The Vikings completed a trade for Sage Rosenfels in the opening 12 hours of free agency, but there wasn't any other signing action at Winter Park right out of the gate.
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There was a lot of talk around the league rumor mills that there would be a flurry of activity in the wee hours of Friday morning with free agents coming off the board. That didn't happen, primarily because, if you believe the agent for Albert Haynesworth
, six teams were getting in line to make the big defensive tackle the first $100 million defensive player in league history.
Talks broke off between the Vikings and center Matt Birk
late Thursday without a new contract being finalized. Birk will test the open market and may be on his way out of Minnesota after spending 11 years with the Vikings.
In an interesting note, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh
was asked where he would like to end up shortly after the free-agent period began Thursday night and, without being prompted to mention specific teams, he brought up the Vikings.
He told the ESPN NFL Live crew that there are a handful teams he would want to play for, adding he would love to play on the same team as Adrian Peterson
"I'd get a lot of single coverage," Houshmandzadeh said. "I'm going win (one-on-one battles with cornerbacks) 98.6 percent of the time."
His name has been mentioned as a potential free agent on the Vikings radar, but it was thought that, after signing Bernard Berrian
last year, he would be too expensive to line up on the opposite side. If that's true, nobody has told Housh, because he sounded sincere about wanting to come to play for the Vikings.
According to FoxSports.com, he will be visiting the Seattle Seahawks
The Vikings and DE Jayme Mitchell agreed to a two-year contract Thursday. Mitchell, a restricted free agent, missed all of the 2008 season with a knee injury.
The only Vikings restricted free agent that didn't get a new contract or tendered offer was DE Otis Grigsby.
Linebacker Heath Farwell didn't get a contract done with the Vikings and has hit the open market. There are reports out of St. Louis that the Rams are interested in the special teams ace, where Paul Ferraro is the new linebackers coach. Farwell had indicated prior to free agency that he was hopin to get a chance to play linebacker as well as special teams, but with the Vikings starting alignment of E.J. Henderson, Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, that wasn't likely to happen here.
The Redskins lived up to their reputation as being the big spenders of free agency, committing $150 million to keep CB DeAngelo Hall and sign Haynesworth. Washington is consistently one of the teams that spends money freely in free agency, but this is significant even by their usual standards. Hall agreed to a six-year, $54 million deal Thursday that includes $22.5 million in guaranteed money.
Former Vikings fullback Tony Richardson agreed to a one-year deal with the Jets for approximately $500,000.
There was some talk that the Vikings might be interested in Colts center Jeff Saturday, but that went away Thursday when he agreed to a three-year deal to stay in Indianapolis.