Half of Vikings' RFA sign tenders

Three of the Vikings' six tendered restricted free agents signed their one-year contracts with the team. Ryan Cook, Fred Evans and Eric Frampton each had contributing roles last year that could be increased in 2010.

The Vikings took care of some pre-draft business Monday, signing three of their own restricted free agents to their tendered contract offers.

Offensive lineman Ryan Cook, defensive tackle Fred Evans and defensive back/special-teamer Eric Frampton all signed one-year deals. All three are expected to have supporting roles with the team, but each could be an important piece of the puzzle for the Vikings.

The Vikings are still awaiting word as to whether Pat Williams and Kevin Williams will be subject to a four-game suspension if Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson rules in favor of the NFL in the StarCaps case. If the Williamses lose in court, Evans probably will be thrust into the starting lineup with Jimmy Kennedy, making his role with the team even more vital. Evans will make $1.759 million after being tendered at a second-round level.

Cook is also expected to have a minor, but important role with the Vikings offense. With Artis Hicks gone to Washington via free agency, Cook is expected to take on the role of offensive line swingman, a primary backup at as many as five different line positions. Cook was tendered at a third-round level worth $1.176 million for 2010.

Frampton, who is a safety by trade, has been a standout on special teams, which showed dramatic improvement in 2009 after being the Achilles heel of the team in 2008. Frampton will make $1.1 million in 2010 after being tendered at the original-round level.

While these signings aren't the kind of blockbusters that have fans on their edge of their seats, they are the kind of required signings that the Vikings need if they are going to make a run for the Super Bowl appearance that so narrowly eluded them last season.

The Vikings have three restricted free agents left to sign their tenders – DE Ray Edwards, QB Tarvaris Jackson and fullback Naufahu Tahi. They can receive offers from other teams through Thursday.


  • Vikings defensive end Jared Allen won't be involved in the draft next weekend. Instead, he's going to be in the corner of Alex Karalexis, a longtime friend, when he competes in a mixed martial arts bout in Sacramento. Allen is calling his role with Karalexis' training the "Mullet Militia" – with Allen as the leader of the pack.

  • According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers have been quietly opening the lines of communications with the agent for running back Brian Westbrook, whose name surfaced as an option to replace Chester Taylor almost immediately after LaDainian Tomlinson rejected the Vikings offer to sign with the Jets. Like the Vikings, the Packers run an offense very similar to that of the Eagles, where Westbrook spent his entire career.

  • The Vikings are listed as one of the four teams that have expressed the most interest in Oklahoma cornerback Dominique Franks, according to the National Football Post website. Other teams said to be interested include the Patriots, Ravens, Steelers and Texans.

  • The Rams are scheduled to meet with quarterback Sam Bradford today and tomorrow in St. Louis. Bradford is the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, which is currently held by the Rams.

  • Eight more players confirmed that they will attend the draft next week, including Bradford, running backs C.J. Spiller and Jahvid Best, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, defensive tackle Lamarr Houston and cornerbacks Joe Haden and Brandon Ghee.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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