Cross Vernon Carey off your list

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
INDIANAPOLIS -- I suppose it would be too much to ask Vernon Carey to shell out a little finder's fee. A few minutes short of 24 hours after we promoted Carey as a possible target for Chicago and Minnesota's right tackle needs, he agreed to terms with Miami on a six-year contract.

The move puts even more pressure on the Bears' efforts to select a tackle in the early rounds of the April draft to replace the apparently retiring John Tait. For Minnesota, it means the Vikings have one fewer option to provide competition for incumbent Ryan Cook.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Vikings coach Brad Childress admitted the Vikings have "got to play better" at right tackle in 2009. The Vikings benched Cook midway through last season, but he returned to the starting lineup after one game because of an injury to replacement Artis Hicks.

Childress added:

"I think Ryan would tell you he has to play better there. I thought he came back and played better, even though that sitting down was only for a week because Artis got hurt. I thought he did play better in the last games that he played."

Asked if he would be comfortable with Cook starting in 2009, Childress said:

"Yeah. I'd expect him to take that next step. You're always trying to get better at every position. But I'd expect him to take the next step, as well."