Vikings' fullback carousel could continue

Naufahu Tahi (Jeff Gross/Getty)

The Vikings could be searching for their third starting fullback in the last two years if they decline to match an offer sheet for Naufahu Tahi.

The Vikings received a 1-2 punch at the fullback position Friday and neither of them were positive.

The Cincinnati Bengals stepped up with a one-year, $1.4 million offer to Vikings fullback Naufahu Tahi. Tahi, a restricted free agent, was offered a $1.01 million tender by the Vikings prior to free agency, but if they want to keep him they will have to kick out $1.4 million after the Bengals' offer sheet Friday.

The offer sheet came a few hours before the Philadelphia Eagles signed fullback Leonard Weaver to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. The Vikings were said to be one of the teams interested in the Seattle fullback, although that may have been talk by others to drive up his asking price.

With Weaver off the market, the Vikings have seven days to decide whether they want to pay the additional $400,000 to Tahi. That is far from certain, since fullbacks are more often than not undrafted free agents that come to the NFL under league-minimum contracts.

The Vikings haven't had a lot of consistency at fullback. In the first two years of the Brad Childress offense, veteran Tony Richardson was the primary blocking back for Adrian Peterson and A.D. was vocal about his disappointment that the Vikings didn't re-sign Richardson, who recently signed a one-year, $500,000 deal to remain with the Jets. The team thought it had its fullback question solved last year in free agency, when it signed Thomas Tapeh in the first days of free agency. Tapeh was a bust from the get-go and was released during the season without making much of a contribution, making Tahi the team's third starting fullback in less than one year.

To complicate matters, Peterson was also vocal about Tahi last year, claiming that at times the young fullback got in his way on running plays and was indecisive. That said, Tahi did show steady improvement during the season.

There are no guarantees that the Vikings will match the Tahi offer sheet, but, if the Vikings don't match the Bengals' offer, they will be looking for their fourth different starting fullback in the last two years.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • One of the reasons the Vikings may not choose to match Tahi's offer sheet is the cheap availability of fullbacks on the rookie market. Last year, only four fullbacks were drafted – the rest were signed as undrafted free agents.

  • Former Vikings lineman Adam Goldberg re-signed with the Rams Friday. Goldberg, who was acquired in a trade with the Vikings in 2006, reportedly visited Cleveland before re-signing with St. Louis.

  • Packers safety Nick Collins, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, was a no-show at the start of Green Bay's offseason workout program. Collins has said he won't take part in the training program until he has a contract extension.

  • The Rams appear to be close to re-signing Gus Frerotte as the team's backup quarterback. Frerotte came to the Vikings after being released by the Rams in favor of veteran Trent Green. Green was released at the conclusion of last season and Frerotte appears to be the favorite. After moving his family time after time during his pro career, his wife and children remained in St. Louis when Frerotte came to the Vikings.

  • The agent for Jay Cutler claims that at least 10 teams have expressed an interest in trading with the Broncos for their disgruntled quarterback.

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