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Vikings trade Bouman

Get sixth-round draft choice for backup quarterback

Knight Ridder Newspapers

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Vikings were lauded in private around the NFL on Thursday for being able to find a taker for embattled quarterback Todd Bouman, alleviating a public-relations issue and giving them an extra draft pick.

Thursday morning, the New Orleans Saints and agents for Bouman, who will back up Aaron Brooks, agreed to a new contract for this season, the final year of a three-year contract Bouman signed with the Vikings in 2001.

Bouman, 30, will earn $1 million from the Saints for the 2003 season, a reduction from the $1.8 million he would have made with the Vikings. That includes a $1 million roster bonus he was due April 1.

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The teams agreed to the trade Wednesday contingent on the Saints redoing the contract. The Vikings, who likely were going to release Bouman before his roster bonus was due, will receive a sixth-round pick in return.

"It's time for me and my family to move on," said Bouman, who has been connected to an alleged sexual assault that occurred during a Vikings fund-raiser last month. "We're ready to move on, and New Orleans is a great place to be."

Vikings coach Mike Tice said the team has a contract offer, believed to be for two years, to Washington free agent Shane Matthews to be Daunte Culpepper's backup. Tice said the Vikings no longer are interested in Neil O'Donnell because he has been slow in deciding with whom he wants to play. The Vikings also are interested in Gus Frerotte.

In addition to completing the trade, the Vikings re-signed backup running back Moe Williams to a three-year contract that will pay him about $900,000 a season. His signing bonus was less than $1 million. The team lost out on an opportunity to sign right tackle Orlando Brown, who opted to stay near his children in Baltimore and signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Ravens.

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