Today Huge Day For Smith
Onterrio Smith
Onterrio Smith

Posted Jul 27, 2003

Running back Onterrio Smith has been the subject of some pointed comments in the first two days of training camp, but, while he isn't officially a Viking until he signs a deal, the next 24 hours could end all that speculation -- for the better or the worse.

When asked about the team's current RB situation and how it would be handled, coach Mike Tice mentioned everyone from Doug Chapman to Larry Ned, but no Onterrio Smith. Randy Moss pretended he forgot the team drafted him.

All the while, Smith sightings in Mankato were running wild. He was at the practice field, seen with coaches and seen with team personnel. It had been hoped a deal would get finalized Saturday to end his brief holdout, but, as of now, it hasn't been done.

That is what makes today so critical for Smith. It is obvious the Vikings are disgusted by a fourth-round draft pick holding out and don't to deal with it. Smith wants to get into camp and win a job that was expected to be his, but now could end up as Doug Chapman's.

VU has been told to expect to see a deal done today. If not, any stalemate that carries into next week could get bitter and get one side to drop the matter and get contentious. That will be a last resort, but the Vikes are done playing games with Smith and won't give in.

SUNDAY NOTES * Michael Bennett was buzzing around Minnesota State-Mankato on a scooter Saturday, claiming he may be ready by the Vikings bye week return in mid-October. However, this is the same Bennett who said at first he expected to be ready for the season opener.
* The Vikings placed six players on the physically unable to perform list. Aside from Bennett, there was Derrick Alexander (knee), Nick Davis (shoulder), Hayden Epstein (knee) Ken Irvin (hamstring) and Cory Withrow (hamstring).
* To get down to a roster of 80, the Vikes cut LB Jerrod Penright. The team is officially at 79 players and a spot is being reserved for Onterrio Smith.
* The widow of Korey Stringer is expected to file a lawsuit Monday against the NFL and Ridell athletic company, which makes helmets for the league. It also being stated by team officials that Kelci Stringer is confident her case against the team will be returned by an appeals court ruling.

Related Stories
Fighting To Improve
 -by  Jul 27, 2003
Day One Camp Notes
 -by  Jul 26, 2003
Smith Sitting...For Now
 -by  Jul 26, 2003

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