Free Agent Buzz: Vikings Show Interest in LB

A league source tells that the Vikings are showing an early interest in a linebacker, in addition to the players they are already visiting with or are scheduling visits with.

Miami linebacker Derrick Pope
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On their radar: Miami linebacker Derrick Pope is getting some early inquiries from the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, according to one of's NFL sources.

The interest from the Vikings shouldn't be a surprise since Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman drafted Pope in 2004 while serving as the Dolphins' general manager. So he's more than familiar with Pope's skills.

Pope has been Zach Thomas' backup for the past four years since being drafted by Miami in 2004. During his four starts as a rookie while filling in for Thomas, Pope led the team in tackles during each of those games. A leader on special teams, Pope started nine games in 2007 and finished the season tied for fourth in tackles with 57. During his four years with the Dolphins, he's made 27 special teams tackles, putting him in a tie for first-place in that category during that span.

The Vikings tendered backup linebacker Heath Farwell at $1.475 million, which would require a second-round draft pick from any team making him an offer that the Vikings don't match, so Farwell is expected to reamin with the team. They also have Vinny Ciurciu in the fold, so the addition of Pope would make the Vikings' backups a deep corps at linebacker.

Another visit for Utecht: An NFL source has told that New Orleans has expressed interest in bringing Indianapolis tight end Ben Utecht in for a visit next week. As reported earlier today by, the Bengals have expressed interest in setting up a visit with Utecht as well. Utecht played for the Minnesota Gophers in college.

Homecoming for Law? A league source has told that Chiefs cornerback Ty Law is very interested in a return to New England and that the two sides have been talking. And with Asante Samuel signing with the Eagles, don't be surprised to see the Patriots take a good look at Law if he's reasonable with his contract expectations.

Law, who started all 16 games in each of his two seasons in Kansas City, made 47 tackles, two interceptions and defended 13 passes in 2007. He was released by the Chiefs after completing his 13th NFL season.

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