Kearses! Foiled Again!

The Vikings' inability to get free agent defensive ends Justin Smith, Antwan Odom and Jevon Kearse to come to town before signing contracts elsewhere could have the team re-examining its position on re-signing Darrion Scott.

First it was Justin Smith. Then it was Antwan Odom. Now it's Jevon Kearse. It seems like the Vikings are getting cursed when it comes to bringing in a free-agent defensive end to visit the team. It would appear as though whenever the Vikings express an interest in somebody, whomever that player is currently visiting steps up their negotiating and gets a deal done.

As a result, the Vikings may have to dip into their own free-agent well. While free-agent end/tackle Ellis Wyms is in for a visit, the Vikings might consider re-opening negotiations with Darrion Scott. With the market for veteran D-ends shrinking fast – a weak free-agent class has been thinned out even more, leaving players like Wyms, Marques Douglas, Corey Smith and Greg Spires as the "top names" available, and the Vikings may have no choice but to make a strong run after Scott.

While the Vikings don't like to overspend, the unavailability of Kenechi Udeze and the injury history of Erasmus James make it imperative that the team has a veteran presence on the D-line. Scott is familiar with the system and, while he and the coaching staff may have disagreed about his value when the team declined to give him a contract extension last year, he might be the best option pre-draft.

With everyone else at the DE position signing somewhere else, the Vikings may have to spend a little more the get Scott back, but at this point, beggars can't be choosers.

FRIDAY NOTES
* The Vikings likely could have matched or exceeded the contract Kearse was given by the Titans – a two-year deal worth $6 million, including a $1.3 million signing bonus.
* It sounds like Roger Goodell is serious about curbing cheating. In a memo to the competition committee Thursday, Goodell outlined a plan to conduct unannounced inspections of locker rooms, stadium press boxes and in-game communications equipment, as well as lowering the standard of proof against teams or personnel caught cheating.
* D.J. Hackett is starting to get the feeling that he's akin to the Maytag repairman. After being viewed as one of the hotter WR prospects in free agency, Hackett has received almost no contact from teams and has yet to make a single free-agent visit more than a week into the process. He was contacted early by the Bucs and Redskins, but neither has called back, making D.J. one of the lonelier free agents on the market.
* The Rams re-signed former Viking Adam Goldberg to a one-year deal Thursday.

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