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"$49 Million for a Guard? That's Crazy!!"

That was, for all intents and purposes, the outcry last year when the Vikings signed then-Seattle Seahawks guard Steve Hutchinson to a 7-year, $49 million dollar contract.  The deal made Hutchinson the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

It's a title he held for all of one season.

Today, not one. . .but TWO guards each signed contracts at least as large as Hutchinson's deal.  First, the Cleveland Browns snagged Eric Steinbach away from the Cincinnati Bengals with a 7-year, $49.5 million dollar deal, making HIM the highest paid guard in the NFL.

This deal was followed up by the Buffalo Bills signing Derrick Dockery, formerly of the Washington Redskins to a 7-year, $49 million deal.  Dockery, in my opinion, was no better than the third-best guard available in FA this year (behind Steinbach and Kris Dielman of the San Diego Chargers).

In another year or so, the deal the Vikes gave big #76 is going to look like an absolute bargain.

The first full day of free agency has come and gone with no signings by the Vikings.  Hopefully business will pick up a little more as the weekend progresses.

Oh, and remember how I said yesterday was the first day in DN history where we received over 300 hits?  Well, today is the first day in DN history that we've received over 400 hits.  With 40 minutes left to go in the day, the SiteMeter is reading 465.  Let's keep on keeping on, folks!