As reported last month, the Vikings have an expensive decision to make concerning backup QB Todd Bouman. As part of the three-year contract he signed before the 2001 season, Bouman is set to receive a $1 million bonus if he's still on the roster April 15 and a 2003 salary of $850,000.
There is some question as to whether the Vikings are going to pay that kind of money for a player who will be a free agent following the 2003 season. VU has been told the team is looking at another option to paying him or releasing him -- trading him.
The timing is right for both the Vikings to get value for Bouman (i.e. draft picks) and for Bouman to get a starting opportunity somewhere else. The Ravens, Panthers, Bears, Bengals and Broncos are looking for a new starting QB and the Cardinals will also be in the market if Jake Plummer moves on via free agency. Add to that the fact Brett Favre has openly talked about retirement and you can add the Packers to the list of teams looking to find a starting-caliber QB.
If the Vikings do swing a deal, it likely will happen after the Combine, when several of these same teams get a chance to look at the deep rookie QB crop. If no player they really like is going to be available, a deal for Bouman could happen quickly.
* In NFL Europe news, the Vikings allocated WR Kenny Clark and QB Shaun Hill to the Amsterdam Admirals so they can work together. Guard Kenny Sandlin has been allocated to the Scottish Claymores and OT Lorenzo White to Frankfurt. Kicker Todd France and punter Nick Murphy will be assigned teams after a league kicking camp in March.
* Jeff Diamond is apparently getting closer to signing a one-year deal to stay with the Titans.
* From the It's Too Strange Not To Be True Department comes this: Dimitrius Underwood, the troubled former first-round pick of the Vikings, has been deemed incompetent to stand trial in Texas. What is he on trial for? Robbing a paraplegic. It never ends for Dimitrius, does it?
* From the "Oh, Do Shut Up" Department comes this: Rev. Jesse Jackson wants the Lions fined and barred from the 2003 draft because of the perception the team wanted Steve Mariucci and didn't consider minority candidates. While their Mooch love was obvious, Denny Green and others were contacted, but declined to come to Detroit for interviews. Jesse should stay out of football -- at least in this instance.
* From the You May Come Home Again Department comes this: Former Vikings defensive coordinator Willie Shaw is one year shy of the needed tenure to kick in a pension plan. Mike Tice has said if Shaw doesn't hook up with another team, he would bring him back to get the needed year of tenure.
Just as the Vikings began to contemplate the pros and cons of Todd Bouman's future with the team, he…