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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Atogwe not on Vikings radar

Posted by: under Vikings, Lions, NFC, Brad Childress, Brad Childress, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: June 2, 2010 - 7:08 PM


Despite reports that the Vikings could be interested in O.J. Atogwe, NFL sources said that is not the case and Minnesota won't be pursuing the veteran safety.

Atogwe became a free agent at 11:01 p.m. Tuesday after the St. Louis Rams did not offer him a contract tender that would have kept him with the franchise. The Rams had designated Atogwe as their franchise player last year and would have had to tender him at $6.976 million for 2010.

Atogwe, a five-year veteran who will turn 29 on June 23, could still return to the Rams. The Dolphins, Lions and 49ers also are believed to be interested. The Cowboys reportedly were among the potential suitors but the  Dallas Morning News reported that owner Jerry Jones said the team would not make a run at Atogwe.

The twitter "feud" continues

Vikings coach Brad Childress, asked today about the Twitter byplay between tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and Saints safety Darren Sharper (a former Viking and a friend of Shiancoe's), said "there will be somewhere we will reel it in."

Well, that might be coming soon. On the Vikings visit to Camp Ripley on Tuesday, Shiancoe was given a target to shoot at that had a picture of Osama Bin Laden with Sharper's No. 42 on it and a drawing that claimed the photo was Sharper. It was all in fun but probably not in the best taste.

Well, Sharper has responded via Twitter and it looks as if he's not too pleased.

Wrote Sharper: "ok homeboy you done went too far, making me out to be something that has brought this country alot of heartache."

Here's Sharper's next tweet: "Imma bust you right under your chinstrap from the first play on. I don't care about the fine. [Bleep] the money. Imma do it for the red,white&blue."

And the final tweet: "And you'll see me cuz I'll be dressed in black & gold. Protect your neck that's all the warning you get."

Because of how these quotes are presented it's impossible to tell if Sharper is just continuing the bit between the two or if he's really ticked. At one point, Sharper wanted to bet Shiancoe his game check based on production in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener between the teams.

Chip checked in with the  league today and received an e-mail that the NFL is not looking into this at the moment. That was before Sharper's latest tweets.

Update: Sharper sent the following text message to Saints beat writer Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune after Triplett asked if the exchange was still in fun or had turned serious: "What u think, he pitting me as a terrorist, that ain't funny. ... You'll be there Thursday night so you'll see how serious I am."



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