Vikes Serious About O'Donnell

The future of Todd Bouman with the Vikings could well be out of his own hands, as the Vikings could take the $1.85 million he's scheduled to make this year and turn it into a two-year deal for Neil O'Donnell.

In yesterday's update, VU mentioned we caught a whiff that reports of Mark Rypien being viewed as a Vikings backup QB could change if the Vikes moved quick on Titans QB Neil O'Donnell -- released Thursday for salary cap reasons.

What a difference a day makes. Not only are the Vikings interested, VU has been told by a deep Vikings source that O'Donnell is scheduled to be at Winter Park Tuesday and the Vikes are going to make every move possible to see that he leaves the Twin Cities signed and sealed with the Vikings.

While O'Donnell, like every other QB in the league, wants to be a starter, the handwriting is on the wall with the Titans. Steve McNair didn't practice for the last two months of the season -- O'Donnell took all snaps with the first team. Yet, when gametime came around, McNair started.

From what VU has been told by those close to O'Donnell, he isn't happy about the Titans stance toward him -- they want him back, but for less. While he would still be a backup to Daunte Culpepper, he -- from what we're told -- sees more of a future here than he does in Tennessee. If Culpepper doesn't practice, he won't start.

If O'Donnell comes and goes from Minnesota Tuesday without a contract, the odds of signing him will be slim, but, if he inks a deal, Todd Bouman's days as a Viking are all but over.

* Rob Brzezinski is headed out to Indianapolis. Why is this important? He's headed there to talk to Jimmy Sexton, the agent for Jim Kleinsasser. Brzezinski is the point man on all big signings and the fact that he has been summoned to meet with Sexton and the brass of the Vikes at the Combine means a long-term deal with Kleinsasser and the elimination of the franchise tag may be imminent.
* In Combine news passed along to VU that has a direct impact on the No. 7 selection, two stories have surfaced. First is that Marshall QB Byron Leftwich is still injured from his broken ankle and that his stock will likely slip past the Vikes. If that happens, Chicago, which had forseen Leftwich as their next QB, will likely let him slide. So, too, from what we're hearing, may Carolina at No. 9. If that happens, expect a flurry of trade activity from teams looking to move into the spots at Nos. 10-13 to get a shot at him. The second concerns DE Terrell Suggs. While most scouts have him going at No. 6 to Arizona, he's been working out at LB. If that's the case and he can prove his worth, the Vikes might consider pulling a deal with Dallas like the Cowboys did with the Chiefs last year -- letting K.C. move ahead of the Vikes to take Ryan Sims, while Dallas dropped two spots and still got the guy the wanted in safety Roy Williams.
* VU has been told by a league source that Randy Moss will get no punitive action taken against him by the league for his part in a much-publicized traffic incident last fall. A marijuana joint was found in Moss' vehicle, but, because the drug charges were dropped, it won't count against the strikes he already has with league's substance abuse policy. Moss is still subject to league sanction as a Level II subatance abuse player and, any positive tests for drugs will result in a suspension of one to four games. That said, he has no repeat problems from the traffic incident, which, in the league's eyes, didn't happen.
* TE Byron Chamberlain has every reason to be concerned, considering Kleinsasser was named a franchise player. But, word at the Combine was that Chamberlain has been working out in Arizona and is in the best shape he's ever been for an off-season. While his always-locking-up knee is still a concern, he's ready to be a big contributor this season.

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