The Vikings have just two draft picks that remain unsigned, but that is above the league average. As of today, just 32 draft picks remain unsigned – which has become a sign of the times in the post-lockout/rookie salary cap era.
As of today, the only unsigned Vikings are first-round pick Matt Kalil and third-rounder Josh Robinson. The fact that Kalil is unsigned isn’t a big surprise. Of the 32 players that remain unsigned, eight of them were the top eight selections in April’s draft – Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne, Mark Barron and Ryan Tannehill. Other first-rounders that remain unsigned include Dontari Poe (No. 11, Kansas City), Kendall Wright (No. 20, Tennessee), Brandon Weeden (No. 22, Cleveland), Riley Reiff (No. 23, Detroit), David DeCastro (No. 24, Pittsburgh) and Dont’a Hightower (No. 25, New England).
It doesn’t surprise many that the top picks remain unsigned. That’s been a tradition for years – pre- and post-lockout – but Robinson remaining unsigned shouldn’t be a big surprise either. Of the 32 unsigned rookies, 14 of them are first-round picks and 13 more are third-round selections. Why it has been so difficult to get third-round picks locked down remains something of mystery, but they are believed to be seeking contracts closer to the second-rounders. The other five unsigned players include just three second-round picks, one fourth-rounder (WR Nick Toon, New Orleans) and one fifth-round pick (WR Juron Criner, Oakland).
Only two teams have more unsigned players than the Vikings – Miami and Indianapolis. The Colts are the team that can least afford to have players unsigned, since Indianapolis was the worst team in the league last year. Their three unsigned players were their top three picks – Luck, second-round TE Coby Fleener and third-round TE Dwayne Allen.
Twelve teams have signed all their draft picks – the Jets, Ravens, Chargers, Giants, Eagles, Packers, Bears, Falcons, Panthers, 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks.
With three weeks left until training camps start to open, expect the remaining unsigned players to start popping ink on the contracts and getting deals done. Considering how many players typically were unsigned, having so few players left to sign is a positive sign that the number of potential holdouts will be minimal by the time things start for real in training camp.
Former Vikings owner Red McCombs is helping raise money for a University of Texas-San Antonio student who was savagely attacked by chimps in South Africa. McCombs’ foundation gave $5,000 to the United Way of San Antonio, which is taking donations for Andrew Oberle, a 26-year-old student who was attacked last week at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa. McCombs said his goal is to raise $100,000 to help pay the medical expenses for Oberle. McCombs has already helped raise $20,000 in private donations.
In legal paperwork that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell filed to have a defamation suit against him dismissed, Goodell addressed the “where’s my money?” comment attributed to Anthony Hargrove. It now appears Goodell may be backtracking on whether or not Hargrove made the comment. There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks that the comment was actually made by former Viking Remi Ayodele, who put the hit on Brett Favre that injured his ankle in the 2009 NFC Championship Game and makes more sense that he would be the one wanting to collect the bounty.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.