Vikings beat deadline on Phil Loadholt

In the end, it was all but impossible to imagine the Minnesota Vikings allowing their right tackle to reach free agency and migrate to a division rival. So with minutes to spare before the 4 p.m. ET opening of the market, the Vikings agreed to terms on a multiyear deal with right tackle Phil Loadholt, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.

Earlier, several reports suggested the Chicago Bears would have interest in Loadholt if he reached the market. Loadholt, of course, has been the Vikings' starter for four years and there were no obvious internal replacements. He has never made a Pro Bowl, but he is durable (one missed game in four years) and was part of a reconstructed offensive line in 2012 that the Vikings hope will stay together for the foreseeable future.

The market is now open, and we'll see whether this means the Bears move on another offensive lineman. One thing we know for sure: It won't be Loadholt.