Roster deadline could spur trades

The Vikings have to trim their roster to 53 players on Saturday. Will that deadline bring teams calling to inquire about a trade for Tarvaris Jackson? The market is there, but will the price be right?

There is growing speculation that, when push comes to shove, if the Vikings can get something of value in return for Tarvaris Jackson, the team will attempt to trade the former starting quarterback prior to the 4 p.m. Saturday deadline for submitting the list of players who have been cut to get the roster down to 53 players.

The trading of players is nothing new, but in recent years we have seen an increase in players being traded prior to the final cut-downs, allowing teams with a need at a position not to have make waiver claims for players and risk losing them if a team that is assigned above them on the waiver food chain makes a claim of its own. For those players not subject to waivers, a trade keeps the bidding war out of the process since the new team just accepts his current contract.

What was a bit surprising was that three trades went down in the 24 hours prior to rosters merely being trimmed to 75 players. Houston announced shortly before Monday's game with the Vikings that it had traded defensive lineman Travis Johnson, a former first-round pick, to San Diego for what will either be a fifth- or sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft. On Tuesday, Cleveland traded DT Louis Leonard to Carolina for an undisclosed pick and the Rams traded CB Tye Hill – the 15th pick in the 2006 draft – to Atlanta for a 2010 seventh-rounder in next year's draft.

With speculation swirling that quarterbacks like Jackson, Tyler Thigpen of Kansas City and A.J. Feeley of Philadelphia are or were being shopped by their current teams, we could see an unusual flurry of activity Friday and Saturday before the final cuts need to be made. Teams may not necessarily be scanning the waiver wire this year, but rather looking to lock down a player that is going to be cut via a trade in hopes of avoiding competition to sign him.

Because the Vikings are one of just six teams closing out their preseason on Friday, they may be at something of a disadvantage, as other teams with needs at QB may go looking elsewhere on Friday, while the Vikings will try to potentially showcase Jackson on Friday night.


  • Don't be surprised if Brett Favre is a little lighter in the wallet later this week after his crackback block on Texans safety Eugene Wilson on a Wildcat play run to his side of the field. After the game, Wilson said, "I didn't see it coming. He hit me low and that was it for me for the night. Of course it makes you mad. It was a tough blow. I'm happy to be walking. I was hurt."

    Wilson is expected to be ready for the regular season opener in a little less than two weeks.

  • It would appear something is up at Lions camp. Daunte Culpepper was missing from practice Tuesday, the same day the Lions claimed QB Kevin O'Connell off waivers from the Patriots and signed former Viking Brooks Bollinger. Culpepper has a cut on his foot that required eight stitches, but he and Matthew Stafford are set as the top QBs and No. 3 QB Drew Stanton likely to be placed on injured reserve with torn cartilage in his knee – even though the injury isn't expected to have a rehab time beyond midseason. Keep an eye on the Lions over the coming days because, as it currently stands, they have five quarterbacks on their roster.

  • While the Patriots didn't want O'Connell, others didn't share that sentiment. Waiver claims for him were apparently made by Detroit, Denver, Cleveland and the Jets.

  • Former Viking offensive tackle Marcus Johnson was among the cuts made late Monday by the Raiders.

  • Former Viking wide receiver Martin Nance was one of the initial cuts made by the Steelers to get down to 75 players.

  • Sometimes there are franchises that just seem like they're cursed. In the NFL, it is the Cincinnati Bengals. Free agents rarely want to sign there. They have trouble signing draft picks and few of their star players want to stay … unless they overspend to keep them. Just two days after ending his 30-day-long holdout, sixth overall draft pick Andre Smith suffered a fracture in his foot in a non-contact drill and is expected to be out two to four weeks. On Monday, he agreed to a six-year contract that could be worth up to $42 million, with half of that in guaranteed money.

  • From the You Can't Make This Up Department comes this: Through three preseason games, former Viking Troy Williamson, now with the Jaguars, leads all NFL receivers with 232 receiving yards, made even more impressive by the fact he has just eight receptions – an average of 29 yards per reception.

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