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.


Herschel back in purple?

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Super Bowl, Vikings fans, Vikings draft Updated: January 25, 2011 - 6:17 PM

As if this season wasn't tough enough on Vikings fans, now Herschel Walker's name has come up out of nowhere.

The former Vikings running back, who competes as a professional mixed martial artist, told ESPN that he's considering a return to the NFL and that he would like to play in either Minnesota or Atlanta. Walker is 48 years old.

"I've told everyone that at 50 I might try football again to show people I can do that," Walker said (per ESPN) during a conference call to promote his upcoming fight on Saturday in San Jose. "I want to be the George Foreman of football, come back and do that one more time. ... The two teams I would come back to play for are Minnesota or Atlanta. It would probably be Atlanta because that's home for me."
 
Walker's name brings back a flood of memories of one of the worst trades in sports history. The deal between the Cowboys and Vikings on Oct. 12, 1989, involved 18 players and draft picks. It was the largest trade in NFL history. The Vikings gave up five players, three of them defensive starters, and eight draft picks, including three in the first round, three in the second and one in the third.
 
Walker played for the Vikings through the 1991 season before going to Philadelphia and, of course, never helped deliver a Super Bowl to Minnesota. The Cowboys, meanwhile, turned into an NFL power in part because of all the draft picks they obtained from the Vikings.

Walker's MMA appearance will be his second. He is 1-0 and credits the training he has done with keeping him in football shape. "I'm a much better-conditioned athlete now than when I was playing football," he said. "I'm 48 and in better shape now than I was when I was in my early 20s, playing football."

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