The Vikings worked out a deal with Federal Express, acquiring place kicker Jose Cortez in exchange for postage to be determined later.

Well, not exactly, but Cortez had been working as a FedEx delivery driver in Portland, Ore., when Minnesota signed him to be its kickoff specialist this week. Aaron Elling, who had been handling kickoffs for the Vikings, broke his right ankle while trying to make a tackle against the Colts on Monday night and is out for the season. Minnesota's other kicker, 44-year-old Morten Andersen, can barely make a 45-yard field goal, much less get the ball anywhere near the end zone on a kickoff.

You remember Jose Cortez. He was one of the three kickers on the Redskins' roster in 2002. He's also the only Salvadoran in the league. . . .

Interim Dolphins coach Jim Bates has head coaching experience, but it came almost 20 years ago. Bates coached the USFL's San Antonio Gunslingers in 1985.

"I know I'm going to get paid this time," Bates joked this week. While coaching the Gunslingers, he resigned midway through the season after numerous missed paydays. The team folded after that season, and the league went under the next year. . . .

Funniest headline of the week: "The Tradition Continues -- NFL to Remain on Broadcast TV." This stunner was at the top of a league press release touting its new contracts with Fox and CBS. As if football were in danger of not being on on any major network.