Vikings catch interest of Pittsburgh's Burress

NFL Notes
This is an archived article that was published on in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The agent for Pittsburgh receiver Plaxico Burress has had preliminary talks with the Minnesota Vikings about his client replacing Randy Moss.

Michael Harrison told The Associated Press that Burress would not mind playing with quarterback Daunte Culpepper in Minnesota.

''Plaxico's interested in being in Minnesota,'' Harrison said. ''I think it is a good fit for both sides.''

Also on Thursday, free-agent receiver Travis Taylor, a disappointment during his five seasons in Baltimore, visited the Vikings.

Burress is the biggest name receiver left on the free-agent market. At 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, the five-year veteran has the size and speed to get down the field and catch the fade pattern in the end zone, a Moss specialty over the past seven years.

After Moss was traded to Oakland on Wednesday and third receiver Kelly Campbell was arrested on marijuana and weapons charges, Vikings coach Mike Tice said the Vikings are looking for depth at the position.

If healthy, Burress would certainly provide more than that.

His best season came in 2002, when he had 78 catches for 1,325 yards and seven TDs. But an injury last season and quarterback inconsistencies contributed to lower numbers in 2003 and 2004.

Redskins lose 'core' player

When Joe Gibbs returned to the Washington Redskins last year, he said it was still possible to keep a core group of players together for a long time - even in the era of free agency.

He's finding the task tougher than expected.

The Redskins lost middle linebacker Antonio Pierce to the Giants on Thursday, having decided not to pay the asking price for a player who perfectly fit the Gibbs mold - smart, talented, well-behaved and team-oriented.

The Redskins intensified their search for a receiver by welcoming free agent David Patten to Redskins Park for a visit.

Around the league

49ers: San Francisco signed left tackle Jonas Jennings, acquiring the top free agent available at a problematic position for the club.

Texans: Houston signed free-agent linebacker Morlon Greenwood to a five-year, $22.5 million deal hours after re-signing free-agent nose tackle Seth Payne.

Raiders: Oakland finalized a five-year, $27.5 million contract with free-agent running back LaMont Jordan.

Cowboys: Dallas signed defensive tackle Jason Ferguson.

Eagles: Receiver Terrell Owens had two screws removed from the injured right ankle that sidelined him late last season. The Eagles' medical staff said Owens should be fully recovered when the team opens training camp in July.

Packers: Green Bay lost both of its starting guards when Mike Wahle signed with the Panthers and the Cowboys lured away three-time Pro Bowler Marco Rivera.

Vikings: Minnesota agreed to terms with veteran defensive tackle Pat Williams. The former Bill agreed to a three-year deal worth $13 million, with a $6 million signing bonus.

Cardinals: Arizona claimed running back Larry Ned and cornerback Rhett Nelson off waivers from Minnesota.

Rams: St. Louis signed free-agent linebacker Chris Claiborne, a former Viking, to a three-year, $10.5 million contract.

Browns: Coach Romeo Crennel said that the club is continuing contract negotiations with free-agent quarterback Kelly Holcomb, but that ''there is some room between us'' and both sides may soon explore other options.