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Updated: March 19th, 2012 1:19pm
Vikings to meet with Jerome Felton; Geoff Schwartz leaves without deal

Vikings to meet with Jerome Felton; Geoff Schwartz leaves without deal

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Vikings tried to claim fullback Jerome Felton off waivers in September, but the Carolina Panthers had higher priority and got him instead.

Now, Felton is an unrestricted free agent, and the Vikings plan to give him another look.

An NFL source said on Monday that Felton is scheduled for a visit on Tuesday with the Vikings, who primarily used Ryan D'Imperio and retired tight end Jimmy Kleinsasser as their lead blockers last season.

D'Imperio remains on the roster, but the Vikings are unsettled at the position. They re-signed Matt Asiata to a futures deal after the season and agreed to terms with free agent Lex Hilliard over the weekend.

Still only 25 years old, Felton was a fifth-round pick (146th overall) by the Detroit Lions in 2008. He played in 42 games over three seasons with Detroit, which waived him in final cuts last summer.

Felton played in nine games for the Panthers, who were awarded him over the Vikings and Philadelphia. After Carolina cut him on Nov. 25, Felton was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts and appeared in five games there.

A Furman product, Felton has 42 carries for 136 yards (3.2 average) and 34 catches for 280 yards in 56 NFL games.

No deal for Schwartz

Free-agent offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz visited the Vikings on Monday but was expected to leave without a deal, an NFL source said.

Schwartz, 25, was scheduled to visit San Francisco on Tuesday. He missed last season with a hip injury and didn't receive a restricted free-agent tender from Carolina, but he is believed to be healthy again and expects to play in 2012.

After spending time in Minnesota, Schwartz tweeted, "Awesome visit with the Vikings! ... Now another 2 flights and I'll be in (San Francisco) tonight."

Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson is familiar with Schwartz, having coached him in Carolina, where the onetime seventh-round draft pick played in all 32 games and started 19 over two seasons.

The Vikings need depth along the line, especially if Joe Berger -- the swing backup a year ago -- ends up starting at right guard.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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