Yes, in a little less than three hours, NFL free agency will be kicking off for the 2009 off-season, and while the Vikings are expected to do a lot of shopping, it wouldn't be surprising to see them checking out via the express lane than grabbing a lot of big-ticket items like they did last year.
The rumored deal for Houston QB Sage Rosenfels should be going through as soon as 11 PM Central rolls around, but outside of that, the Vikings haven't been immediately connected to a lot of big-name free agents in this year's class. They're still apparently negotiating with Matt Birk, but nothing has been finalized on that front yet. If things with Birk don't work out, they could turn to Baltimore center Jason Brown, who cut off negotiations with the Ravens and will apparently only be staying in the land of crab cakes for the next couple of hours.
The Vikings could also possibly be in the market for a wide receiver. The big name in that group this year is T.J. Houshmanzadeh, late of the Cincinnati Bengals, but with the uncertainty that the Vikings have behind center right now, I have my doubts as to whether Minnesota would be able to lure him here. That and the fact that there are going to be about a dozen teams vying for his services, and the Vikings can't really be getting into too many bidding wars, particularly at a positon where they made Bernard Berrian one of the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL last season. Could we see the Vikings take a run at one of the older veteran wide receivers that have recently been released? Someone like a Marvin Harrison, Laveranues Coles, or Torry Holt (should Holt get released)?
(Man, how great would a Torry Holt signing be, seriously?)
But, if it's free agency time in Viking land, then that means it's also time for fans of the Beloved Purple to go completely insane if Minnesota hasn't signed anybody within the first three or four hours of the free agent period. Remember, the free agency period begins at 11 PM Central this evening. . .it doesn't end after 24 hours. If we don't land four or five players by this time tomorrow, it's pretty much guaranteed that there will be some Viking fans running around their living rooms in circles screaming "OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD ZYGI SUCKS CHILDRESS SUCKS AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"
And then their heads will explode. . .which really, when you think about it, is for the best.
Please, ladies and gentlemen, don't freak out if we haven't overhauled the entire roster in a matter of hours, or even days. This team has done alright for themselves in free agency over the past couple of years, and there's no reason to think that they won't do so again. We'll be watching the transaction wire with baited breath much like most of you will, and when there's movement at the proverbial station, we'll have analysis of it here as soon as possible.
So, as free agency gets ready to kick off, those of you that are staying up to track the action can feel free to post FanPosts or FanShots of anything that happens before the rest of us wake up. Continue enjoying the rest of your Thursday night, and we'll see you back here bright and early on Friday morning!