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Childress Appreciative Of Taylor’s Contributions To Vikings

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 5, 2010 – 4:55 pm

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress and RB Chester Taylor both joined the Vikings in the same year – 2006. While Childress is currently busy working to improve the Vikings roster for the 2010 season, Taylor has decided to move on from Minnesota and join the Chicago Bears.

While with the Vikings, Taylor was productive. He rushed for 1,216 yards and 6 TDs in 15 games in 2006 as the Vikings featured RB, and then he played a valuable role as the #2 RB behind Adrian Peterson from 2007-2009.

Childress and the Vikings are now charged with finding a way to replace Taylor, a task that can be accomplished via a number of different methods (we’ll get more into that early next week). But the Vikings head coach has no ill-will to his former RB now that he’s heading to a division opponent.

“Chester was a very productive member of our 2006 free agency class,” Childress said on Friday. “We’re appreciative of his contributions on the field. He played a number of different important roles as a starter, backup and 3rd down specialist. Chester is a great competitor, teammate and professional. I’m happy for him and wish him all the best.”


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Taylor Signs With Bears

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 5, 2010 – 3:30 pm

One of the most frequent subjects of blog entries on vikings.com over the last several weeks has decided to part ways with the Vikings and join the Chicago Bears.

RB Chester Taylor, an unrestricted free agent (UFA) as of late last night, agreed to a deal with the Bears today that will reportedly pay him $12.5 million over the next 4 years, including $7 million in guaranteed money. The development ends Taylor’s career with the Vikings after 4 seasons.

Signed by the Vikings before the 2006 season, Taylor’s 1st season in Purple was a good one. He rushed for 1,216 yards and 6 TDs on 303 carries in 15 games. But then the Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007 and Taylor saw his role reduced. Still, though, Taylor was valuable to the Vikings because of his pass blocking and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

But every player has a price and perhaps Taylor’s price wasn’t worth it for the Vikings. Or perhaps Taylor wasn’t interested in staying with the Vikings, regardless of their offer, and instead wanted to move on to another team in the hopes of more opportunity.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Taylor is a member of the Bears and the Vikings are now able to participate in the UFA market. Under the new rules that govern the 2010 league year, teams that participated in the AFC or NFC Championship Game are not allowed to sign a UFA until they lose one of their own.

The Vikings have now lost one of their own and they can pursue and sign another UFA, with the 1st year compensation not to exceed that which Taylor will earn in Chicago.


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Pair Of NFC North Teams Busy Already In Free Agency

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 5, 2010 – 10:34 am

Two NFC North teams made the playoffs last year – the Vikings and Green Bay Packers – and the 2 NFC North teams who didn’t qualify for the postseaon are already busy this offseason making adjustments aimed at improving their rosters.

The Chicago Bears are reportedly in the serious stages of negotiations with free agent DE Julius Peppers and they are also entertaining Vikings RB Chester Taylor. On top of that, Chicago has already signed TE Brandon Manumaleuna.

The Detroit Lions have signed former Vikings and Seahawks WR Nate Burleson and have also reportedly traded for Cleveland Browns DT Corey Williams. In addition to that, NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reported that Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz was at DE Kyle Vanden Bosch’s house just after the free agency signing period began last night.

[UPDATE: La Canfora is now reporting that Vanden Bosch and the Lions have agreed to a deal.]

Suffice it to say, the free agency period is in full swing and the NFC North is already in on the action.


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Retirement Or One More Year?

Posted by cjsiewert on March 5, 2010 – 9:48 am

During last night’s airing of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Viking QB Brett Favre said that he was only in southern California for one reason.

“We’re out here to see Hannah Montana,” he said to Leno after mentioning that his family was in Hollywood to see the final taping of Disney’s Hannah Montana.  “No offense to you, but Hannah Montana rules.”

On a more significant note, Favre spoke of how great of a season he felt he had in Minnesota and how his greatest accomplishment was winning over the majority of Vikings fans after being hated for his 16 seasons in a Packer uniform.

Despite the studio audience’s chants of “One more year!” Favre seemed more than relaxed to answer questions from Leno regarding his future.  It seems as if he had already gone through this process of “will you or won’t you return?” once or twice before.

Leno even comically presupposed his retirement with the gift of a solid gold watch but Favre offered his ever-so-popular noncommittal response, “But I haven’t made a decision yet.”  This in turn resulted in Leno suggesting his return for one more year with an explosion of confetti and roars from the audience.

All joking aside, this question of retirement or not may not be answered for an indefinite amount of time.

“I know now that I’m just not going to say anything anytime soon, just going to kind of sit back, relax, enjoy the offseason,” Favre said.

This indecisiveness from Favre may be agitating to some Vikings fans but head coach Brad Childress has expressed no concern as to when Favre will make his decision.  Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Childress reiterated his stance on letting the Vikings’ QB as much time as he needs to make a decision.

Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman has also shown little distress over giving Favre no timetable to make a decision.

“Brett will make his decision when he makes his decision,” he told reporters last week at the Combine.  “We have stated that we would love to have [Favre] back, but we’ll just keep on going about our normal business and continue building our team as we go through these processes over the next six months and see where we end up.”

Regardless of what Favre ultimately decides to do and when he makes that decision, he had one of his greatest seasons last year as a Viking, passing for 4,202 yards with 33 TDs and a career-low 7 INTs.

You can watch Favre’s appearance on “The Tonight Show” by clicking here.


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Report: Taylor To Meet With Bears Today

Posted by cjsiewert on March 5, 2010 – 9:15 am

Numerous sources have reported that Vikings RB Chester Taylor and his agent, Ken Sarnoff, will meet with the NFC North rival Chicago Bears today.  Taylor became a free agent at 11:01 CT last night and will test the free agent market.

Brad Briggs of chicagobreakingsports.com is reporting that Sarnoff is angling for a contract with $8 million guaranteed for the 9-year veteran.

The Bears may be searching for a 1-2 punch with the addition of Taylor or maybe even a replacement for their current RB, Matt Forte, who had offseason arthroscopic knee surgery.

Check back with vikings.com for more free agency reports as it will certainly be a busy day considering it is the first day of free agency.


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What We Learned On Leno Last Night

Posted by Mike Wobschall on March 5, 2010 – 8:19 am

Click here to view video of Favre’s appearance on “The Tonight Show.”

Given how the last 2 offseasons have played out for Brett Favre and the teams with which he’s been associated, most Vikings fans didn’t anticipate learning what the future held for their team and the legendary QB during his appearance on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” Thursday night.

But just because Favre didn’t announce his intentions for 2010 doesn’t mean we didn’t learn anything. After his chat with Leno and actor Matthew McConaughey on the set of “The Tonight  Show” we now know the following:

– Favre joked that the “real reason” for the trip to Los Angeles was to take their 10-year-old daughter to a Hannah Montana contest

– The QB described the 2009 season as “Way better than I could’ve dreamed.”

– With a boisterous audience obviously filled with Favre and Vikings fans, Favre said one of the biggest accomplishments for him in 2009 was winning over the majority of Vikings fans after being “hated” for so many years in Minnesota.

– Favre said he watched the just the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, calling that period great, and that he actually didn’t see the commercial that featured him.

Favre was relaxed with Leno and the two were actually quite funny together. After seeing their season come to an end in such a bitter and heart-breaking manner, perhaps it was good for Vikings fans to see their QB in such a context.


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