Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


With NFL Combine complete, free agency becomes major focus

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: February 28, 2013 - 11:52 AM
The NFL Combine wrapped up Tuesday in Indianapolis, which has cleared the stage for the next big phase in the 2013 offseason: free agency. Technically, the opening of free agency won’t come until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12. But this year, the NFL has modified protocol, now allowing teams to contact agents of unrestricted free agents three days before the market opens.
That subtle change has altered the communication process somewhat. While the combine used to be an event with much more urgency for teams looking to solidify free agency plans by consulting with representatives of their in-house free agents, now it’s more of a feeling out process for both sides.
The most significant action will kick into high gear when March 9 arrives. That will allow agents of UFAs to shop around, discover a legitimate market value for their clients and then, if so desired, return to the original teams with concrete information to share and negotiate off of.
As we’ve noted, the Vikings have 10 UFAs – six on offense and another four on defense.  There will be some difficult decisions to make.
The Vikings will also have the opportunity in those three days leading up to free agency to engage in talks with UFAs from other teams. Though, let it be noted once again that a free-agency spending spree is highly unlikely.
Still, set a reminder for the weekend of March 9. That’s when the free agent action will accelerate. And if you’re interested to know which players might be available at each position, the comprehensive list is here.

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Atlanta - LP: J. Walden 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 5
Washington 1 Top 8th Inning
Philadelphia 6
Chicago WSox 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Cleveland 6
NY Yankees 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 2
Pittsburgh 5 Top 8th Inning
Cincinnati 3
Miami 1 Top 8th Inning
NY Mets 7
Toronto 5 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
LA Angels 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Texas 0
St. Louis 0 Top 4th Inning
Milwaukee 6
Boston 3 Bottom 4th Inning
Houston 0
Detroit 2 Top 5th Inning
Kansas City 1
Minnesota 1 Top 3rd Inning
Colorado 3
San Diego - J. Hahn 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Oakland - J. Samardzija 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
D.C. 10:00 PM
San Jose
Winnipeg 22 3:16
Montreal 20
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Los Angeles 68 FINAL
New York 54
Seattle 69 4th Qtr 7:11
San Antonio 51
Phoenix 29 3rd Qtr
Chicago 30
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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