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.


'Fitzgerald campers' cautious amid whirl of NFL news

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Phil Loadholt, Vikings training camp Updated: July 25, 2011 - 8:02 PM

Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko might have said it best walking off the Gophers' practice field amid a whirl of NFL news and speculation about a timeline for the league year to begin.

"I'm not going to believe anything until (Chiefs coach Todd Haley) calls me and tells me to get back to Kansas City to start working again," said Palko, one of the players participating in Minneapolis native Larry Fitzgerald Jr.'s daily workouts at the University of Minnesota. "There are so many media outlets and league sources and so forth saying this and that, you don't know what to believe. Ever since the lockout ended that first time and was put back in place the next day, I have just decided not to believe anything I hear until Coach Haley call me and tell me to get back to Kansas City."
 
Others were a little more optimistic about the news that the NFLPA and the NFL had agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement early this morning. It was first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. Glazer also reported that trades and rookie signings could start tomorrow, while free agency would start at 6 p.m. Friday. Naturally, until there is an actual vote by the NFLPA executive committee and the players, it's impossible to know an exact timeline. But, naturally, that hasn't stopped anyone from offering multiple timelines.
 
Fitzgerald believes the reports that an agreement is made and that football will return this week.
 
"I think it's a done deal now," Fitzgerald said. "All we have to do is get the lawyers to look it over. And then we'll be back at work. The fans are happy. We're happy. We can move forward from here."
 
Said Rams safety Craig Dahl: "If it's true, it'll be nice to get back to work soon. I think once the leaders of the executive committee get their final approval on it, and once the reps from the 32 teams get their approval on it, it's an easy process getting the vote from all the players. We'll be in favor of getting back to work."
 
Vikings receiver Jaymar Johnson said, "It's time to get back to work, so hopefully, all of this is true. I've been champing at the bit to get back to work for awhile now."
 
If indeed the agreement is ratifield by the players, the Vikings will be taking training camp back to Mankato. They would report on Sunday and start practicing on Monday.
 
"I can't wait, man," Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt said. "It's been a long time without doing any football, it's been a long time since I've seen my teammates and I'm just ready to get back to work."
 
Loadholt looks to be in great shape. He said his weight is between 335-340. He reported to camp last year at around 350 pounds.
 
 

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