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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

Stop back often because Sean and Don regularly posts updates to your comments. Leave your comments and questions by clicking on the comments link below each post.

Friday, February 29, 2008


The Vikings Now blog now lives at

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Williams Wall appeal

Ultimately, free agent defensive ends want to get paid. But they also want to produce, and no club offers a better opportunity to do that than Minnesota. With Pro Bowl tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams inside, the outside pass rushers will mostly face one-on-ones. One elite pass rusher could be the final key piece to the Vikings' defense asserting itself as one of the league's best.

As the New York Giants showed, a potent four-man pass rush covers up holes in the secondary and empowers a defense to try a lot of different things.

The Vikings are believed to be considering Bobby McCray, Antwan Odom and Justin Smith. All three are versatile enough to play on both sides and effectively defend the run and pass. But, again, with the Williams Wall around, they probably can focus more on rushing the passer.

Given the need, the Vikings will pay handsomely, and they provide the best chance to put up big numbers.

On an aside, the Philadelphia Eagles just released DE Jevon Kearse.

The Freak isn't what he once was. But, if he can get healthy again, he still could give some quality snaps and pick up some quality sacks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dwight in the Big D

S Dwight Smith will now get a chance to face the Vikings twice a year.

Pro Football Talk is reporting that Smith signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Lions.

The deal includes a $350,000 signing bonus.

Holcomb officially cut

The Vikings announced the release of veteran QB Kelly Holcomb.

Meanwhile, Vikings LB Heath Farwell received the second-round tender, which is worth $1.4 million next season. With LB Dontarrious Thomas expected to sign elsewhere, Farwell will likely be the top backup at two of the spots, and he will continue to anchor the team's improving special teams.

On an aside, sorry for the confusion on the blogs. We're going through a transition, but you can count on this, for the time being.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thoughts on Williamson trade

Troy Williamson as a Viking clearly was a disappointment for all parties involved. Williamson could lament that he never had a great quarterback to work with, and the Vikings could lament all the dropped passes.

But a fresh start may serve everyone involved.

Ultimately, after the team docked his pay in November, Williamson's days in Minnesota were numbered. He was diplomatic in his comments, but he clearly felt betrayed by the organization for not showing sensitivity toward him during a patch with his family.

The Vikings, meanwhile, tried to be patient with Williamson, after a disappointing 2006 season, by empowering him during the 2007 offseason. They hired a new receivers coach, George Stewart, who had a reputation for working well with young players. Stewart worked with Williamson on fundamentals, and he accompanied him on his trip to the Nike headquarters, to meet with vision specialists.

Williamson looked strong during mini-camps and even in training camp, but he once again disappeared during the regular season, never catching more than three passes in a single game.

Williamson isn't a natural at catching passes. But his speed should help him create enough room to make the routine catches.

The Vikings often sent him deep, but he could have been better served on slants and comebacks.

Williamson may never live up to his seventh overall selection. But he could become a dependable player in Jacksonville, where he'll be motivated to prove he's not an all-time bust. He'll work in a stable offense, loaded with a talented backfield and with an up-and-coming quarterback (David Garrard).

There will also be some familiar faces, most notably assistant head coach Mike Tice.

Over the weekend, the Vikings were believed to be seeking a veteran for Williamson, or a second-round pick. But, instead, the Vikings had to settle for a sixth-round pick.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Williamson expected to be dealt to the Jaguars

The Vikings have agreed in principle on a deal that would send receiver Troy Williamson to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a second-day pick, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The trade cannot become official, however, until the start of the league year Thursday at 11 p.m. CST.

The Vikings gave agent David Canter permission to seek a trade last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and he insisted there was plenty of interest in Williamson, the seventh overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Despite a disappointing 79 catches for 1,067 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons, Williamson still intrigues NFL teams because of his exceptional speed.

The Vikings had high hopes for Williamson heading into the 2007 season, after he spent time in the offseason working with vision specialists at the Nike headquarters. But Williamson once again struggled with drops, but he had a career-low 18 catches for 240 yards.

Childress gathering more information on McKinnie

Vikings coach Brad Childress briefly addressed Bryant McKinnie's arrest with reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Not surprisingly, though, Childress didn't have much to say about the matter.

"I don’t have all the information because I’ve been in meetings and workouts all weekend, but I have gotten a chance to speak with his family,” Childress said, according to the Associated Press.

Asked if he's made a decision, Childress said, "No.

"We don't have all the information, so how could you make a decision?"

Given past transgressions, though, McKinnie likely will face discipline from the NFL, as well as the Vikings, who have focused on creating a culture of accountability at Winter Park.

Former Vikings land in Jacksonville

Former Viking players Todd Bouman and Richard Angulo have signed contracts with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Naturally, both players are familiar with Jaguars assistant head coach Mike Tice. Bouman, who starred at St. Cloud State, was with the Vikings from 1997 to 2002, while Angulo was a tight end project of Tice's from 2003 to 2005.

Angulo played in five games for the Jaguars last season, catching eight passes for 81 yards, including one touchdown.

Bouman has played in 42 games, with six starts, and he served as a backup in Jacksonville last season, although he never played. His last appearance came in 2005, when he was with the New Orleans Saints.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Report: McKinnie arrested

The Miami Herald is reporting that Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie was arrested early Sunday morning after being involved in a large street brawl outside a Miami nightclub.

According to the report, McKinnie, 28, was thrown out of Club Space by a security guard after getting into an altercation with a bouncer.

McKinnie left the club but returned and began fighting with the man, at which point he was arrested and charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and may carry a mandatory minimum sentence.

He was eventually released on bond.

A Vikings spokesman released the following statement: "We are aware of the situation with Bryant McKinnie. We will respond further once we have collected the appropriate information."

Status quo on Williamson

The agent for wide receiver Troy Williamson returned to Indianapolis today but had no news to report on a possible trade.

Agent David Canter has said he hopes to finalize a deal before the end of the NFL scouting combine Tuesday.

Coach Brad Childress, while not ruling out a quick trade, said Saturday that the Vikings are in no rush to complete a deal.

The Vikings have given Canter permission to try to shop Williamson, who has played three disappointing seasons for the team since being selected with the seventh pick of the 2005 NFL draft.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Childress: Trade not imminent

The Vikings have heard from a number of teams regarding a possible trade for wide receiver Troy Williamson, but coach Brad Childress said nothing is imminent.

"Not imminent, no," Childress said.

Williamson's agent, David Canter, said Friday that he hoped to complete a trade before the end of the NFL scouting combine Tuesday, but Childress wouldn't speculate on the chances of that happening.

"I don't have any way of knowing that," he said. "I don't know who specifically he's talked to exactly. I have ideas, but just because he's talked doesn't necessarily constitute a deal."

Canter was out of town today to attend a player's wedding but said Friday that he had heard from 9-12 teams that are interested in Williamson and that there had been trade discussions with "at least five teams."

Childress said there has been "nothing substantive" to this point.

Asked if the Vikings are in any rush to complete a trade by Tuesday, he said: "(We're) not. If that's the case, that's OK as well."

Childress did confirm Canter's statement that the Vikings have no plans to release Williamson. So any team waiting around for that to happen is in for a long wait.

"I have no motivation to release him, just like I have no motivation to release him right now," Childress said. "There's no sense in that."

Notes: The agent for safety Mike Doss said today that he definitely will hit the free-agent market and Childress confirmed it, calling it a mutual decision.

All in the family

Except for a strong physical resemblance, Maryland linebacker Erin Henderson said he doesn't have much in common with his older brother E.J., the Vikings' starting middle linebacker.

"He's an introvert and I'm a little bit more of an extrovert," the younger Henderson said.

A broadcasting major, Henderson was asked how he would get his big brother to open up in an interview and agreed it wouldn't be easy.

"It took me about 15 years to get him to talk to me," he said.

Henderson is projected as a second-round draft choice.

Vikings fan

Defensive tackle isn't a high draft priority for the Vikings, but Notre Dame's Trevor Laws said he would love to play for them.

"Oh, yeah. John Randle's my hero," the Apple Valley native said at today's NFL scouting combine.

Laws, who said he already has spoken with the Vikings here, is projected as a middle-round draft choice.