One Benefit of Few Draft Picks

Thanks to the Jared Allen trade, the Vikings don't have many draft picks to negotiate contracts with, and they don't have any first-rounders to worry about signing before training camp.

The Vikings begin their team minicamp with a lot of questions that will need to be answered, but, thanks to a draft that included shipping off three premium picks to the Kansas City Chiefs, worrying about signing rookies won't be a front-burner issue.

Thanks to the trade for defensive end Jared Allen, the Vikings won't have the annual problem many teams face concerning getting first-round draft picks signed. It seems like every year teams wait until the 11th hour to start signing first-round picks and, in many cases, some of the top rookie players miss significant parts of the preseason. Last season, the inability of the Raiders to sign JaMarcus Russell left Oakland with egg on its face and Russell with a lost first season.

After the mandatory minicamps, teams can't have rookie players not under contract back to their training facilities until after they have signed contracts, so for many teams, their minicamp will be the last time they see some of their most promising rookie stars.

To date, the Vikings haven't signed any of their five drafted rookies. While some other teams have signed multiple picks already (the Bears have seven of their 12 picks signed), the Vikings haven't even begun negotiations with some of their draft picks, according to a league source. Traditionally, the Vikings have waited until after July 4 to really start seriously negotiating with their draft picks.

Aside from having the entire team together this weekend, it will also mark the return of Matt Birk, who has skipped the Vikings' OTAs in a contract dispute. He is expected to answer questions about where he sees his future. Neither Birk nor the Vikings have been forthcoming in the offseason about discussing any potential contract extension. Birk is signed through the 2008 season, but no substantive talks have taken place in terms of a new deal.


  • The NFL's official website is running a story on Vikings rookie QB John David Booty, saying that the USC quarterback might be an ideal fit with the Vikings West Coast Offense because of his uncanny accuracy.

  • Former Vikings kicker Paul Edinger, unable to find a gig in the NFL, signed a deal with the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League Wednesday.

  • Darren Sharper is going to be one of 20 current and former NFL players to take part in the annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp June 16-19 in Mount Laurel, Maryland. The camp, held at the home of NFL Films, is a joint effort between the league and all of its broadcast partners. The intent is to expose players to the different kinds of broadcasting jobs available and determine which players could be the best suited to provide color commentary and analysis, as well as educating them on the nuts and bolts of production aspects.

  • From the "It Could Happen to You" Department comes this: Voters in San Francisco approved a proposition Tuesday that will keep the 49ers in the city if associated development plans proceed as scheduled. The Niners have been rumored to be moving to Santa Clara, but San Francisco voters are prepared to make the sacrifice needed to keep the 49ers in the city. Maybe some of that NFL goodwill will rub off on Minnesotans.

  • Word out of Pittsburgh is that Mike Tomlin had a big hand in selling the organization on signing Mewelde Moore.

  • In an ESPN story, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor were named the top running back duo in the NFL.

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