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Preview of Vikings OTAs

June 10, 2010

The Minnesota Vikings begin their “Mandatory Mini Camp” this weekend, June 11-13. Brad Childress has scheduled one practice for Friday, two for Saturday, and one for Sunday. But before we start hearing from the coaches about who looked good without their pads on or who has improved over the offseason, let’s talk about who will not be in attendance.

Adrian Peterson and Ray Edwards will both be absent from the Winter Park practice facilities. While the two players are similar in their absence, their reasons for being absent couldn’t be more different.

Adrian Peterson will be attending the fourth annual “Adrian Peterson Day” in his hometown of Palestine, Texas on Saturday. I guess that’s a better excuse than “the dog ate my homework,” right? Apparently, the festivities were planned at the conclusion of last season, before the Vikings had announced their practice dates.

Ray Edwards, on the other hand, is reportedly unhappy with his contract situation and will be voluntarily skipping mandatory mini camp. How can he skip a mandatory mini camp, you ask? Well, he’s yet to sign his tender; therefore, he is not under contract and not obligated to attend Vikings’ events. This game of cat and mouse will end soon, though. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis StarTribune reports that Edwards will sign his contract before Tuesday, June 15. Why June 15? Zulgad explains:

Next Tuesday (June 15) is key because if the restricted free agent does not sign the offer by that date the Vikings could drop the tender to 110 percent of Edwards’ 2009 base salary. That would mean he would make $1.1 million in 2010.

As long as Edwards signs his tender by Tuesday, he will make $2.521 million this season. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Judd is correct on this one and Edwards will sign his name on the dotted line by Tuesday.

Toby Gerhart, the Vikings’ rookie second-round draft pick, arrived at Winter Park on Wednesday morning, but will only be in attendance for Friday and Saturday’s practices. Much like Peterson (How often do you think I’ll be able to write those three words in reference to Gerhart this year?), Gerhart has a good excuse. Gerhart graduates from Stanford on Sunday. Congratulations, Toby.

Finally, I think the player to watch this season will be Albert Young. Not only is he a great person, but the guy can play ball. With Chester Taylor gone to the Windy City, someone has to pick up the lost production. Between Peterson’s fumbling and Gerhart’s lack of experience and knowledge of the system, the third year back out of Iowa should get his opportunities this year.

I’ll be back after the weekend to report on who Chilly singles out for “looking good in shorts.” Until then, I’ll leave you with a question: Who do you think will be the player to watch this season? (Don’t make me beg for comments…Please? Pretty please?)


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