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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Something is rotten up in Minnesota

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

I am taking it as a sign from above that PFW's season previews are due today.

All summer, I have been wavering back and forth on who to pick first in the NFC North — fully aware that the runner-up in the division just as easily could make a Super Bowl.

But now I feel pretty good about my pick there. I am going with the Packers over the Vikings at the top of the North.

Why? I just don't like the vibe that's going on up in Minnesota. If the word "vibe" is too wishy-washy for you football types, allow me to offer you this:

  • The Vikings, coming off an NFC title-game disappointment, enter the offseason with a pretty big hangover.
  • Several players, including Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice, are rumored to want pay raises.
  • Peterson skips OTAs to celebrate … himself. Adrian Peterson Day in his hometown apparently is more important than, say, working on ball security or pass protection.
  • The Brett Favre saga lingers on through last week, to the point where players — team captains, mind you — are flying on private jets to woo the QB out of his retire/not-retire haze.
  • And as if it's not bad enough that key players such as Cedric Griffin and E.J. Henderson are coming off serious injuries, down comes the news that Percy Harvin's migraines are not getting any better and that Rice just had hip surgery and likely will be out until November.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln …

The Rice situation just has a bad stink to it. Amid talk of Rice wanting a new deal (despite last season being, by far, the first signs of real life he has shown in three seasons), we hear from his agent this offseason that his client has a bad hip but that he should be back by training camp. When that time passes, Rice tehn confirms he has had hip surgery. Could this not have been done in, oh, I don't know, April?

Anytime a player who reportedly wants a raise puts off surgery until the eve of the season, it always strikes me as a bit suspect. Now Rice might surprise us and be back sooner, but take a look at the Vikings' October schedule: at N.Y. Jets, vs. Dallas, at Green Bay and at New England. Youch.

This sealed one prediction for me. The Packers will win the North.

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