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Jordan
03-05-2006, 02:59 PM
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/14024355.htm

The Vikings haven't won any regular-season titles in a while. But once again they are the undisputed offseason champions, with an NFL-high $24 million in salary cap space.

With the blessing of owner Zygi Wilf to build a Super Bowl contender, Minnesota is poised to be a major player in free agency, especially with roughly half the teams in the league struggling to get under the salary cap.
The influence of Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings' vice president of football operations, appears as strong as ever. With the exception of cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, Minnesota has been leery of investing too heavily in players from other teams and engaging in bidding wars with other clubs.

The Vikings also generally avoid the most high-profile free agents.
This year could be an exception.
Minnesota could land some superstar players in their primes at discounted salaries because so many teams are up against the 2006 salary cap.
Here's a look at the Vikings' needs and some top prospects, in order of importance.

RUNNING BACK
Minnesota was high on Maurice Morris, Shaun Alexander's backup in Seattle, early last week. But with little progress made toward ratification of the collective bargaining agreement, the Vikings realized they could get much more for much less.
The plum they could be eyeing: four-time Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James.

With a glut of talented rookies and veterans, James might not get the blockbuster contract he covets. But here's an X-factor: Brzezinski and agent Drew Rosenhaus have done several deals and have respect for each other, based partly on their Miami ties.
James is unlikely to agree to a multiyear deal if he isn't satisfied with the signing bonus, so he might be inclined to audition for one year with Minnesota.

Baltimore's Chester Taylor also would be a good fit. But the Ravens are aggressively trying to re-sign him, and the Seahawks are taking the same approach with Alexander.
So far, the Vikings have shown no interest in Jamal Lewis, who isn't the ideal fit for a West Coast offense.
Morris, however, remains an attractive option to Minnesota.

LINEBACKER
The Vikings realize this is the weakest position on their roster, and they are aggressively addressing it. The buzz around the NFL is that Minnesota has already agreed in principle on a multiyear deal with outside linebacker Ben Leber, who played the past four seasons for the San Diego Chargers. Leber could land a $7 million signing bonus and a contract that averages $4 million a year, a whopping figure for a player with 212 career tackles.
But Leber is big (6 feet 3, 244 pounds) and athletic, and Fran Foley, the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, knows him well from their days with the Chargers.
Leber, however, might not be Minnesota's last foray into free agency at linebacker. While the Vikings would like to add a veteran to the middle, the current crop of players is modest, headed by three veterans (Sam Cowart, Derek Smith and restricted free agent Matt Wilhelm) who aren't known for their range and speed.
Two cover two middle linebackers available are Rob Morris and Rocky Calmus, former teammates with the Indianapolis Colts.
Minnesota could get a bargain at weak-side linebacker. The top player at that spot is Will Witherspoon, a standout for the Carolina Panthers. But he could be very expensive — commanding a signing bonus of more than $12 million — and it's unclear if the Vikings would pay that much. Players who could come at a discount include Julian Peterson, David Thornton and Akin Ayodele.

A few years ago, Peterson was one of the NFL's most dominant linebackers. But injuries have slowed him, and he could thrive with a change of scenery.

GUARD
The Vikings apparently have targeted guards who also can play center, an indication they don't want to be caught in a situation such as last year's, when they had to scramble right before the season to land Melvin Fowler in a trade after Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was lost for the season.
Minnesota has signed Jason Whittle, formerly of the New York Giants, and has expressed interest in Pro Bowl guard/center LeCharles Bentley, who disputed published reports that he has agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. He told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday that he planned to sign with the Eagles as early as Monday, when free agency is scheduled to open.

Bentley of the New Orleans Saints and Steve Hutchinson of the Seahawks are the only elite guards available in free agency, and both will command signing bonuses of at least $10 million. But during his short tenure Vikings coach Brad Childress has emphasized the importance of the offensive and defensive lines several times. To that end, Minnesota could make a strong push to sign Hutchinson or Bentley.

There also have been reports that the Vikings are interested in restricted free agents Kris Dielman (Chargers) and Sean Mahan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
But the best fit might be Toniu Fonoti, who was acquired in a trade last season. Fonoti, though, wants to test the market and try to land a lucrative deal.

Two other veterans worth watching are Ross Tucker and Stephen Neal, both of whom played for the New England Patriots last season.
KICKER

So far, Minnesota hasn't been very proactive in trying to re-sign Paul Edinger. Perhaps that's because the market for veteran kickers is so deep. The marquee names are Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt. More reasonably priced options might be longtime Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell or Matt Bryant, a Buccaneer last season.

SAFETY
Although the Vikings re-signed Willie Offord, they can't bank on him to start opposite Darren Sharper next season. Offord is coming off major knee surgery and has shown only flashes in his four NFL seasons.
Signing a proven veteran at a modest salary to compete with Offord would appear to make sense. Players who could interest Minnesota are Lawyer Milloy, Marlon McCree, Lance Schulters, Tank Williams and Ifeanyi Ohalete.
Another intriguing option is Dexter Jackson, who played for new Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin with the Buccaneers. Although Jackson is a free safety, the two positions are interchangeable in many ways in the cover two defense.

BEST OF THE REST
Rumors persist that quarterback Daunte Culpepper is being shopped, which means Minnesota could be in the market for a quarterback. Drew Brees in the class of the field, and he too has ties to Foley. But, just like Culpepper, Brees is coming off a serious injury. Other than Brees, anyone else would walk into Winter Park as Brad Johnson's backup.
Last year, the Vikings made a run at Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman. But they haven't shown any interest this year, apparently confident with their defensive line depth. But at the right price, Minnesota gladly would upgrade at any position, including receiver, especially if Koren Robinson isn't re-signed.

The collective bargaining agreement could determine the Vikings' success in free agency. Without an extension, Minnesota would be one of about a dozen teams with plenty of salary cap space, which is needed to sign top-tier players. Signing bonuses can be spread only over four years, which means the cap impact will be immediate for clubs.

Without a CBA deal, today could become Bloody Sunday, with teams scrambling to get below the $94.5 million salary cap by purging their roster of proven players. With the ultimate buyer's market, the Vikings could be very selective about whom to sign and even land stars to one-year deals as they prepare for 2007, when there would be no salary cap.
If there is a deal, Minnesota would lose that advantage and have to compete with more teams for the elite players.

Jordan
03-05-2006, 03:04 PM
To me though that contract is a little high for his caliber(6yrs. 24mil. with a 7mil. signing bonus) but i agree he's a big guy at 6'3 244lbs that's the perfect type of LB we need here in Minny. A LB that's fast athletic and physical.

GOOD JOB ON EVERYTHING FRONT OFFICE EXCEPT 4 THE CONTRACT NUMBERS!!

BBQ Platypus
03-05-2006, 03:23 PM
Hmm...that does sound a bit high...and athletic LB's aren't necessarily the best. Let's see what he's got between the ears. I think he might have the potential to be a good Cover 2 LB, but we'll see.

At safety, I would actually like to see Chavous come back. I like the guy. He's a smart player and I don't really see what the problem is.

We definitely need some improvement at the guard spot. 'Nuff said. We all know that our two guards leave a lot to be desired.

This looks to be one exciting offseason. As long as 'Pep doesn't get traded, it should be an enjoyable one, too.

CrazyVikingsFan
03-05-2006, 03:46 PM
hey singer i know this is off topic but i found one of those things that is in your avatar and it is my good luck charm.

JDante
03-05-2006, 05:00 PM
I still say we get Ray Lewis. Hes a monster. And an experienced Middle Linebacker along with Darren Sharper will give us some veteren leadership on our defense.

Only thing is i dont know if he would fit into the Tampa Cover 2...

JDante
03-05-2006, 05:06 PM
I still say we get Ray Lewis. Hes a monster. And an experienced Middle Linebacker along with Darren Sharper will give us some veteren leadership on our defense.

Only thing is i dont know if he would fit into the Tampa Cover 2...

VikesfaninWis
03-05-2006, 05:06 PM
It sounds good. The money may be to much for that LB. At S I would really like to see Dexter Jackson in here. He already knows the system and has excelled at it, who better to bring in than that? I would really love to see the Vikes get Edgerrin James, the guy is a beast, and what we need behind QB.

Now on to the QB position. This whole scenario with Pepp and Childress is what concerns me. Pepp is coming back from a horrible injury, one in which we have no idea if he can come completely back from. If Drew Brees proves to be healthy, I say go for him. Brees is better suited for the WCO than Pepp is. We know whatever team goes after Brees their team doctors will be looking him over making sure the investment isn't for nothing.

Now with all that said. ESPN has said that there is talks that something can be agreed upon with the CBA. All I know is that these idiots better not delay FA again because they don't know how to talk and get crap straigtened out. I personally would like to see NO DEAL made so we have leverage... On the other hand, another team that is right there with us in cap space is the Cheese. Now if there is a deal made then it comes down to which team has a better chance to win the SB next season. I think we hold that over the packers..

NordicNed
03-05-2006, 05:07 PM
Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

Let the Games Begin.....

Wiggles67
03-05-2006, 06:05 PM
"VikingNed" wrote:

Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

Let the Games Begin.....

Ned I do believe your right with the idea that they see something the rest of us dont. And I would love for us to find a diamond in the rough but honestly from the way this guy sounds we should have been able to land him easily with have that salary. I dont have any problems with this guy, he seems like he should be a solid LB but there's no reason to throw an extra truck load of money at a guy we should have been able to get for a lot less. We need to use this cap money very wisely!

FedjeViking
03-05-2006, 06:10 PM
"K-Rob18" wrote:

hey singer i know this is off topic but i found one of those things that is in your avatar and it is my good luck charm.

It's one of those pewter keyrings. I have one hanging from my rear view mirror.

NordicNed
03-05-2006, 06:21 PM
"Wiggles67" wrote:

"VikingNed" wrote:

Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

Let the Games Begin.....

Ned I do believe your right with the idea that they see something the rest of us dont. And I would love for us to find a diamond in the rough but honestly from the way this guy sounds we should have been able to land him easily with have that salary. I dont have any problems with this guy, he seems like he should be a solid LB but there's no reason to throw an extra truck load of money at a guy we should have been able to get for a lot less. We need to use this cap money very wisely!

What it comes down to is, the office, scouts, coaches, know things we don't.

Maybe he was recieving offers from others also, maybe he had hangups with his coach or position coach, that kind of held him back from doing what he does best....Like Hovan was....

He may just well be worth every cent......The coaches would know this.....

singersp
03-05-2006, 06:22 PM
"Wiggles67" wrote:

"VikingNed" wrote:

Maybe Tomkin and Childress see something about Leber that we don't know about.

With those kind of signing numbers, tells me they want him to be a starter.....

Let the Games Begin.....

Ned I do believe your right with the idea that they see something the rest of us dont. And I would love for us to find a diamond in the rough but honestly from the way this guy sounds we should have been able to land him easily with have that salary. I dont have any problems with this guy, he seems like he should be a solid LB but there's no reason to throw an extra truck load of money at a guy we should have been able to get for a lot less. We need to use this cap money very wisely!

I honestly believe Childress & staff are signing these "players with potential" with the attitude they can coach them into becoming great players.

Tanner_QBRB8
03-05-2006, 06:24 PM
Well u never know who can turn into what and i think we are due for a no namer to become a stud for us

mnjamie
03-05-2006, 06:27 PM
PFT INTERVIEW: BEN LEBER

February 27, 2006
by PFT editor Mike Florio

The 2006 free-agent market includes the usual handful of guys with instant name recognition -- Shaun Alexander, Edgerrin James, LeCharles Bentley, Jamal Lewis. But, as in most years, there also are plenty of guys who aren't yet household names, but who nevertheless will attract plenty of attention once they hit the shelf.

One such guy this year is San Diego linebacker Ben Leber. Drafted in the third round by the Chargers, Leber started 14 games as a rookie in 2002, 16 in his second year, and 16 in his third season.

Then came the 2005 draft. With the first-round pick finagled from the Giants as part of the Eli Manning for Philip Rivers trade, the Chargers were in the twelve hole. When the Cowboys surprisingly passed on linebacker Shawne Merriman, the Chargers pounced.

And Leber's eventual ticket out of town was punched.

"I felt like it was bound to happen," Leber said in a recent phone interview. "They drafted Merriman in the first round and he was going to have to get his snaps in. I held him off for about half of the season, and then I ended up hurting my foot a little more seriously. The week before I broke my foot, Merriman had jumped into the starting role."

But now Leber's contract is up, and the former starter realizes that it's time to move on. "I told the coaching staff that I feel like I'm a starter in this league and I've proved that I belong in the starting lineup. And they said that's probably not going to happen here in San Diego."

With a return to the Chargers not in the cards, Leber is keeping his options open. "It all remains to be seen," he said. "There's some teams that I think would be fun to go to. . . . I'm excited for anybody that's interested in me and that I can come in and start for them."

Are there teams he's not interested in?

"Who wants to end up in Buffalo or Green Bay with the weather?"

It's an ironic observation from a guy who grew up in the steaming rain forests of . . . South Dakota. But with four years in San Diego, Leber now realizes what he was missing.

"Look, man, I've been spoiled," he said.

Leber then made it clear that he'd welcome a return to a less-than-ideal climate. "I would definitely move to a city like Buffalo or Green Bay where it's cold and a major change from San Diego, but if it's a good fit for me and it's going to be successful for me, that's priority No. 1."

From a "fit" standpoint, Leber has experience both in the 4-3 and in the 3-4. Including his time at Kansas State, he has six seasons in the 4-3. He spent the last two years in the 3-4. In both systems, Leber exclusively has played on the strong side.

"In a 4-3 scheme, you have a lot more opportunities to cover the tight end one on one," Leber explained. "In a 3-4, it's a lot of zone coverages. As far as the run game and battling the tight end one-on-one on the run is something I think I do very well. In both systems, that's what you have to do when you're over the tight end."

Does he prefer one system over the other?

"It's hard to say. I think I've had good success in both systems. I think the 3-4 is still kind of a new learning curve for me just because it involves a little more pass rushing, which I've never done until [2004]. So that's still a work in progress, but I think I've shown huge improvements and I can only get better. I may have more potential in a 3-4 but I think the 4-3 right now is probably a little more comfortable."

Still, he wants to stay on the strong side. "I think one of my strengths is playing over the tight end. Playing strong side would probably suit me the best."

Despite his preferences, Leber says he hasn't studied depth charts of other teams to determine the cities in which he might best fit. "The tough thing about that is with all the coaching changes this year, it's hard to look at that stuff."

Regardless of where he lands, Leber has come a long way from his days in South Dakota. He played linebacker, but the position at which he'd ultimately earn a living wasn't his primary focus. "I used defense to kind of catch my breath to run the ball," he said.

In addition to playing baseball and basketball, the guy who now stands 6'3" and weighs 244 pounds was a sprinter on the track team. (He liked the 100 and 200, but not the 400.)

He attended a football camp at Kansas State while in high school, and they liked what they say. Leber received a scholarship offer, and he took it.

"I always wanted to play Division One, and I actually got scared off of the whole recruiting process because my brother who was a really good running back in high school had gotten all of the recruiting letters and phone calls and he came down to the day before signing day and every team backed out at the last second. I was kind of worried about that. I didn't want the same thing to happen to me, so right when they offered the scholarship, I said, 'I've got to take this.'"

He'll likely apply the same approach to free agency, once he finds the fit that he's looking for. And the foot injury that landed him on injured reserve in 2005 won't be an issue. He suffered a break on the top of the arch, but it's almost completely healed.

"I'm actually doing a lot of agility work now and there's no pain," he said. "It'll be 100 percent here in the next couple of weeks."

The injury only hastened Merriman's opportunity to blossom in Leber's place, and blossom Merriman did. But instead of feeling sorry for himself, Leber gives credit where it is due. "The guy's very explosive," Leber said of Merriman. "He does have another gear. He makes it look so easy, and being in the same position I know what a tough job it is. For being a young guy, he's very strong. He's a strong, physically gifted guy. He's got a lot going for him."

One of the only knocks on Merriman came during his last year in college. When Maryland played Virginia, Merriman was neutralized by tight end Heath Miller. So when the Steelers, who drafted Miller in round one a year ago, came to San Diego to play the Chargers, Merriman's teammates decided to have some fun with him.

"We had the video guys cut up some highlights [from the Maryland-Virginia game]," Leber said, "and in the linebacker room we played those tapes and asked him to grade his technique and to grade out his performance. We definitely got a good laugh. He knew it was all in good fun. He had his own twist on the events. 'This guy tripped me,' or 'This guy did this.' He had fun with it."

After the season ended, Leber had some fun of his own -- on an aircraft carrier with a couple of his teammates. "I can't even describe the first-hand experience of being on an aircraft carrier, especially in full operation. We got to see the flight operations during the day and at night, sleep in their quarters, have meals with the officers. We really got to see life as a naval guy on a huge ship. Most people only get to see that on the Discovery channel.

The biggest thrill for Leber was arriving on the carrier on a plane that caught the wire -- and then leaving the next day via catapult.

Said Leber: "You're sitting there, you're sitting there, and then you hear the engines go to full throttle. And all of a sudden, you're just gone."

It's sound a lot like the events he'll soon experience when the free agent market opens.


http://www.profootballtalk.com/BenLeberInterview.htm

pigskinronin
03-05-2006, 08:03 PM
I haven't missed a Chargers game in four years --- helps when that is the only game showing Sunday afternoon and your wife is a huge Bolts fan. Leber made a few plays here and there, but I don't think any Charger fans are sad to see him go. The Chargers blitz their LBs a lot, and it just seemed to me Leber is not very strong or quick. If you look at his stats he has averages a couple sacks a season; Merriman steps into the same position (same defensive scheme) and gets 10 sacks and forces 2 fumbles.

Ben may be a good LB in a different system, but he is not the big acquisition for the $$$ they're paying him. I hope I'm wrong and he flourishes with the Vikes --- he still has his best football ahead of him.

LuckyVike
03-05-2006, 08:14 PM
It worries me when unproven players are signed. I hope this works out but I also I hope this isn't a sign of what free agency will be like.

Lando
03-05-2006, 08:30 PM
Nothing has been done yet so don't believe any of these numbers .. I could post that I just signed a 5 year 50 million contract, whoopty-doo.

audioghost
03-05-2006, 08:45 PM
Thats funny....Leber is from Vermillion, South Dakota......my girlfriend's dad is good friends with his family.....

He's a decent player....nobody too special....wish the Vikes could go after a high profile player....seems like those pan out more often....

For instance:

Antoine Winfield=High profile
Denard Walker=Low Profile

Who was better there?



There's only a handful of Wiggins out there (unproven guys who step up when put in a starting position).

LuckyVike
03-05-2006, 08:55 PM
"Lando" wrote:

Nothing has been done yet so don't believe any of these numbers .. I could post that I just signed a 5 year 50 million contract, whoopty-doo.

That's completely different... :roll:

JTSnow
03-05-2006, 09:13 PM
"Jordan" wrote:

http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/14024355.htm

The Vikings haven't won any regular-season titles in a while. But once again they are the undisputed offseason champions, with an NFL-high $24 million in salary cap space.

With the blessing of owner Zygi Wilf to build a Super Bowl contender, Minnesota is poised to be a major player in free agency, especially with roughly half the teams in the league struggling to get under the salary cap.
The influence of Rob Brzezinski, the Vikings' vice president of football operations, appears as strong as ever. With the exception of cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, Minnesota has been leery of investing too heavily in players from other teams and engaging in bidding wars with other clubs.

The Vikings also generally avoid the most high-profile free agents.
This year could be an exception.
Minnesota could land some superstar players in their primes at discounted salaries because so many teams are up against the 2006 salary cap.
Here's a look at the Vikings' needs and some top prospects, in order of importance.

RUNNING BACK
Minnesota was high on Maurice Morris, Shaun Alexander's backup in Seattle, early last week. But with little progress made toward ratification of the collective bargaining agreement, the Vikings realized they could get much more for much less.
The plum they could be eyeing: four-time Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James.

With a glut of talented rookies and veterans, James might not get the blockbuster contract he covets. But here's an X-factor: Brzezinski and agent Drew Rosenhaus have done several deals and have respect for each other, based partly on their Miami ties.
James is unlikely to agree to a multiyear deal if he isn't satisfied with the signing bonus, so he might be inclined to audition for one year with Minnesota.

Baltimore's Chester Taylor also would be a good fit. But the Ravens are aggressively trying to re-sign him, and the Seahawks are taking the same approach with Alexander.
So far, the Vikings have shown no interest in Jamal Lewis, who isn't the ideal fit for a West Coast offense.
Morris, however, remains an attractive option to Minnesota.

LINEBACKER
The Vikings realize this is the weakest position on their roster, and they are aggressively addressing it. The buzz around the NFL is that Minnesota has already agreed in principle on a multiyear deal with outside linebacker Ben Leber, who played the past four seasons for the San Diego Chargers. Leber could land a $7 million signing bonus and a contract that averages $4 million a year, a whopping figure for a player with 212 career tackles.
But Leber is big (6 feet 3, 244 pounds) and athletic, and Fran Foley, the Vikings' vice president of player personnel, knows him well from their days with the Chargers.
Leber, however, might not be Minnesota's last foray into free agency at linebacker. While the Vikings would like to add a veteran to the middle, the current crop of players is modest, headed by three veterans (Sam Cowart, Derek Smith and restricted free agent Matt Wilhelm) who aren't known for their range and speed.
Two cover two middle linebackers available are Rob Morris and Rocky Calmus, former teammates with the Indianapolis Colts.
Minnesota could get a bargain at weak-side linebacker. The top player at that spot is Will Witherspoon, a standout for the Carolina Panthers. But he could be very expensive — commanding a signing bonus of more than $12 million — and it's unclear if the Vikings would pay that much. Players who could come at a discount include Julian Peterson, David Thornton and Akin Ayodele.

A few years ago, Peterson was one of the NFL's most dominant linebackers. But injuries have slowed him, and he could thrive with a change of scenery.

GUARD
The Vikings apparently have targeted guards who also can play center, an indication they don't want to be caught in a situation such as last year's, when they had to scramble right before the season to land Melvin Fowler in a trade after Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was lost for the season.
Minnesota has signed Jason Whittle, formerly of the New York Giants, and has expressed interest in Pro Bowl guard/center LeCharles Bentley, who disputed published reports that he has agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. He told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday that he planned to sign with the Eagles as early as Monday, when free agency is scheduled to open.

Bentley of the New Orleans Saints and Steve Hutchinson of the Seahawks are the only elite guards available in free agency, and both will command signing bonuses of at least $10 million. But during his short tenure Vikings coach Brad Childress has emphasized the importance of the offensive and defensive lines several times. To that end, Minnesota could make a strong push to sign Hutchinson or Bentley.

There also have been reports that the Vikings are interested in restricted free agents Kris Dielman (Chargers) and Sean Mahan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
But the best fit might be Toniu Fonoti, who was acquired in a trade last season. Fonoti, though, wants to test the market and try to land a lucrative deal.

Two other veterans worth watching are Ross Tucker and Stephen Neal, both of whom played for the New England Patriots last season.
KICKER

So far, Minnesota hasn't been very proactive in trying to re-sign Paul Edinger. Perhaps that's because the market for veteran kickers is so deep. The marquee names are Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt. More reasonably priced options might be longtime Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell or Matt Bryant, a Buccaneer last season.

SAFETY
Although the Vikings re-signed Willie Offord, they can't bank on him to start opposite Darren Sharper next season. Offord is coming off major knee surgery and has shown only flashes in his four NFL seasons.
Signing a proven veteran at a modest salary to compete with Offord would appear to make sense. Players who could interest Minnesota are Lawyer Milloy, Marlon McCree, Lance Schulters, Tank Williams and Ifeanyi Ohalete.
Another intriguing option is Dexter Jackson, who played for new Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin with the Buccaneers. Although Jackson is a free safety, the two positions are interchangeable in many ways in the cover two defense.

BEST OF THE REST
Rumors persist that quarterback Daunte Culpepper is being shopped, which means Minnesota could be in the market for a quarterback. Drew Brees in the class of the field, and he too has ties to Foley. But, just like Culpepper, Brees is coming off a serious injury. Other than Brees, anyone else would walk into Winter Park as Brad Johnson's backup.
Last year, the Vikings made a run at Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman. But they haven't shown any interest this year, apparently confident with their defensive line depth. But at the right price, Minnesota gladly would upgrade at any position, including receiver, especially if Koren Robinson isn't re-signed.

The collective bargaining agreement could determine the Vikings' success in free agency. Without an extension, Minnesota would be one of about a dozen teams with plenty of salary cap space, which is needed to sign top-tier players. Signing bonuses can be spread only over four years, which means the cap impact will be immediate for clubs.

Without a CBA deal, today could become Bloody Sunday, with teams scrambling to get below the $94.5 million salary cap by purging their roster of proven players. With the ultimate buyer's market, the Vikings could be very selective about whom to sign and even land stars to one-year deals as they prepare for 2007, when there would be no salary cap.
If there is a deal, Minnesota would lose that advantage and have to compete with more teams for the elite players.

WOW I like this Leber guy and all but thats too much to pay someone that only had 22 tackles last year.

VikingsTw
03-05-2006, 09:50 PM
I like Leber too, but not for 4 mill a year, thats insane. With the cap problems and all i think its highly unlikely anyone else offers him that kind of money, we don't need to pay him 4 mill a year. I think we could get him at a better price.

This is most likely speculation.

FuadFan
03-05-2006, 09:52 PM
I know this is something to expect since Foley was with San Diego but is he looking at anybody else now or just any available ex-Charger player that he can find? I am interested that he grew up here maybe if this is true and he is signed we can then go get Adam Vinatieri and draft Chad Greenway then we will have three guys who grew up in South Dakota.

Mr. Purple
03-05-2006, 09:56 PM
The way I look at it is hes had success already in his career.Ofcourse one main reason Foley wants him is becuz they have ties together, but I also think Childress is signing players to ensure quality depth. Right now we have a bunch of LB's that just seemed to be confused. Bringing in players who are used to the Cover 2 will rub off on the other LB's.

Mr. Purple
03-05-2006, 10:02 PM
Also I like the fact Childress isnt stacking the team with stars. You look at the pistons...and the reason why they win and play so good is the Chemistry and the perfect mix on the court.Ben Wallace, Chauncy Billups, and Teyshaun prince all found succes in Detroit. I dont think we need to sign a Pro Bowl player at every postion....thats what coaching is for...to get players to Pro Bowl Status.

PurpleManiac
03-05-2006, 10:07 PM
Ben Leber is a little more then average. He's actually a very very very solid LB....I remember last year he held off Shawn Merriman for 4 or so games before getting benched in favor of.

Even still the numbers in that contract is ridiculously high!

muchluv4smoot
03-05-2006, 10:08 PM
Leber is nothing more then an average LB. No way does he deserve that type of money. I thought we had enough average LB's that don't make many plays. Eventually we are gonna have to get a LB that is a play maker, which is not what Leber is. Leber is a guy that doesn't make mistakes, but also dosn't make big plays. They only thing that he will help us with is his ability to cover TE's. He is better at that then any LB we have. We better still push hard for witherspoon or peterson.

PurpleManiac
03-05-2006, 10:09 PM
I rather start Dontarious then Leber. I'm starting to reject signing this guy at all!

FuadFan
03-05-2006, 10:14 PM
"PurpleManiac" wrote:

I rather start Dontarious then Leber. I'm starting to reject signing this guy at all!Leber is a strong side linebacker so Thomas won't be affected by us signing him it would make it more unlikely that we bring back Keith Newman so that would be bad news for Ultra.

michaelmazid
03-05-2006, 10:15 PM
way tooooo much money for an uproven bench warmer. I hope that this story is fake. Lets go after the big name guys like peterson.

FuadFan
03-05-2006, 10:21 PM
"michaelmazid" wrote:

way tooooo much money for an uproven bench warmer. I hope that this story is fake. Lets go after the big name guys like peterson.He hasn't been a bench warmer till this season when they drafted Merriman and he was going to play over him since he was in his last year. I do agree with you on the fact that I hope we did not pay him that much and that we will still go after some one else as well to help the Vikes out.

happy camper
03-05-2006, 10:22 PM
everyone needs to seriosly stop freaking out

its only speculation on the size of the contract.

singersp
03-05-2006, 11:07 PM
"happy camper" wrote:

everyone needs to seriosly stop freaking out

its only speculation on the size of the contract.

And it's also only speculation that were signing him.

FA hasn't even started yet, so there's no way the Vikings even spoke to him.

PurplePeopleEaters89
03-05-2006, 11:42 PM
I can't wait until the FA starts tonight!!!!

COJOMAY
03-05-2006, 11:44 PM
It may not start tonight. Still talking about another three day delay.

PurpleElf
03-06-2006, 12:51 AM
What are the Vikes doing? Is this the BIG FA signing?

Im already losing faith in this new TRIANGLE of POWER.....

Boy I hope theres better FA signings on the way!

ItalianStallion
03-06-2006, 12:53 AM
Leber's decent, but I would hope we pick up a bigger name as well.

Mr. Purple
03-06-2006, 12:55 AM
Calm down Calm down....its a great move on our part. We're adding a over shadowed productive LB. Who knows the Cover 2...who can help install the cover 2 into our younger LB's. i really like this move, Tomlin is putting the pieces together....he may not be a superstar...but composing your team of superstars usualy dosnt work out to well IMO.

damien927
03-06-2006, 01:41 AM
is he and OLB or a MLB? At 244 lbs I would suspect MLB.

LuckyVike
03-06-2006, 01:50 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

Calm down Calm down....its a great move on our part. We're adding a over shadowed productive LB. Who knows the Cover 2...who can help install the cover 2 into our younger LB's. i really like this move, Tomlin is putting the pieces together....he may not be a superstar...but composing your team of superstars usualy dosnt work out to well IMO.

Even if that's what we're doing we payed too much for him.

Mr. Purple
03-06-2006, 01:58 AM
Well we dont know how much he is gonna sign for.I've learned untill its official anything can change and happen in the NFL.

singersp
03-06-2006, 02:06 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

Well we dont know how much he is gonna sign for.I've learned untill its official anything can change and happen in the NFL.

Well, we'll know in a few hours. If the extra $10 mil isn't alloted, a lot of teams will be feeling the "big hurt" & won't be in a position to sign FA.

MN, GB & AZ have the upper hand with the most cap available.

To bad for the other teams. I don't feel sorry for them. They got themselves into salary cap hell & will just have to deal with it!

Mr. Purple
03-06-2006, 02:09 AM
You got that right singer. An Extra 10 mill would certainly not hurt our chances at the SuperBowl!

singersp
03-06-2006, 02:20 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

You got that right singer. An Extra 10 mill would certainly not hurt our chances at the SuperBowl!

You miss understood. I don't want the extra $10 mil.

Getting the extra $10 mil benefits the other teams a lot more than us.

Mr. Purple
03-06-2006, 02:22 AM
Well teams that need help get it with the extra 10 mill....but so do we...and 34-35 mill is alot...I get what your saying tho.

singersp
03-06-2006, 02:27 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

Well teams that need help get it with the extra 10 mill....but so do we...and 34-35 mill is alot...I get what your saying tho.

If the other teams get the $ 10 mil, they'll be able to keep & sign more players instead of having to make cuts.

There's a whole lot of restructuring going on, especially by the Jets.

They're keeping Pennington.

Mr. Purple
03-06-2006, 02:32 AM
So is the whole extra 10 mill thing happening or not?

singersp
03-06-2006, 02:35 AM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

So is the whole extra 10 mill thing happening or not?

We don't know yet. It hasn't been decided.

olson_10
03-06-2006, 03:02 AM
if we sign a guy who recorded 18 tackles in 9 games last season for 4 mil a year, with a 7 mil signing bonus, then that will be the worst personnel move in recent history..i thought we were trying to spend wisely? there is no way this mediocre LB deserves anywhere near that kind of money

olson_10
03-06-2006, 03:03 AM
that number has to be wrong..it must be 7 million over 4 years..because otherwise we are getting ripped off..we dont even know if this guy can play in our defense, he is coming from the 3-4 set

olson_10
03-06-2006, 03:06 AM
"VikesfaninWis" wrote:

It sounds good. The money may be to much for that LB. At S I would really like to see Dexter Jackson in here. He already knows the system and has excelled at it, who better to bring in than that? I would really love to see the Vikes get Edgerrin James, the guy is a beast, and what we need behind QB.

Now on to the QB position. This whole scenario with Pepp and Childress is what concerns me. Pepp is coming back from a horrible injury, one in which we have no idea if he can come completely back from. If Drew Brees proves to be healthy, I say go for him. Brees is better suited for the WCO than Pepp is. We know whatever team goes after Brees their team doctors will be looking him over making sure the investment isn't for nothing.

Now with all that said. ESPN has said that there is talks that something can be agreed upon with the CBA. All I know is that these idiots better not delay FA again because they don't know how to talk and get crap straigtened out. I personally would like to see NO DEAL made so we have leverage... On the other hand, another team that is right there with us in cap space is the Cheese. Now if there is a deal made then it comes down to which team has a better chance to win the SB next season. I think we hold that over the packers..
no need to worry..nobody wants to play for a team that doesnt have brett favres word on whether or not hes going to play..the only reason any impact player would go there is in order to play with favre, but since that is currently unclear, we dont have anything to worry about

olson_10
03-06-2006, 03:08 AM
"FuadFan" wrote:

I know this is something to expect since Foley was with San Diego but is he looking at anybody else now or just any available ex-Charger player that he can find? I am interested that he grew up here maybe if this is true and he is signed we can then go get Adam Vinatieri and draft Chad Greenway then we will have three guys who grew up in South Dakota.
this Foley hiring is seeming rather suspect right now with all of the ex-chargers talk going around

Lando
03-06-2006, 05:31 AM
He will certainly be a Viking come Monday morning now .. :P

singersp
03-06-2006, 05:44 AM
"Lando" wrote:

He will certainly be a Viking come Monday morning now .. :P

No he won't. FA isn't until 12:01 Thursday.

nogathomasmillarddoleman
03-06-2006, 06:23 AM
Let's wake up, folks.
Leber is a very good addition to our team, with his coverage ability (TE's) due to his size, at Sam, in our new system. We don't have anyone near the size or athleticism like him on our team.

Jason Whittle is also a smart signing due to his ability to play center; and we got him for cheap. Solid player.

Running Back and other positions are gonna come in time with the quagmire free agency and the CBA are in right now, but we have to take in consideration what we might or might not get in the draft.
I see us going for a RB draft wise, because there is really not much out there (please spare me the EJ, MM bull), and we'd be better off with a new dude that we can rely on as our own. I do like Chester Taylor, though, but not Maurice.

Taking a shot at Witherspoon is great news, too. That leaves a MLB starter.
I say draft again!! The pool is so deep at LB this year that, if we learn him properly, we should be able to find a real keeper (here's where you scouting pros come in handy; I'm from Canada you know) at MLB.

As far as Chavous??, let him go. He's doesn't hit, he's not fast and he's gettin' up there. Not indusive to the type of SS you need in a Cover 2; although Offord's re-signing is interesting.

And lastly, Daunte. I love the guy and his attitude and all he's about, but he just doesn't have it. I don't care about the phenomenal season he had the year before last; we didn't win a Super Bowl, and it was pretty a pretty easy ride behind that line and with Moss peakin' and havin' Burleson there and,.... but any QB could've been a star in that offense, and Daunte's lack of football, back-yard,ability really came out last year. It was a disgusting display, I don't care what anyone says. Brad Johnson, a Super Bowl winner, comes in and turns it RIGHT around WITH THE SAME OFFENSIVE LINE.
Anyway, I hope we make a play for Brees, 'cause he is entering his prime years and regardless of the injury, which was fixed without the knife, is a supreme QB. What a Training Camp battle that would be; Brees, Johnson.

Thanks.
R'N'R
Wally.

aceclown
03-06-2006, 06:28 AM
KFFL.com
Vikings | Agent denies Leber report
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 20:38:38 -0800

Mark Craig, of the Star Tribune, reports agent Vann McElroy denied reports that his client, free agent LB Ben Leber (Chargers), and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed in principle on a contract. "Not only haven't we agreed, we haven't even talked," McElroy said.

nogathomasmillarddoleman
03-06-2006, 06:32 AM
Sorry, I feel like I jinxed it.
Wierd!!!

Lando
03-06-2006, 06:36 AM
"singersp" wrote:

"Lando" wrote:

He will certainly be a Viking come Monday morning now .. :P

No he won't. FA isn't until 12:01 Thursday.

Amen brother, hence the :P .. </sarcasm> would have worked better I suppose?!

DaunteHOF
03-06-2006, 07:22 AM
funny guy, good to have him here for that amount.

mackd10
03-06-2006, 07:26 AM
Is there a rule in place for FA tampering? March 9 is the date .

collegeguyjeff
03-06-2006, 07:41 AM
he'll be a viking thursday now well maybe if they don't postpone free agency again.

BigMoInAZ
03-06-2006, 09:52 AM
"aceclown" wrote:

KFFL.com
Vikings | Agent denies Leber report
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 20:38:38 -0800

Mark Craig, of the Star Tribune, reports agent Vann McElroy denied reports that his client, free agent LB Ben Leber (Chargers), and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed in principle on a contract. "Not only haven't we agreed, we haven't even talked," McElroy said.
Thank GOD! As a former Kansas native, I had the pleasure of being a K State Fan and when Leber was drafted in the third round, many of us felt that was very generous on the NFL's part. This guy is just an average player with no more skill, knowledge, or coverage ability than the next 4yr LB in the league. I would much rather see the Vikings make an effort to really solidify the positions with SOLID Veterans like Keith Newman or even an aging Jamie Sharper. If the Vikings sign this kid it will be for a league minimum, I do believe one source listed his probable salary at no more than $2.5 million so when you read an amount of $7 million for this type of player, you have to assume it's for the entire 4 year contract! At least that is more agreed upon for his performance to date. In his 4 year career with the Chargers he has a total of 174 tackles, which averages to 43.5 a year. He has 12 sacks, 4 passes defensed, not too much cover 2 going on there and 4 forced fumbles with 2 fumble recoveries. Those are not the numbers of a $7 million dollar bonus player, PERIOD! I would much rather see the Vikes overpay a LB like Lavar Arrington than see them waste it on a marginal player like LEBER! JUST SAY NO TO THIS DEAL! rant over with!

olson_10
03-06-2006, 11:08 AM
THANK GOD! levar arrington come on in!!

whackthepack
03-06-2006, 03:43 PM
Free agency has not even started yet, how could we have an agreement in principal when we are not even supposed to be talking to these players yet! If we were talking to these players, we would be guilty of tampering and that is punishable by league policy. The same with Bentley supposedly having an agreement with Philly, if that is the case the league should step in and cancel the deal!

If they were to get Leber I wouldn't mind but not at the price they are talking about, there are better players to be had at that price.

happy camper
03-06-2006, 09:09 PM
"whackthepack" wrote:

Free agency has not even started yet, how could we have an agreement in principal when we are not even supposed to be talking to these players yet! If we were talking to these players, we would be guilty of tampering and that is punishable by league policy. The same with Bentley supposedly having an agreement with Philly, if that is the case the league should step in and cancel the deal!


Don’t be naive. It probably happens all the time.

singersp
03-07-2006, 02:29 AM
"happy camper" wrote:

"whackthepack" wrote:

Free agency has not even started yet, how could we have an agreement in principal when we are not even supposed to be talking to these players yet! If we were talking to these players, we would be guilty of tampering and that is punishable by league policy. The same with Bentley supposedly having an agreement with Philly, if that is the case the league should step in and cancel the deal!


Don’t be naive. It probably happens all the time.

Probably does, but how does the media get wind of it if the Vikings are so private & hush-hush about their business?

happy camper
03-07-2006, 04:44 AM
I'm guessing through a third party. Players, Agents..

cajunvike
03-07-2006, 04:50 AM
Hey...it's Wilf's team...he can sign whomever he wants! I just hope the guy contributes...if he does, then it's all good!

SheyD11285
03-07-2006, 04:59 AM
It's our team without us he makes no money!

DarrinNelsonguy
03-07-2006, 05:16 AM
Let's get the CBA worked out first.