Thanks to Brett Favre, the Vikings are staying in the local and national headlines, even during what is typically a quiet time in the NFL cycle.
Offseason? Really? There are typically lull periods during the NFL offseason. There are the three to four weeks between the Super Bowl and the start of free agency. There are the few weeks following the draft and the month prior to the start of training camp. Those times are usually marked by little to no buzz or activity as teams gear up for the important times of the season.
Thanks to QB Brett Favre
, those lull periods have gone away for the Vikings. Favre, who caused something of a circus at the start of training camp last year when it was learned that he and Vikings officials had made contact with one another, has sent the Minnesota fan base into hyperdrive with the latest revelations that he and head coach Brad Childress will meet later this week to discuss yet another return for the 39-year-old quarterback.
Much of the media has been playing down the possibility of a Favre-to-Vikings marriage despite the clear message that was sent last year when the Packers traded Favre to the Jets and put in a poison pill that would have cost New York three first-round draft picks had the Jets turned around and traded him to the Vikings. Now, it seems that the Vikings are the one and only choice for Favre.
Can Childress talk Favre into coming to the Vikings? From the early reports, it doesn't look like he will have to push too hard.
When asked on ESPN last night if they felt that Favre would end up as a Viking, both analysts John Clayton and Chris Mortensen said that they're convinced he will end up in purple – as did the overwhelming number of fans in a SportsNation poll conducted by the network.
One of the hot websites over the last week has been one that tracks flights into and out U.S. cities. It was the same site that prompted speculation about a Vikings trip to Mississippi to see Favre, which turned out to be a group of Target executives heading to Hattiesburg. That site got more hits Tuesday, as a reported flight from Hattiesburg to Green Bay and back fueled speculation that the Packers might be trying to block the Favre-to-Minnesota move by again offering Favre the $20 million personal services contract the team hoped would keep him retired last year.
Nick Urban, a Division II longshot from Winona State who was part of the free agent tryouts, signed a contract Monday. Urban became something of a local celebrity when it was reported that the offensive lineman spent part of last weekend's rookie camp at his other job – a checkout clerk at Target.
The Vikings also added competition for the center spot by signing free agent Juan Garcia from Washington. The Vikings made no moves during free agency at center –either to retain Matt Birk, who signed with Baltimore, or sign a veteran free agent of their own. Garcia will be the second center added to the roster in the last 10 days, joining Jon Cooper of Oklahoma, who was signed shortly after the conclusion of the draft as a free agent.
Joel Segal, the agent for Percy Harvin, told the NFL's official website Tuesday that Harvin is back to 100 percent after being felled by dehydration and a virus at the Atlanta airport on his way up to last weekend's minicamp.
Former Vikings guard Toniu Fonoti signed a one-year deal with the Lions Tuesday.
Another former Viking has also found work. Quarterback Todd Bouman was signed by the Jaguars Tuesday and will join the team next week. Bouman was an undrafted free agent when signed by the Vikings out of St. Cloud State and has played for six teams during his NFL career, including a previous stint with Jacksonville. On Monday, Bouman was released by the Ravens.
Les Barnard Athletic Field, the home field for Minneapolis South High School, will receive a $50,000 grant from the Vikings as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program. The grant is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year by the NFL and its partners.