SBD/March 14, 2013/Franchises

NFC Free Agency Notes: Vikes Not Focused On Marquee Names After Harvin Trade

The Vikings on Tuesday traded WR Percy Harvin to the Seahawks, and ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert reported at the moment there are "no indications" the team plans to "host a free agent who would command a big salary," according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. A financial "cutback would represent a 180-degree reversal from" Owner Zygi Wilf's previous approach. To think it would "come less than a year after approval" of $498M in public subsidies for a new stadium would be "downright conspiratorial." The Vikings have "spent nearly $1 billion (in cash, not cap space) on player salaries since Wilf bought the team from" previous Owner Red McCombs in '05. Their "raw payroll figure" of $922M ranks second among all NFL teams over that span, a "status that should at least give the Vikings the benefit of the doubt at the moment." GM Rick Spielman said the "philosophy here is putting an emphasis on signing your own back." Seifert noted if that is "the case, the Vikings eventually will spend big on contract extensions." In the "overall arc of team-building, the Vikings are at an inexpensive stage" (ESPN.com, 3/13).

TIME TO DELIVER: The Lions yesterday signed several free agents, notably RB Reggie Bush, and in Detroit, John Niyo writes there is "no denying this point: With Bush signed, the Lions have to do more than just tease their fans with highlights this time" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/14). ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, “Bill Polian already said, with Reggie Bush playing running back in Detroit, the Lions now become the greatest show on turf” (“NFL32,” ESPN2, 3/13).

SAVING GRACE: In Dallas, Rick Gosselin writes free agency is "the most overrated aspect of the NFL calendar year." Teams can "still find some complementary pieces in free agency but not the impact players." Gosselin: "Certainly not players worth the contracts they are being paid." Yesterday's free-agent signings "become tomorrow’s salary-cap casualties." So having "no money this off-season is saving" Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "from himself" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/14).
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