Erin Henderson, the younger brother of linebacker E.J. Henderson, is hoping he can turn a negative draft-weekend experience into a positive future with the Minnesota Vikings.
swears he wasn't mad for long after he wasn't selected in last month's NFL draft. The Maryland
linebacker had a fourth-round grade on him but concerns about knee problems caused him to slip through all seven rounds.
"About 10 or 15 minutes," Henderson said of how long he was upset.
Part of the reason was because Henderson quickly realized he was in control of where he would begin his NFL career and the decision wasn't all that difficult. Henderson signed with the Vikings, who employ Henderson's older brother, E.J., as their starting middle linebacker.
"I thought about it: ‘I'm going to Minnesota to play with big bro.' What do I have to be upset about?"
While both brothers played college football at Maryland, the two have never been on the same team because Erin is six years younger than E.J.
E.J. already was helping Erin early this month before the latter reported for a three-day rookie minicamp with the Vikings.
"I went over most of the playbook with my brother last night," Erin said during his first day of rookie minicamp. "How many guys can say they had the opportunity to do that? This definitely has its plusses and minuses, but I can deal with the minuses with a plus like that."
Making the roster isn't going to be easy for Erin. He was used both at middle and outside linebacker in the rookie camp and will need to prove his ability to contribute on special teams.
The Vikings had a three-day rookie minicamp last weekend (May 2-4) at their Winter Park facility in Eden Prairie, Minn. The team's five draft picks, as well as 16 undrafted free agents and several players signed to tryout deals were in attendance.
The Vikings announced players will report to training camp July 23 at Minnesota State, Mankato. The first practice is scheduled for July 25; camp will break Aug. 15.
Former Vikings Pro Bowl offensive lineman Randall McDaniel has yet to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame but he was recently elected to the College Football Hall. McDaniel was one of 15 players to be selected. He played for the Vikings from 1988 to 1999 and retired after the 2001 season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a surreal feeling. I still don't think it has hit me yet. I can't even describe it. Every morning I wake up sometimes I have to remind myself that I am an NFL player. I imagine it will hit me later on down the line, but I'm just enjoying the moment right now." — Safety Tyrell Johnson, the Vikings' top pick and a second-round selection in last month's draft.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
S Mike Doss made little impact in first season with the Vikings; likely will be allowed to find work elsewhere.
DE Darrion Scott had 2007 season ended early by injury after recording team-high 5.5 sacks the previous year.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
CB Ronyell Whitaker (not tendered as RFA) was used primarily on special teams.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
DE Jared Allen (trade Chiefs).
WR Bernard Berrian: UFA Bears; $42M/6 yrs, $$5M SB/$8M RB; $3M RB ‘09; 2008 cap: $9.538M.
S Michael Boulware: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
QB Gus Frerotte: FA Rams; $4M/2 yrs, $1M SB.
RB Maurice Hicks: UFA 49ers; 3 yrs, terms unknown.
LB Derrick Pope: UFA Dolphins; terms unknown.
CB Benny Sapp: UFA Chiefs; $705,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB.
FB Thomas Tapeh: UFA Eagles; $6M/5 yrs, $1.2M guaranteed.
S Madieu Williams: UFA Bengals; $34M/6 yrs, $13M guaranteed.
DL Ellis Wyms: UFA Seahawks; $1.5M/1 yr, $500,000 SB.
LB Heath Farwell: RFA; $1.47M/1 yr.
WR Robert Ferguson: UFA; $1M/1 yr, SB unknown.
QB Kelly Holcomb (released).
DT Spencer Johnson: UFA Bills; $17.5M/5 yrs, $6M guaranteed.
RB Mewelde Moore: UFA Steelers; $4.95M/3 yrs, $1.35M SB; 2008 cap: $1.1M.
FB Tony Richardson: UFA Jets; $875,000/1 yr, SB unknown.
S Dwight Smith (released).
LB Dontarrious Thomas: UFA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
S Tank Williams: UFA Patriots; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 WO.
WR Troy Williamson (traded Jaguars).