VU Daily Blog: 6/11/10

Injured Vikings and other previous absences returned to practice, Daunte Culpepper returned to football, the Vikings appear to be hitting on the right deals, and much more. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progresses through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted on Twitter at: 10:08:00 PM
Harvin bulks up, underdog mentality remains: Percy Harvin came back to Minnesota noticeably heavier this year, but... http://bit.ly/d98eAb

Posted on Twitter at: 8:32:00 PM
Robison was working with #Vikings first team. RT @Brian_Robison: RT @bbarnes333: @Brian_Robison First team reps??--- can't divulge that

Posted on Twitter at: 8:31:00 PM
Childress on Harvin's weight increase: "With big comes strong." Much more from Harvin for subscribers here: http://bit.ly/a4pCfR #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 8:17:00 PM
Peterson's absence irks Childress: Vikings coach Brad Childress didn't seem too pleased that his star running back... http://bit.ly/cl0UE8

Posted on Twitter at: 7:32:00 PM
More Allen on Favre: "I really don't know how we're going to do this whole weekend without him being here. I'm sure we'll survive." #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 7:32:00 PM
Jared Allen joking about Favre not at #Vikings practice: "It was hard to get through practice today ..." (cont)

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 7:10:00 PM

Injured Vikings participate to varying degrees

The arrival of minicamp put a better perspective on the progress some players are making in their return from injuries and surgeries.

The biggest surprise may have been that E.J. Henderson participated in some of the less taxing portions of team drills in Friday's initial minicamp practice. Henderson fractured his femur in a gruesome December injury and has been making steady progress toward his goal of being ready by training camp.

"He did a nice job out here today. I know he was excited to get out here, move around with the guys, get through some individual drills," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "I wish I could tell you that it surprised me with how he's attacked this thing."

"… The body is amazing, but he hasn't had a whole heck of a lot of setbacks. Maybe we will see some down the line here, but I haven't seen any of them."

Cedric Griffin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the NFC Championship Game nearly five months ago, is also hoping to be ready for the regular-season opener. That's an aggressive timeline, and he was more limited than Henderson.

Griffin stretched with the team but didn't participate in team drills. That was the protocol for some other veterans who had offseason surgeries as well, including Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) and Chad Greenway (unknown).

"I can't figure out why he wasn't out here," Childress, who sometimes hesitates to talk about injuries during the offseason, said of Greenway. "I was kind of focused on E.J. Henderson. I will go in and find out."

Childress said Hutchinson's shoulder is "good," but Ryan Cook took most of the first-team snaps at left guard.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield also returned to action for the first time since the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship Game. Winfield missed six games during the regular season and was limited the rest of the season, but didn't show any ill effects of his fractured foot.

Cornerback Chris Cook was limited during practice as well, but Childress didn't get into specifics with his ailment.

"Everybody has their little nicks and knacks. I don't have to give you an injury report, so I won't," Childress said. "A guy can get his foot stepped on with a spike. We do have spikes on. It's not a no-spike ordinance or anything like that."

Childress cautioned that minicamp practices are no-contact sessions, per NFL rules, but he joked that "pretty soon we'll be hitting each other with our purse."

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Posted on Twitter at: 6:23:00 PM
More on what Brad Childress had to say about Adrian Peterson missing mandatory minicamp: http://bit.ly/9KipLR #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Payne keeps plugging along: Former Gophers receiver Logan Payne is still trying to find his way in the NFL, but he... http://bit.ly/9ua8er

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Minicamp starts answering several questions: Minicamp weekend brings the vast majority of the Vikings players toge... http://bit.ly/bbRgJR

Posted on Twitter at: 6:20:00 PM
Brinkley targeted for the middle?: With E.J. Henderson not ready to participate fully in practices, Jasper Brinkle... http://bit.ly/b00hdD

Posted on Twitter at: 5:31:00 PM
Childress did not appear as concerned with Ray Edwards' absence, calling it a business decision, and calling Edwards a hard worker. #vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 5:29:00 PM
Childress said he found out this week that Peterson wasn't going to be here and he doesn't expect him Sunday either. #Vikings

Posted on Twitter at: 5:28:00 PM
#Vikings coach Brad Childress did not say if Adrian Peterson's absence for AD Day in Palestine would be excused, but he wasn't happy.

Posted on Twitter at: 5:28:00 PM
Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Ray Edwards and WR Aaron Rhea were missing at the #Vikings opening day of minicamp.

Posted on Twitter at: 1:39:00 PM
The #Vikings have moved their first minicamp practice up a half hour to 3:15 p.m., likely in an attempt to beat rain forecasted later.

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 12:23:00 PM

Culpepper didn't want to be a backup

By the end of Friday afternoon and throughout minicamp weekend, there will be plenty of focus on the Vikings' current crop of quarterbacks.

However, former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, whose career in Minnesota ended when Brad Childress took over as head coach in 2006, talked about his decision to play in the UFL with the Sacramento Mountain Lions during an interview with KHTK in Sacramento. Culpepper told the radio station that he wasn't interested in becoming a backup again this year in the NFL.

"That's the part of me where I'm saying, ‘I'm not 40.' People feel like that a guy that's 40 that wants to play is going to be a guy that's a mentor to a guy and hold the clipboard. I'm not just at that point right now," Culpepper said, via sportsradiointerviews.com. "I'm a realist. If I'm at the point where my skills are diminished and I can't do the things I want to do on the field, then I understand that could be my role. At this point in my career, I'm just not comfortable with that role. … I didn't want to be sitting, waiting on somebody to call or waiting on someone to get injured in the NFL. I figured if I want to be the best I can be this year, I need to be playing. That's why I'm here."

Culpepper will also be playing for former Vikings coach Dennis Green, who made Culpepper the 11th pick of the 1999 draft.

"He's a coach that motivates his players. He's a high-energy coach. He's been successful because of that. He pays attention to detail and the little things," Culpepper said. "I am very glad and very proud to have been coached by him and to be back with him again."

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:05:00 AM

Vikings hitting the right deals?

The Vikings might be on the right track with most of their player contracts if a FoxSports.com listing of the top 10 overpaid and underpaid players is any indication.

The Vikings didn't make either list, but they have a connection to a couple of players listed.

Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who wants to be traded and has been rumored as a Vikings interest (don't count on it), is the top overpaid player, according to FoxSports.com's John Czarnecki.

"It was no April Fool's joke when the Redskins had to pay $21 million on April 1, fulfilling a bulk of the $41 million guaranteed for this DT who hasn't shown up for OTAs," Czarnecki wrote. "What an ingrate. Haynesworth has cashed $32 million from the 'Skins in 14 months and is mad about switching to a 3-4 D, staying home to count his wad. June 16 is his first mandatory minicamp, but he can afford the fines. Yes, he can be dominating and is apparently over anger-management issues, but where's the responsibility and loyalty to owner Daniel Snyder?"

We wrote earlier this week about how Adrian Peterson is being fairly compensated when compared to the top yardage-producing backs from 2009 – Chris Johnson and Ray Rice. Johnson is second on Czarnecki's list of top underpaid players, right behind Patriots WR Wes Welker.

"He's the game's second-best runner behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, but has outgrown his original deal in 2008 ($12 million over five years)," Czarnecki wrote about Johnson. "Yes, he got $7 million guaranteed, but his base salary this season is only $550,000. That doesn't seem right for a speedster who ran for 2,006 yards and added another 503 as a receiver. A true game-breaker, where would Tennessee be without him? If he was the starting QB, he'd have a new contract."

Credit the Vikings front office for making some astute deals in previous years, but they will have some more challenges ahead of them in the coming years.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 8:59:00 AM

Winfield, Rice, Harvin at minicamp

The biggest question leading up to minicamp is who would attend. QB Brett Favre and DE Ray Edwards aren't expected, but a few question marks are in attendance Friday.

According to vikings.com, CB Antoine Winfield and WRs Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin are all at Winter Park. Winfield didn't attend the voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) over the previous month and it isn't clear yet if his foot is sufficiently healed from an in-season fracture to participate fully this weekend, but he is at least attending. Rice and Harvin weren't at any of the OTAs open to the media and this is believed to be their first practice of the offseason.

It's unclear if Adrian Peterson is attending any sessions. He is expected to miss at least Saturday's two practices because of Adrian Peterson Day in his hometown of Palestine, Texas, but the star running back was at Winter Park earlier this week to get in some work.

We will have updates on the VU Daily Blog after the 3:45 p.m. practice concludes and have numerous blog entries and stories on VikingUpdate.com throughout the weekend as minicamp continues.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 8:10:00 AM

Weather likely to alter minicamp

Overall, the Vikings have had pretty good weather for their organized team activities to date, but it's looking like the main set of practices this offseason – the mandatory minicamp this weekend – will be affected by the weather.

An overnight storm in the Twin Cities temporary knocked out power in some places and drenched the area. The Winter Park practice fields drain pretty well and the forecast calls for a break in the drizzle and scattered showers in the early afternoon. However, by the time the Vikings' first practice is schedule to start at 3:45 p.m. Friday, the forecast calls for thunderstorms again.

The Vikings have two practices scheduled for Saturday and a final practice on Sunday morning.

Saturday's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before the system blows over on Sunday. Temperatures would be ideal for outdoor practices, with highs scheduled for the low 70s, but the way it's looking most of the practices could be held indoors on the less forgiving FieldTurf in the Vikings' fieldhouse.

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Posted on Twitter at: 4:20:00 PM
NFL Transaction Wire Blog (6/7-6/13): The rookie signings are starting to trickle in, but they won't pick up in ea... http://bit.ly/cgpPru

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