Williams In, Pierce Out

When the agreement to sell the Vikings came down, it was thought the Vikings would be relatively inactive in free agency. How wrong that thought process was. Not only is Randy Moss gone, but the team is proceeding in free agency.

After reaching an agreement with Reggie Fowler to sell the Vikings, Red McCombs approved trading Randy Moss to the Raiders and changed the face of the Vikings.

The confusion continued Wednesday, as a free agency tactic brought in one player and forced another potential Viking away.

When the Vikings negotiated with Bills DT Pat Williams, they asked to defer his signing bonus until this summer -- a number that reflects $6 million of his $13 million, three-year contract. By doing that, if the sale to Fowler (or if it falls through to Glen Taylor) would go through and leave the new owner on the hook for the signing bonus. As an enticement, the Vikings increased incentives in the contract that could boost it to $15 million.

While that tactic worked with Williams, it was enough to get LB Antonio Pierce to back away. With other teams likely to offer comparable deals with up-front money, Pierce's agent informed the Vikings that they would pass on their proposal for now and check out what other offers may come. Another offer came quickly and Pierce signed a six-year deal with the New York Giants.

Only time will tell how successful the Vikings' current strategy will be, but, for now, you'd have to say the scoreboard reads 1-1.

THURSDAY NOTES
* A very animated Randy Moss, who posed for pictures smiling with Raiders fans, made his first public statement since the trade. Of course, the local media focused on just certain sound bites of the rambling speech Moss gave -- a longer dissertation than Vikings fans had heard in year. The negative comments, like his trading was a "slap in the face," was not indicative of what was actually said, but with Randy Moss, that rarely matters. For the most part, Moss tried to explain that there is no animosity toward the Vikings, he had a record-setting run and was ready for a fresh start. VU wishes him the best of luck -- and also wonders how long the current Glasnost with the media will continue.
* Rumor of the Day: the latest rumor has the Vikings shipping Michael Bennett and their second-round pick to the Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. We're not personnel men at VU, but if that rumor is true, we suggest the Vikings move quickly and get it done.

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