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.


Start of free agency nears

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings players, Brett Favre, Chester Taylor, Ray Edwards Updated: March 4, 2010 - 9:53 AM

Free agency officially starts at 11:01 p.m. tonight, which is around the same time Brett Favre is scheduled to make a guest appearance on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Should be a fun night.

The Vikings most pressing free agent question revolves around running back Chester Taylor, who will be free to test the market as an unrestricted free agent tonight. Taylor's agent  Ken Sarnoff was believed to have had more discussions with the Vikings on Wednesday and those presumably will continue today as the deadline nears.

Teams that are reportedly interested in Taylor are Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Houston, Buffalo and Kansas City. The Vikings have made it known numerous times that they want to keep Taylor.

We listed the tenders the Vikings gave their restricted free agents in the previous blog. We're still trying confirm safety Eric Frampton and offensive lineman Ryan Cook.

Defensive end Ray Edwards received a first-round tender worth $2.521 million. The Vikings would get a first-round draft pick if Edwards signs with another team. It will be interesting to see if a team is willing to give up a first-rounder to sign him.

Of course, we'll also bring you Favre's quotes from Leno tonight if you're unable to watch. I'll be surprised if he announces that he's returning next season, but he might give some indication on which way he's leaning. Judd and I have said a number of times that we believe he will return. That's based on nothing more than gut feeling but we think he will be the Vikings quarterback again in 2010.

Check back throughout the day for updates leading up to the start of free agency later tonight.

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