For every move, another conspiracy theory

Tarvaris Jackson signing his tender has the conspiracy theorists and speculation leaders trying to make a connection to the Vikings drafting Tim Tebow and then trading Jackson. The good news? We're only a few days from finding out the truth.

Let the pre-draft conspiracy theories begin.

There's an axiom about pre-draft chatter that says you are supposed to believe none of what you hear and only about half of what you see. Subterfuge, misdirection and flat-out lying have become part of the game when it comes to draft talk. The Redskins, for example, traded their second-round pick in Friday's portion of the draft to get Donovan McNabb, yet new head coach Mike Shanahan, one of the foremost pre-draft liars, has said they still might take QB Jimmy Clausen with the fourth pick Thursday – the only pick the Redskins have in the top 100 selections. It's just part of the stealth teams put out prior to the draft in hopes of disguising their true intentions and to spark potential trades with teams that take the chatter seriously.

As a result of not being able to trust what is said and done by teams, Tarvaris Jackson's signing of his tender Monday has the conspiracy theorists working in overdrive that it might signal the Vikings are going to use their first-round pick to draft Florida QB Tim Tebow.

As the story goes, if the Vikings draft Tebow, Jackson or Sage Rosenfels will be traded for a mid- to late-round draft pick. We have seen other players, most recently wide receiver Brandon Marshall, sign their tenders only to be traded within a matter of days. Jackson had stated earlier that if he wasn't going to be the starter in Minnesota, he would prefer to be traded. With Brett Favre expected to return for another season, it would appear that T-Jack won't be the starter, yet he still signed his tender.

Is that a sign that the Vikings will take Tebow with their first-round pick and try to trade either Jackson or Rosenfels to make room for him on the roster? We'll find out for sure Thursday night.


  • After weeks of delays, the 2010 NFL schedule will finally be released tonight. The Vikings are expected to have their rematch with the Saints on the Thursday night season opener and, with the league apparently on board that Favre will return and looking to cash in, expect to see the Vikings get at least three prime-time games – a Thursday game and at least one Sunday night/Monday night prime-time game. In addition, don't be surprised if the Vikings have a few 3:15 p.m. games to maximize their fan appeal in the late-afternoon national games.

  • With the trade of Tony Scheffler Monday, the Broncos have all but imploded their greatest draft class in the last 20 years. In the 2006 draft, the Broncos added QB Jay Cutler, Scheffler, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and sack specialist Elvis Dumervil. With Monday's trade, Dumervil is the only player remaining and the Broncos have to give him the highest tender – a first- and third-round pick as compensation if signed by another team – to prevent him from going.

  • The Lions have officially given up on linebacker Ernie Sims. Taken with the ninth pick in the 2006 draft, the Eagles acquired Sims in the three-way trade with the Lions and Broncos for a fifth-round pick. Sims was the first linebacker taken in that draft, followed 11 picks later by the Vikings selecting Chad Greenway.

  • The Vikings announced a new TV partnership deal with KARE-TV, the local Twin Cities NBC affiliate, to broadcast the Vikings preseason games as well as the team-produced shows "Vikings Weekly" and "Vikings GamePlan." The two shows, which have been running on FOX Sports North, will expand from 17 episodes to 27 this year. KSTP-TV, the local ABC affiliate, had carried Vikings preseason games for the last 11 seasons.

  • The preseason TV announcing team of Ari Wolfe and Mike Mayock of the NFL Network will remain the same despite the switch of networks.

  • Ray Edwards is now the only Viking that hasn't signed his tendered offer.

  • Brad Childress and Rick Spielman will conduct their pre-draft press conference today at Winter Park. Fans shouldn't expect any earth-shattering news from the war room front men since neither has a reputation of tipping his draft hand on specific players or even what positions they're looking at filling early in the draft.

    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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