Talks are ongoing with veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield, who is entering the final season of his contract, and cornerback Cedric Griffin received a five-year, $25 million extension two weeks ago. And that might just be the start.
It's probably a safe assumption that talks of extensions could begin in the coming months with linebacker Chad Greenway (two years left on his contract), running back Chester Taylor (one year) and even Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson (three years).
"Rob (Brzezinski, the Vikings' vice president of football operations) does a great job of all those projection-type things," coach Brad Childress said. "I really wouldn't want to comment on (individual players) but, yeah, you're looking at the guys that are next, next, next where you can go out and do that. Those deals don't just happen. You've got to have them on the radar for them to happen."
The Vikings allowed veteran center Matt Birk (Baltimore) and safety Darren Sharper (New Orleans) to leave as free agents last month but since Childress took over in 2006 they have locked up several of their own.
The list of players who have received contract extensions under Childress includes defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, linebacker E.J. Henderson, left tackle Bryant McKinnie and punter Chris Kluwe.
Childress said the Vikings' approach with Griffin and Winfield is not necessarily a reflection of the team having extra money because it elected to tread lightly into the free-agent market.
"Yes and no," he said. "Sometimes you get presented with, ‘You can have this guy or this guy,' or, ‘You don't do this guy, you can do these guys.' We go with the philosophy that you identify the guys that you want to keep and then you try to keep them.
"... Everybody can say, the constituency can say, ‘I wish they would have been more active in free agency.' Well, you get spoiled by signing three good players last year. (The Vikings signed or traded for defensive end Jared Allen, wide receiver Bernard Berrian and safety Madieu Williams.) But those players weren't out this year, quite honestly. It was kind of a watered-down group. And you know what, only to get more watered down next year."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "There was no regret in saying that. It's just like Jared (Allen) said in the paper, ‘Everybody sets their goals as high as they can.' I was just the one bold enough to say it. That's the reason you play this game. You don't want to play this game just to be somebody who played. You want to be known as somebody who made a statement in the game." — DE Ray Edwards when asked if he regretted saying that his goal for 2008 was to break Michael Strahan's NFL single-season record of 22.5 sacks. Edwards finished with five sacks.