VikingBuzz BLOG: Tomlinson, Kennedy on visits

It appears the Vikings may be on a verge of losing their lone remaining unrestricted free agent, but also on the verge of adding another well-known player to their offensive backfield.

Kennedy to visit Bills

According to NFL Network, the Vikings' lone unsigned unrestricted free agent, DT Jimmy Kennedy, is scheduled to visit the Buffalo Bills on Thursday.

Interestingly, he would be the third former No. 1 pick at defensive tackle if he signs with the Bills. Kennedy (drafted No. 12 overall by the Rams in 2003) would join Marcus Stroud (No. 13 overall by Jacksonville in 2001) and John McCargo (No. 26 overall by Buffalo in 2006), along with another ex-Viking, Spencer Johnson, at defensive tackle on their depth chart.

Kennedy gave the Vikings some quality snaps this past season. He played in 13 games (one start) in 2009, matching his career high with 3.0 sacks while compiling 29 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, seven QB hurries and one pass deflection. He posted another sack of Dallas QB Tony Romo in the team's Divisional Playoff game.

The Vikings would like him back, but Kennedy is on the record as seeking a multi-year contract and top dollar. The fact that he's making the visit suggests that there's a gap between the team's offer and Kennedy's expectations at this point.

Analysis: It would be nice to keep Kennedy for depth behind Pat Williams in the rotation at defensive tackle, but it remains somewhat questionable whether he is the true successor to "Big Pat." It's looking like the Vikings will lose Kennedy.

Tomlinson visit underway

Multiple reports confirm that the team's visit with former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was underway Wednesday evening.

Reports are that head coach Brad Childress, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and running backs coach Eric Bienemy are among those breaking bread with Tomlinson. Fellow native Texan Pat Williams is also reportedly in the mix, after a day in court testifying at the StarCaps trial.

Analysis: The Vikings are putting their best foot forward to land Tomlinson it appears. He is reported to have another visit option later, but this is a good fit for both sides. It's as good a chance to win as Tomlinson will find. His role behind Adrian Peterson could conceivably lengthen his playing career. Tomlinson catches the ball extremely well, can pick up the blitz effectively, and can still run the ball effectively. He would also be a great mentor in the finer points of the game to Peterson. With all due respect to Chester Taylor, how is Tomlinson not at the very least an upgrade?

Extra Points

You can cross Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson off the list of potential signees for the Vikings. Jackson agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson said on SIRIUS NFL Radio that he will be ready for the start of training camp. Jackson, who suffered a torn ACL last season, said he is going to move to free safety and also play some nickel back with the Eagles next year.

Former Vikings center Matt Birk and his wife, Adrianna, recently welcomed a baby boy to their family, their fourth child.

Tight end Stephen Spach, who went to training camp in 2007 and spent some time on the Vikings practice squad, has re-signed with the Arizona Cardinals.

Here's a blast from the past for hardcore Viking fans who remember players from the team's 3-13 team of 1984: Defensive end Hassan Arbubakkr, from that squad, has a son who's is earning notice as a freshman college basketball player. Arbubakkr's son, Hassan Whiteside Marshall, is a 7-foot center who leads the nation with 168 blocked shots this season, the 11th-most by a player in NCAA history. He already has a Conference USA-record three triple-doubles this year. NBA scouts have been following Whiteside all season.

Kevin Brown has been providing personnel analysis and writing about the Vikings for more than 20 years with Viking Update. Follow VU on Twitter and discuss this and other topics on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


Viking Update Top Stories