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Friday, July 29, 2011
Michael Jenkins makes sense for Vikings

By Kevin Seifert

Probably the top question I'm seeing from Minnesota Vikings fans has been how they're planning to replace receiver Sidney Rice, who agreed earlier this week with the Seattle Seahawks.

During the wild speculation over the first few days of free agency, the Vikings have been linked to some big-name free agents, including Malcom Floyd and Braylon Edwards. They might well end up with one of those players, but here is another name to keep in mind: Michael Jenkins.

The Atlanta Falcons released Jenkins on Friday morning, and already many people around the NFL are linking him to the Vikings because offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave used to be the Falcons' quarterbacks coach. That means Jenkins will know the Vikings offense and be ready to step in right away when newly signed free agents are able to begin practicing Aug. 4.

To be clear, Jenkins is a much different receiver than Rice. He's a classic possession type, with dependable hands and a good work ethic. He's not going to make plays happen downfield on his own, but he'll be in the place that Donovan McNabb (or Christian Ponder) expects him to be.

I have no inside knowledge that a deal is imminent. It's just one that makes a lot of sense for both sides.

Recent Vikings posts: Remi Ayodele could be the Vikings' new nose tackle. The best way to view the acquisition of quarterback McNabb is as (expensive) insurance for Ponder. Rice wanted a fresh start. The Vikings made the right call in bringing back place-kicker Ryan Longwell. Receiver Percy Harvin plans to play at about 10 pounds lighter this season. Adrian Peterson was surprised to see Rice leave. The Vikings have a tough decision on Peterson's contract. .