Four days to sign two draft picks

The Vikings still have four days until their first training camp practice, but they still have their top two picks to sign, offensive tackle Phil Loadholt and wide receiver Percy Harvin.

While much of the attention over the past few days and weeks concerning the Vikings has centered on a decision to play or not to play by Brett Favre, the Vikings still have the question of getting their top two draft picks signed and down at Mankato this week.

With the clock ticking down to players reporting to Mankato for camp, the Vikings still haven't signed Percy Harvin and Phil Loadholt. Considering that the Vikings expect Loadholt to compete for the starting right tackle job and have apparently designed 20-30 plays in the playbook specifically to get the ball in Harvin's hands, it is clear that there are significant plans for both players.

But just how serious are NFL teams about getting their first-round picks signed? As of this morning, only three first-rounders have inked deals – quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez and center Alex Mack. The good news for the Vikings is that Mack's signing could help open the door for Harvin.

As is often the case, some agents and teams will see what other players sign for before putting a concrete offer on the table. The signing of the two QBs does nothing in that regard, since quarterbacks are paid more than any other player on draft day and Sanchez, the fifth overall pick, can expect a bigger deal than the player taken in front of him. The good news for the Vikings is that Mack was the 21st pick – the selection made by Cleveland directly before the Vikings took Harvin.

If the Vikings are to get both Harvin and Loadholt in camp on time, the work on those contracts will have to come quickly. But, as we've learned in previous years and more recently with the re-signing of Antoine Winfield, once talks begin, things can happen in a hurry.

MONDAY NOTES

  • Terms of Mack's contract were not immediately available, but it is rumored to be a five-year deal.

  • On his Twitter page over the weekend, Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said he would like to see the preseason shortened, saying four games isn't necessary when you have the rigors of a 16-game regular season.

  • Word out of Detroit is that Matthew Stafford will be given every opportunity to beat out Daunte Culpepper during the preseason for the starting QB job but, that for time being, Pepp will be the starter.


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