Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: August 25, 2010 10:32 am

Minnesota deems V. Jackson too expensive

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Our own Will Brinson had a pretty good idea Tuesday when he wondered if the Vikings – facing the loss of WR Sidney Rice for at least half the season because of hip surgery and WR Percy Harvin for the time being because of migraines – would try to acquire disgruntled San Diego WR Vincent Jackson.

Turns out that was a move actually discussed.

The Vikings apparently looked into the possibility of trying to trade for and sign Jackson – he’s got to be a better option than Javon Walker, right? – but Minnesota ran into the same problem that the Seahawks found when they asked permission to talk to Jackson. It would cost way too much money.

Here’s some analysis from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Acee writes, “several league sources said in recent days that no one is willing to promise $10 million a year to a player with Jackson’s baggage and inexperience. Jackson has led the NFL in yards per catch over the past two seasons, but two seasons is a relatively small body of work to deserve such a mega contract. Moreover, Jackson has been arrested twice for driving under the influence, something that led to him being suspended the first three games this season.”

Jackson, you’ll recall, declined to sign his restricted free agent tender offer of more than $3 million from San Diego and seems committed to sitting out much of the season. Coming off his best season as a pro (68 catches, 1,167 yards and nine TDs), he’s still only made one Pro Bowl in his four-year career. If he wants a five-year, $50 million deal (with $30 million guaranteed), he’s going to have to wait.

Nobody is going to pay that kind of money for a guy who still has plenty of question marks attached to his name.

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 10:54 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 12:16 am

Javon Walker is one unique cat

Posted by Andy Benoit

We’ve given more coverage to the Javon Walker signing than we normally do for an out-of-work athlete joining a team as a hopeful No. 4 wide receiver in late August. And we promise we’ll stop…after this.

But first, look at this little gem from ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert Tuesday. There’s no groundbreaking news – just a reminder of how offbeat Walker can be:

Amid indications that Walker will sign Tuesday with the Minnesota Vikings, we should point out that he had an experimental surgery in Israel to repair his knee last year. Walker apparently believes the procedure has brought his physical skills back to his 2006 level.

The surgery was arranged by none other than Dr. Anthony Galea, the Canadian physician who has been at the center of an international doping inquiry.

Here is an excerpt from a December 2009 story in the New York Times:

The N.F.L. quarterback Chris Simms and wide receiver Javon Walker swear by him. In March, Dr. Galea arranged for Mr. Walker to have cartilage-replacement surgery on his knee in Jerusalem because the procedure is not approved in the United States or Canada. Mr. Walker said the recovery time was half what it would have been if he had had the procedure doctors recommended in the United States.

"He’s a person who just wants to help and heal," Walker said. "And the world is going to soon know about him."

Walker has always marched to his own drumbeat. In recent years, because of all his operations, that march has been more of a hobble. The surgery in Israel happened without the Raiders’ knowledge. Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric tells us Walker had a great time teasing the Oakland media that year about the secret operation, saying he couldn’t talk about it at the time but someday…

A lot of people think Walker is washed up – and he probably is. But keep in mind, he blew out his knee in ’05 with the Packers but had a 1,000-yard season in ’06 with the Broncos. His knee problems have intensified since then, but if he can ever get healthy, it’s not 100 percent out of the question that he could be a viable weapon.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 24, 2010 7:30 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2010 7:53 pm

Is Childress displeased with Sidney Rice?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Interesting quote from Brad Childress. The Vikings head coach is making it clear that the decision to have Sidney RB. Childress (US Presswire)ice go under the knife was made solely by…Sidney Rice.

"I can't feel what he's feeling," Childress said, according to the Star Tribune. "In the end, it's up to him whether he wanted to have that procedure or whether he could press through. [Reporters] saw him run out here the other day and move around [during rehabilitation]. Obviously he felt it was more of a nag to where he couldn't slough it up. He wanted to remedy it by having a procedure."

To be fair, Childress said this in response to being asked if Rice’s surgery was a business decision (the fourth-year pro is reportedly unhappy with his contract). Childress said, “I don’t know that I’d term it that way.”

More from Childress:

Asked if he was satisfied with how this played out, Childress said: “No, I’d really be satisfied if he was out here running around on the football field. But that’s not the reality of it. Conservative approach. You can second guess it and say, ‘Geez, he could be back and [have had it] done.’ We’ve got a decent hip guy in Dr. [Chris] Larson, who consulted with the Tennessee Titans team physician and consulted with Dr. [Marc] Philippon [who is one of the leading hip surgeons in the country] . You lay all those options out there and it’s not like I’m trying to sell him one way or the other. The athlete knows what he has to have done.”

Obviously, Childress isn't throwing Rice under the bus. But you don't hear the coach saying that the team fully understands and supports the receiver's decision, either.

UPDATE: Childress hasn't rule out putting rice on IR, according to Pro Football Talk.

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:11 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2010 1:18 pm

Vikings should make a play for Bolts' Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

The news that 2009 Pro Bowler Sidney Rice will miss at least half the regular after undergoing hip surgery (and possibly more, depending on the timetable) is pretty devastating for the Vikings' hopes for 2010, since they'll likely be without a legit No. 1 wideout for most of the season. That's why it sure does seem logical for the Minnesota to inquire about picking up disgruntled wide receiver Vincent Jackson from the San Diego Chargers.

Jackson is currently holding out from Chargers camp and seems likely to bail on the season in San Diego -- so much so that the Chargers gave the Seattle Seahawks permission to chat   with Jackson and his agent about a contract in order to make a trade.

It's believed that the Bolts want a second-rounder for Jackson, and that price, given the Vikings need at wide receiver, is just about right for Minny.

Currently, the Vikings are staring down an ugly situation whereby their wide receiver depth chart reads as follows: Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Greg Lewis, Javon Walker. Dearth of talent aside, this is problematic for a few reasons.

First, Berrian is much, much better suited as a deep threat than a true No. 1. Secondly, Harvin's talents are ideally utilized in the slot position, where the Vikes can move him all over the field. Third, Lewis and Walker aren't guys you want being forced into semi-major roles, much less starting gigs, should another injury occur.

The possibility of dealing for Jackson isn't without its cons, though: One issue facing a possible deal is that the Vikings would almost certainly have to ink Jackson to a long-term deal. That's expensive, obviously, and they just opened up their wallet to guarantee that Brett Favre would return for 2010 (although, really, they should just demand he take a pay cut).

Also, Jackson will miss the first three games of the season due to an NFL-imposed suspension, which severely saps his value when talking both trade and contract.

So maybe management doesn't make it rain on a guy who'll be locked in as a Viking for a long time AND miss some of this season because of personal conduct issues, but at this point, with almost all of their chips firmly planted in the center of the "win now" table, why not?

They've got an uncapped year on their hands, and since they don't provide an inter-conference or inter-division threat to the Chargers, there's really no reason why they shouldn't be at least willing to discuss contract with another 2009 Pro Bowler to fill what is suddenly the biggest positional depth problem on a team that appears pretty desperate to throw everything at a Super Bowl run this year.

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 9:58 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 1:24 pm

Rice has hip surgery (UPDATED)

S. Rice could miss the first half of the season (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings WR Sidney Rice had hip surgery on Monday that could sideline him for the first half of this season. This comes courtesy of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune – staff writer Judd Zulgad confirmed on the radio this morning that Rice actually underwent the surgery – and I have a few thoughts about this issue.

1) It’s been a bad two weeks for the Minnesota receivers. Percy Harvin has been suffering from debilitating migraine headaches and now the Rice news. What was once considered one of the top WR corps in the NFL has been reduced to one legit starting receiver in Bernard Berrian.

Joe Webb, who probably could play WR, is still at QB, and that leaves Greg Lewis (eight catches in 13 games last year), Taye Biddle (who was playing in the UFL last season), Marko Mitchell (four catches in 10 games last year) and a few other guys whose names you haven’t heard. Oh, and Javon Walker, who still hasn’t signed officially but actually might have a chance to make the roster .

Why did Rice have the surgery now? As opposed to way earlier in the offseason?

He had a standout season last year, catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, and he was a force in the playoffs. But he injured his hip in the NFC championship game, and according to the paper, he saw three hip specialists in the offseason, two of whom recommended surgery.

Rice declined to do so. Why? And how pissed is Minnesota right now?

3) Brett Favre might have to be a miracle worker this season to get the Vikings back to the NFC championship game.

UPDATE (12:24 p.m.): The Vikings have officially signed Walker .

Related Content: Will Brinson and Andy Benoit discuss Rice's injury and how it impacts the Vikings in Tuesday's CBSSports.com Football Podcast.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
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Posted on: August 23, 2010 4:02 pm

Vikings close to signing Javon Walker

J. Walker and B. Favre shown here during happier times (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The scenario Will told you about the other day – the Vikings possibly signing Brett Favre’s old buddy (but not really), WR Javon Walker – seems to be on the verge of occurring.

According to ESPN.com , the Vikings plan to sign Walker, an eight-year veteran who’s spent the past two seasons in Oakland. Or, more accurately, has spent the past two seasons disappearing in Oakland.

Walker had his best success – an 89-catch, 1,482-yard, 12-touchdown year that resulted in Walker’s only Pro Bowl berth – when he was catching passes from Favre in Green Bay during the 2004 season.

But the next year, he held out during training camp. A move that did not sit well with Favre.

"If Javon wants to know what the quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I'd tell him he's going about this the wrong way,” Favre said at the time. “When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I'd tell him I've been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you."

Walker suffered a bad knee injury in Week 1, and the next season, he found himself in Denver. He had a good season there in 2006 (69 catches, 1,084 yards, eight TDs), but since then, Walker has been a shell of his former self, combining for 41 catches and one score in the past three seasons.

I imagine Walker – who said a few months ago he’d be willing to play for the veterans minimum salary – would welcome a chance to play with Favre again, considering he’s been a non-factor four of the past five years he’s played. Besides, six of Favre’s targets caught 25 passes or more from him last season.

Don’t expect Walker (shown at right during happier times with Favre) to hang around too long, though. Right now, the Vikings receiving room is pretty bare without Percy Harvin (migraines) and Sidney Rice (hip). Assuming they return, though, Favre most likely will be throwing to receivers with whom he actually gets along.

And Walker most likely will have to contemplate retirement.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 8:37 am

Favre plays one series; result: Meh

B. Favre reacts after taking a sack from P. Willis on Sunday (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With all the talk about Brett Favre and Vikings coach Brad Childress – and how selfish Favre is and how much money he’s making and blah, blah, blah – we overlooked one thing Sunday night. How did he actually play in his first action of 2010?

Against the 49ers, Favre started and played one series and took four snaps. He hit Adrian Peterson on a swing pass for a 13-yard gain but then lost 10 yards when San Francisco LB Patrick Willis crushed him for a sack on a block missed by Peterson.

Here’s what Favre said after his brief appearance (via the Minneapolis Star Tribune ):
"I don’t know if we accomplished a whole lot," Favre said. "Like last year when I came in against Kansas City, I didn’t expect a whole lot. I really wanted to call plays in a game environment. I completed the first pass, a swing pass, which can be the hardest throw in football. Got hit a little bit, which I could have done without. Had to get it out of the way sometime."

Favre said he wishes he could have had another series.

"I would have liked to but I understand the situation," he said. "San Francisco is a very good football team. Probably the worst I felt all year physically overall was against these guys last year. We were fortunate to win on the last play. They’re a very physical active football team. Their scheme puts a lot of one-on-one blocking on our offensive line so I knew it would be that type of game. Really just kind of get in and get your feet wet."

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 11:23 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2010 11:31 pm

Is Favre just a built-up training camp holdout?

Serious apologies in advance for having to post something else on Brett Favre but, hey, he did return to the NFL today. Oh, yes, and he took four snaps, threw one pass and got tattooed by Patrick Willis. Link to that video below.

Anywho, NBC aired an interview with Favre and Al Michaels at halftime of Sunday's game and there were some interesting tidbits, including the fact that Favre was scared .

"In all honest, Al, there was a big part of me, there was some fear -- a fear of failure," Favre said.

Michaels then asked him why it takes him "so long" to make him his mind.

True that, Brett. True that. But he's still not really answering the question, unless he's actually admitting that he was always coming back and he's just skipping training camp. Which, um, actually makes sense. Perhaps even more interesting was his response to Michaels' question about the Vikings re-doing Favre's contract.

"They re-did your contract," Michaels began. "Some people would say, 'You know what he was doing, he was looking for a better deal.'"

"I knew that would be some people's assumption," Favre said. "It was tempting. But I've always made a lot of money. I knew I didn't need it."

Pause for a second on the fact that, no, that conversation doesn't make any sense in terms of flow. Michaels followed up by asking, "Did it move you any closer?"

"Honestly, no," Favre said. "It all came back to being obligated to the guys and that was really the strongest pull. I'm no fool -- it's a lot of money. But that in itself was not the biggest factor."

So, yeah, the quick reaction to this conversation is that a) Favre hates training camp and b) Favre loves money. That's totally cool. In fact, I bet 99% of NFL players feel that way, if not higher. Most of them just don't disguise those feelings through the annoying guise of retirement indecision. Although, my goodness, if that's the case, he's pulling off the most impressively disguised training camp holdout of all-time.

Seriously, think about it: if money was a huge issue in him coming back to Minnesota, he basically just refused to come to training camp until he got a new contract. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT DARRELLE REVIS IS DOING. And, of course, anyone else that wants to get paid.

Yet we don't look at it that way, because we're so convinced that Favre actually wants the attention that his daily re/de-tirement provides. Perhaps thinking that way is giving him too much credit for his ability to manipulate everyone involved with the situation, but if that's the case, well, bravo, Brett. Bravo.

Oh yeah, Michaels then asked Favre what he thought about constantly being "lampooned."

"If I'm gonna play, I better play like I did last year," Favre said. "If you don't execute on a consistent basis, they're gonna throw daggers at you."

Or they'll just hope that Patrick Willis does stuff like he did to the Vikings' quarterback  during Favre's first series back. Ah, good times .

Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and we'll make sure to give you any choice quotes from his press conference.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com