Kleinsasser to Get Tagged

Barring a late negotiation session -- looking more unlikely now -- tight end Jim Kleinsasser will get slapped with the transition free agent tag tomorrow.

The Vikings have always been hesitant to use the franchise tag and transition free-agent tag allowed them by NFL collective bargaining rules. In fact, the Vikings have never actually had to use a franchise tag -- instead signing players before the tag ever had to take effect.

The same doesn't look to be true for the transition free-agent tag, as the team has until mid-afternoon tomorrow to sign Jim Kleinsasser, put the transition free-agent label on him or allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Mike Tice continues to say that Kleinsasser definitely will be back, but VU has been told by a Cowboys source that, if Kleinsasser hits the open market, the Cowboys are willing to offer him a deal the Vikings may not be willing to match. That is yet to be seen, but all indications from the Kleinsasser camp is that he wants to stay.

The best option for both sides is to make the transition tag moot and get him signed by Feb. 27. As of Feb. 28, he's a free agent and all bets are off.

* What's the deal on Rien Long? He's climbed up draft boards as much as anyone over the last month and some local and national sources have him going to the Vikings at No. 7 in April's draft. Yet, coming off injuries from last year and recent reports of an awful pre-Combine workout, his stock could drop if he doesn't put in a huge performance this week in Indianapolis.
* KFAN-AM talk show host and friend of VU Paul Allen has been re-hired as the team's radio play-by-play man. On-air cohorts Joe Senser and Greg Coleman are also expected back next year. KFAN has the rights to Vikings radio broadcasts for the next two years under the current contract.

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