Harris another linebacker possibility

The Vikings just signed Dontarrious Thomas, but they are keeping their options open by showing an interest in former Viking Napoleon Harris.

The Vikings could be finding more relief at the linebacker position by tabbing yet another former Viking that has become available on the open market at the position.

Two days after signing Dontarrious Thomas, the Vikings may be signing Napoleon Harris, who played for the Vikings in 2005-06. Harris was released Tuesday by the Kansas City Chiefs after the team failed in its attempt to trade him. The Vikings have reportedly had conversations with Harris' agent. Harris is scheduled to meet with Lions officials, but it is hard to imagine that he would sign with 0-5 Detroit unless there are no other offers coming from other teams.

Depth at linebacker has been tightened with the season-ending injury to E.J. Henderson and neck and ankle injuries to backup David Herron. Harris, who is 29 years old, was the starting middle linebacker in Brad Childress' first season – a year in which the Vikings installed the Tampa-2 defense. Following that season, it was clear the Vikings intended to move Henderson inside and the team made little effort in re-signing Harris. He eventually signed a six-year, $24 million deal with the Chiefs prior to the 2007 season that included $7.5 million in guarantees.

Harris was benched during the preseason as the Chiefs' re-tooling of their entire roster continued to progress. If a deal can be struck, Harris might be ready to go for Sunday's game against Chicago.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • The NFL Network will be airing the "America's Game: The Missing Rings" segment on the 1998 Vikings at 9 p.m. Central Thursday. The series focuses on great teams in NFL history that never won a championship. The show will be narrated by "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini. The series has had several installments, including a look at the 1969 Vikings.

  • Word out of Green Bay is that the Packers were very close to making a deal for Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez, but the deal couldn't be finalized before the 3 p.m. deadline Tuesday. The Packers offered a third-round draft pick. According to published reports, Gonzo was "livid" that a trade didn't happen. Considering how adding one of the game's top playmaking tight ends could have tipped the balance of power in the NFC North, the Vikings are shedding no tears that a deal didn't happen.

  • The latest suspension of Adam "Pacman" Jones could be a cautionary tale for other players in the system under the league's personal conduct policy. The incident, which never involved an arrest or even charges being filed, sends a clear word to other players (like the Vikings' Bryant McKinnie) that zero tolerance means just that.

  • Punter Ryan Plackemeier, who worked out with the Vikings last week during their cattle call of punters following Chris Kluwe's inability to kick punts out of bounds against New Orleans, signed with the Redskins Tuesday.

  • The latest step in the Lions appearing to give up on the 2008 season came when the team placed QB Jon Kitna on injured reserve. Kitna has been suffering back problems, but it was an injury that was speculated would heal with about a month of rest. Rather than wait that long, after the Lions couldn't trade Kitna, he was place on I.R.

  • The Lions did trade WR Roy Williams to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for first-, third- and sixth-round picks in the 2009 draft. The Lions also sent a seventh-round pick to Dallas.

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