The Vikings' offseason workout program for players with one to three years of experience started on March 29 at Winter Park.
While veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels has been a regular since that time, coach Brad Childress told players with four or more years of experience that he did not expect to see them for a few more weeks. Well, that time has come. Veterans will join the offseason program on Monday.
The offseason program is not mandatory so this won't be a case of every veteran showing up. Some, such as cornerback Cedric Griffin (knee), linebacker E.J. Henderson (leg) and nose tackle Pat Williams (elbow), have been spending plenty of time at the facility since the season ended getting rehab for their injuries.
There are players who prefer to workout on their own -- defensive end Jared Allen comes to mind -- and might not be around until the three-day minicamp in June. That is the only offseason event that is mandatory. Of course, quarterback Brett Favre has yet to decide if he's going to return and even if he does make that decision sooner rather than later he's not going to come to Minnesota any time soon. If Favre returns, he will certainly get an excused absence from minicamp.
Another interesting case is wide receiver Percy Harvin. It sounds as if Harvin is working out at the University of Florida and might continue his program in Gainesville for the time being.
The deal with these offseason workouts is players sometimes have bonuses tied into their contracts that will be paid if they participate in a certain amount of the program. However, because they can't be fined for not showing up, the franchise has little leverage if a player wants to stay home and workout.