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The power of the internet was apparent with the rapid spread of a ProFootballTalk.com story speculating that veteran center LeCharles Bentley could end up in Minnesota.

Bentley story pure speculation

Despite clarification in the text of the story by Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com, the headline "Bentley to Minnesota?" was simply too juicy not to get picked up everywhere on the internet.

Florio states in his piece that "this...isn't a scoop, just semi-educated speculation."

He also clarifies, "I need to be clear.  It would be a huge mistake for the Vikings to dump Matt Birk in favor of Bentley.  Bentley is damaged goods, and Birk is a bona fide leader in the locker room."

While the offseason coverage of Birk's future with the Vikings has gotten plenty of publicity, there are plenty of dots to connect with Bentley (who hasn't played in two seasons) hitting the open market.

Florio closes his piece with:  "Again, it's all speculation.  But at the same time, it makes sense."

So with the number of hits the PFT rumor mill gets by not just fans, but folks actually in the league, it's no wonder that speculation has fueled yet more speculation.

Again, it's all speculation.  But at the same time, it makes sense.  The Vikings would love to find the long-term successor to Birk, and Bentley (if healthy) gives them a very viable option.

When asked about the Vikings' interest in Bentley, coach Brad Childress seemed to downplay any interest and instead focused on the players they already have who can play center - Birk, Ryan Cook, Anthony Herrera and rookie John Sullivan.

Audibles:

Not all publicity is bad publicity for left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who was recently named as the newest Ambassador to Nelson Mandela's Laureus Sport Good Foundation, according to this PR.com release .

Childress has liked what he's seen of rookie center John Sullivan so far.  In particular, he's been impressed by his poise under "pretty bright lights."

Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams, who had an offseason procedure performed on his arm, has been cleared to lift weights and getting his strength back again.

No surprise here, as quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is on the hot seat in this CNNSI.com story about 32 players who must produce early in 2008.  "Jackson has supposedly made great strides since last season and the Vikings have no desire to play Gus Frerotte or John David Booty," Ross Tucker writes.  "But this is another team built to win in 2008 and coach Brad Childress will have to make a move if Jackson doesn't build on last year's performance."

The cousin of Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.  Mitch Frerotte , an offensive lineman who played in three Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills, died of a heart attack.  He was only 43.

Linebacker Chad Greenway answers 11 questions in this KARE11 video clip, including being excited to be playing in Minnesota.

Defensive tackle Fred Evans is among several NFL players participating in this weekend's sixth annual PCI Football Camp in Washington, D.C.

An NFC North title doesn't seem an unreasonable goal for the Vikings, according to Jonathan Mohr in this RealFootball365.com story.

Brokers representing Vikings owner Zygi Wilf toured the Star Tribune land site earlier this week, as they may still be interested in buying the property.

Second-year wide receiver Sidney Rice could be a fantasy football sleeper according to this YardBarker.com post .  Rice has great size and should be a great target in the red zone, which fantasy owners will love.  Rice should be picked later on in fantasy drafts but could have a huge impact on your team by the end of the year.  Around 800 yards and eight touchdowns are predicted for Rice in 2008.

Speaking of Rice, he was recently named to the South Carolina Gamecocks All-Decade team according to this GoUpstate.com report.

Former Vikings special teams coach Gary Zauner will be holding a kickers camp at Wisconsin-River Falls on June 21-23.  Zauner worked with Fuad Reveiz, Eddie Murray, Gary Anderson and Mitch Berger during his time in Minnesota.  Rookie free-agent placekicker Steve Hauschka, who kicked at North Carolina State, is also at this year's camp.

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