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.


Report: Vikings interested in veteran guard

Posted by: under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Anthony Herrera, Steve Hutchinson Updated: May 8, 2010 - 11:27 PM

The Vikings have been relatively quiet this offseason when it comes to free-agent moves, but it appears they aren't done exploring their options on the open market.

Free-agent offensive guard Chester Pitts, who is coming off microfracture surgery on his right knee, told Fox Sports Houston's website that the Vikings called him last week and wanted to know where he was in his rehabilitation process. Pitts said he has talked to several teams and although there have been no contract offers his best chance might be in Seattle. Detroit and San Francisco reportedly also have expressed interest.

There has been a feeling the Vikings might bring in a lineman to challenge Anthony Herrera for the starting job at right guard and the 6-4, 308-pound Pitts would have the ability to provide that competition if healthy. Pitts has been a left guard but Steve Hutchinson holds that role with the Vikings.

Pitts, who will turn 31 on June 26, started every game for the Houston Texans for seven seasons but last Sept. 20 was injured against the Tennessee Titans. Microfracture surgery is a complex procedure and Pitts has been rehabilitating his knee for seven months. According to the story on the Fox Sports Houston site, Pitts is not football ready but is confident he will be once training camp starts.

“The knee is doing great,” he said. “It’s structurally sound. Because I had to be off of it for nine weeks, it’s kind of a deep hole you climb in to. It takes time to get it back strong. But I’d say it’s about 85 percent right now.”

Also worth noting is a report from Scout.com's Adam Caplan (via our friends at Viking Update) that Minnesota put in a waiver claim on former Washington wide receiver Marko Mitchell last week. Mitchell was released on Monday and was awarded to the Detroit Lions. Mitchell had four receptions for 32 yards in 10 games last season with Washington. Mitchell was a seventh-round pick of the Redskins last year and had an outstanding training camp.

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