Vikes Talking Trade for Withrow

Cory Withrow

The Vikings, if they have a preference, would like to keep Cory Withrow. But, with several teams in search of a starting-quality center, Withrow may find himself elsewhere not only this season, but this month.

The Vikings have a luxury few teams enjoy. While many NFL teams don't have one player who can play center to a strong level, the Vikings have two -- Pro Bowler Matt Birk and backup Cory Withrow.

The problem is that Withrow, who could start with a dozen or more teams in the league, is stuck behind Birk and, barring injury, he will stay there. And that's a place he's not excited about being at.

As reported a couple of months ago by VU, Withrow requested and was granted the chance to have the Vikings trade him. The holdup was that the Vikings couldn't make a deal until he was signed. After accepting a one-year tendered contract, Withrow, a restricted free agent, is now eligible for the Vikings to talk trade.

While the Vikings consider him to be worthy of a fourth- or fifth-round pick, there is some question whether he can command that. There is also the feeling at Winter Park that the Vikings won't simply give Withrow -- a valuable insurance policy -- away for a sixth- or seventh-round pick. Withrow could be a starter. A center the Vikings would replace him with late in the draft would be a project.

So, the Vikes find themselves in a Catch-22. Withrow's value calls for more than some teams will be willing to give up. If a deal can't be reached, the Vikings will try to sign him to a long-term deal themselves, but, as of now, his future as a Viking remains where it was before he signed his one-year deal -- in limbo.

WEDNESDAY NOTES
* The Vikings have officially quit talking with WR Oronde Gadsden. After trying for two weeks to reach a contract agreement, the Vikings have stopped negotiating with his attorneys. Gadsden isn't sitting at home moping, however. He's in Boston today visiting with the Patriots.
* The Vikings will be conducting cheerleader tryouts Saturday at Winter Park. You can bet hard-working VU staffers will find the need to do some investigative work on this breaking story, but forget notebooks and tape recorders at the office -- but perhaps photo equipment will be brought along. For those interested in trying out, they can call 952.828.6530 or go on-line at www.vikings.com for information. VU will be there to congratulate the winners and help console the losers.

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