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Vikings players will get back to work today

By Judd Zuglad

McClatchy Newspapers

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings officially will begin their offseason conditioning program today at Winter Park, two weeks after NFL rules allowed teams to get back to work. Coach Brad Childress pushed back the start date in order to give players additional rest.

"I'm always glad to see faces back in the building because you're getting better and you're doing all the team building that occurs with the offseason," Childress said last week. "I know the guys will be coming and going. There will be people that are here and aren't here. That's their prerogative. But I think there are a lot of good things we can get done in the offseason."

The only portion of the offseason program that is mandatory is the May 29-31 minicamp, but many players have workout bonuses tied into their contracts based on attendance. "We'll be right around 90 percent, which is typically where we end up running," Childress said of the conditioning program. "Chester (Taylor) typically is a guy that's going to stay in Houston and work out and he's going to come back in good shape. I'm sure Jared (Allen) will be in and out like he was last year."

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Allen, in fact, prefers to do a blend of Mixed Martial Arts training near his Arizona home and mixes that in with some workouts with the team. Because of this, Allen does not have an offseason workout bonus in his contract.

Childress said "a pretty good number" of players already have been showing up at the facility to begin workouts. Quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels both are expected to be in attendance today. Both were scheduled to arrived in the Twin Cities last week.

The Vikings will begin on-the-field Organized Team Activities on May 19 and those will run through May 22.

Evans signs

Vikings backup defensive tackle Fred Evans signed his one-year, $1.545 million tender offer with the team Monday.

Evans, a restricted free agent, was given the second-round tender, meaning the Vikings would have received a pick in that round as compensation if Evans had signed an offer sheet and they had elected not to match it. Evans was at Winter Park on Monday.

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