MEDIA Vikings aren't finished trying to corner free-agent market : LUSENET : Purple : One Thread

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2001

Vikings aren't finished trying to corner free-agent market

Pioneer Press

---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- BILL WILLIAMSON STAFF WRITER ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Vikings coach Dennis Green said Wednesday the team could sign a free-agent cornerback before the NFL draft April 21-22 and that the position remains a priority. The Vikings have the 27th pick in the first round of the NFL draft, scheduled for April 21-22. The team also is keeping track of several veteran cornerbacks on the market. ``It's going to come down to if we're going to jump on a (cornerback) in unrestricted free agency or wait until the draft and come back (to free agency) after it,'' Green told reporters Wednesday at the NFL owners' meeting in Palm Desert, Calif. ``There is such a big group of players available (in free agency) as you work your way though it. We can take one now. . . . We're keeping all our options open. ``There's a lot of good (free-agent cornerbacks) -- James Hasty, DeRon Jenkins -- a lot of guys with a lot of experience out there.'' The Vikings also might have an interest in free-agent cornerbacks Walt Harris, Terrell Buckley and Eric Davis. They could make a run at Dale Carter if he becomes available. Carter, who has been with Denver the past two years, is serving a one-year suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He is expected to be reinstated and then released by the Broncos after June 1. Carter is the half brother of wide receiver Jake Reed, who re-signed with the Vikings last week. Because of the glut of players still on the market, the Vikings may wait until after the draft to resume their free-agent shopping. They are about $2 million under the salary cap and will get a bit more space before the season starts. Most of that available space will be used to sign draft picks, so the team might have to wait until a free-agent cornerback settles for an incentive-laden deal that would count relatively little against the cap in 2001. The Vikings are said to be looking at several cornerbacks in the draft, headed by Syracuse's Will Allen, who also is a kick returner. They also are scouting Wisconsin's Jamar Fletcher, Mississippi State's Fred Smoot and Ohio State's Nate Clements. Green wouldn't rule out the Vikings trying to move up several spots in the first round to take a player they covet. The Vikings probably would not try to maneuver into the top 15 because of what they would have to give up in return. ``We don't have that much to give,'' Green said. ``It depends on what people are looking at. We have done it before. It's very pricey to move up in the first round.'' Green said he is looking at the draft as a way to enhance the team, not necessarily as a way to find an impact player. ``We have a starting lineup right now that I like a lot,'' Green said. ``The draft will help us. The draft will give us a couple of guys who may or may not start for us, but if they don't start, they'll be in position to be good, solid backups. But I like our starting lineup right now.'' Green said in February the Vikings might pursue a restricted free agent, but that option is now unlikely. ``We don't have the cap-room capabilities to structure a restricted-type deal,'' he said Wednesday.

No thanks on Anderson: The Broncos are shopping rookie of the year running back Mike Anderson because of their glut of talent in the backfield, but the Vikings have turned down an opportunity to pursue him. According to a team source, Anderson's agent, Steve Weinberg, called, trying to broker a deal. But the Vikings are not interested. They plan to go to training camp with Moe Williams and Doug Chapman as they attempt to replace Robert Smith, who retired. Boireau on the mend: Defensive end Michael Boireau is recovering from a serious eye virus that caused his right eye to droop, beginning in January. He is expected to be ready by training camp. However, there was serious concern about his career being in jeopardy earlier this year. The virus is extremely rare, and Boireau has seen specialists in Minnesota and Florida. ``Michael is doing very well,'' Boireau's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said. ``He is healthy and will be ready to play.'' Boireau, a second-round draft choice last year, will have an opportunity to play at defensive end this season. Panthers chase Steussie: Carolina has joined Denver in hot pursuit of former Vikings left tackle Todd Steussie. The Panthers sent a multiyear offer to Steussie on Wednesday. It's believed Steussie will ma

-- Mark (Karch, March 29, 2001


``We have a starting lineup right now that I like a lot,'' Green said

Huh? I've been gone a bit lately and must have missed some news. How'd we patch all those defensive holes?

-- Clark (, March 30, 2001.

You weren't gone that long! He just thinks he has something that will work in the vaunted "system", and take him to the Bowl.

-- Dan (, April 02, 2001.

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