Notebook: Destination 'will come down to contract,' Ray Edwards says
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Ray Edwards is prepared to auction himself to the highest bidder.
The Minnesota Vikings' left end shrugged off a series of questions about staying with the team as players cleaned out their lockers on Monday morning -- repeatedly indicating his decision will be about money and nothing else.
"It will come down to contract," Edwards said. "I just have to take care of my family so we'll see where it goes."
The odds appear strong he'll find the best offer elsewhere. The Vikings have 17 other players on the roster who could become unrestricted free agents, and despite his age (26) and production -- including 16½ sacks over the past two seasons -- re-signing Edwards isn't believed to be a priority.
"I left a lot of sacks out there, especially against Chicago," Edwards said. "I felt like I could have had had definitely double-digit sacks if I would have capitalized on all the sacks I missed in both of those games we played them. It is what it is, and I think played well."
A fourth-round pick in 2006 who has started 58 games over five seasons, Edwards boycotted offseason workouts and the mandatory minicamp last spring in protest of being given the $2.521 million restricted tender, instead of a multiyear deal.
Barring an unlikely change in the next labor agreement that would increase eligibility for free agency to more than five years, Edwards will have the chance to cash in this time.
"We'll see," Edwards said. "I've got to see what's the best situation for me and my family. That's basically what it comes down to."
Berrian expects to return
Receiver Bernard Berrian was startlingly positive about his chances for returning, saying he "definitely" expects to be a Viking in 2011 despite a big salary and another disappointing season.
"It was definitely a tough year for the team. It was a tough year personally," Berrian said. "It was pretty evident -- I think you guys saw what happened out there this year."
Berrian finished the season with 28 catches for 252 yards (9.0 average) and no touchdowns -- his lowest numbers in every category since 2005 -- as the Vikings went 6-10, struggling particularly badly in the passing game.
At age 30, Berrian no longer is a vertical threat and appears to have virtually no chance of returning at his scheduled $3.9 million base salary next season. But he said met Monday with Frazier and "everything we talked about was great" -- a stark change from the frustration he expressed early in the season with his role in then-coach Brad Childress' offense.
"I don't even want to worry about all that," Berrian said. "It's all in the past. I'm worried about 2011."
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson admitted he has no idea what his future holds -- but it probably won't be in Minnesota.
"I haven't really thought about it, for real," said Jackson, who played this season under the $1.176 million restricted tender.
"I have no idea, man. I don't want to say yes or no (he'll be back), but we all know how the league is. We know what the chances (are) of me being back here."
Jackson, 27, was Childress' pet project from the time the Vikings drafted him in the second round of the 2006 draft. But he lost the starting job on multiple occasions and served as Brett Favre's backup the past two years, getting his only start against the New York Giants on Dec. 13 in Detroit -- where he suffered a toe injury that ended his season.
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side," Jackson said, "but it wasn't pretty green on this side either. I guess we'll see. With the guys we have on our offense, I'd love to come play with these guys but we already know how it is. A fresh start might be good. Who knows?"
The migraines that hampered receiver Percy Harvin from training camp on -- eventually costing him two games -- haven't been an issue since a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona following his latest episode last month.
"We're pretty much in the clear," Harvin said. "I've got a few checkups, one checkup I've got to go to, but we've pretty much got the plan in order. I've been feeling great. So, hopefully, it can stick out and I've just got to follow the things I've got to follow."
In addition to his time in Florida and with the Vikings this offseason, Harvin said he plans to work out sometime with Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who "told me I was one of the best players he ever went against," Harvin said. "I took that as a tremendous honor."
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie said he plans to take off less time than usual before resuming training and hopes to lose about 20 pounds to get back to his college playing weight -- the same goal he set and apparently failed to reach in training camp.
"In the past, I've been having like injuries I just kept to myself and then had to like chill for three weeks," McKinnie said, "and then it ended up turning into like a month-and-a-half. So, this year, I'm not going to do that."
To prove he's serious, McKinnie -- 31 years old and listed at 335 pounds -- said he has hired a personal trainer to travel with him "even if I'm on vacation. Get up and get these workouts in. So, we can do like 'celebrity fit club' if y'all want."
• SLB Chad Greenway said he's been informed he's a Pro Bowl alternate but doesn't know where he stands on the priority list.
• MLB E.J. Henderson said he's no worse for wear after starting all 16 games following his gruesome fractured femur in December 2009. "Definitely a blessing to be able to make it that 13, 14 months," Henderson said." With all that's happened and make it out of there 16 games unscathed -- I wish we could be playing 16-plus, because I could be ready for that, too. But to make it through 16 (and this time) go through a regular offseason, it is amazing."
• Several players acknowledged they're eager to get away after five months of drama and disappointment. "It is a relief," McKinnie said. "I'm glad it's over, because it was just a rollercoaster ride, just a whole bunch of emotions. If you really think back about all the stuff that took place this season, it's very unbelievable all this stuff took place. I felt like everybody was able to hang in there and continue to fight, but this was definitely a long journey."