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.