Bernard Berrian," Rosenhaus said at last week's Combine. "… The Bears are going to continue to be in the mix as we continue to talk with other teams. We're going to have a good, healthy dialogue with them."'s Adam Caplan reported that the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Bucanneers are also expected to show an interest in Berrian, and the San Francisco 49ers could join the fray later. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Oakland Raiders have a visit scheduled with Berrian if he makes it out of the Twin Cities unsigned.

  • A Columbus, Ohio, radio station reported that the Vikings and Browns were discussing a potential trade for quarterback Derek Anderson, but a source says there is no truth to that rumor.

  • Quarterback Josh McCown signed a two-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, his agent informed Viking Update. NFL Network reports that the deal is worth $6.25 million.

  • With Cleo Lemon also off the market (he signed a deal with the Jaguars, his agent informed Viking Update), the Vikings could rekindle talks with the Houston Texans for Sage Rosenfels. The Vikings reportedly offered a third-round pick for Rosenfels with the Texans seeking a second-rounder.

  • The Broncos released wide receiver Javon Walker, making him an available free agent. The Vikings were believed to be a potential player for Walker, according to a Denver source, before free agency hit. Signing Berrian remains the priority, but Walker might provide a fallback option.

  • A reminder to our new subscribers or those who may not know, our subscriber-only message board, Winter Park Whispers is available for Q&A as we have time to address the questions during this very busy next few days. We also use that for nuggets that may not warrant an entire story or is part of a story we are working on that hasn't yet been posted. Drop by and greet the other club members there.

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