Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: August 29, 2011 10:12 am

Vikings cut Rhett Bomar, nine others

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings have come a long way over the past six months in terms of their quarterback situation. That's good news for Minnesota fans. And it's bad news for Rhett Bomar, who was one of 10 Vikings players cut on "Black Monday" (we're guessing it'll eventually be called that anyway).

Teams have until 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday to get their rosters down to 80 players and early Monday the Vikings did some of the dirty work necessary to get down to the magic number.

That dirty work was basically chopping 10 players from the roster, including Bomar who, in all seriousness, believed he could be the Vikings quarterback of the future no less than eight months ago. Of course, in the time since Bomar was signed from the Giants practice squad, Minny has added Christian Ponder via the draft and Donovan McNabb via trade. With Joe Webb also on the roster, Bomar became expendable.

He was cut along with offensive lineman Conan Amituanai, tight end Ed Barham, defensive backs Simeon Castille and Chris Adingupu, linebackers Kyle O’Donnell and Jonathan Gilmore, wide receiver Andre Holmes, kicker Nate Whitaker and defensive lineman Colby Whitlock.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 7:20 pm

New drug punishment system could help Williams

K. Williams could be facing a two-game suspension rather than a four-game suspension (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It looks like the fallout from the StarCaps case* finally will end, and it might have given way to a completely new way to punish those who test positive for drugs.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that Kevin Williams will have his original four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy reduced to two games, because, in this new (still hypothetical) system of punishment, the NFL could suspend those players either for two games or for six games.

*Which gave reporters a tiny intro into legal reporting before the lockout hit and made us all reach for our law review books.

In April, a Minnesota court ruled that the NFL could proceed with the suspension of Williams (and former Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams and Saints defensive end Will Smith), who had tested positive for a banned diuretic that was not listed in the ingredients of the StarCaps weight loss supplement he had been taking.

Which, at this point, should be OK with Williams.

In May, he claimed he was at peace with the court’s decision, saying, “With all this (lockout stuff) going on, maybe (the NFL will) forget about it and we can go on with our regular work. If it happens, it happens. I found a great place to work out in Little Rock. I'll be there getting ready and see you in Week 5, if that's the case."

Funny thing, the NFL didn’t forget it, but it sounds like the league is willing to go a little lighter on his suspension as well.

The reason for that, writes the Pioneer Press, is because, while the NFL and NFLPA meet to figure out if the union will accept HGH testing, the two sides would implement that new punishment system for positive drug tests -- two-game suspensions for diuretics and six games for steroids.

Since Williams fits into the former category, he automatically would go from four to two.

-In other Kevin Williams news, the Pioneer Press writes that he has plantar fasciitis and will miss the final two preseason games.

"Everything's good, though," Williams said. "Just trying to take some precautions, find out exactly what's going on. I'll be ready for the season. It's nothing bad."

Asked if he’d be ready to play in the season-opener against the Chargers, he said, “I’ll be there.”

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 6:09 pm

Bryant McKinnie gets a chance with Ravens

McKinniePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Bryant McKinnie’s long wait to sign a new deal with a new team is over. The former Vikings offensive tackle who was cut earlier in the preseason has reached an agreement with the Ravens, the Baltimore Sun reports.

McKinnie was a Pro Bowler in 2009*, but he upset the Vikings when he showed up to this year’s training camp far out of shape. Though the Vikings never actually came out and said that was the reason they got rid of McKinnie, coach Leslie Frazier said this before axing him: "There are a number of things that we want to work on with Bryant and some other guys as well. Conditioning is part of it. We just want to try to make sure that we're doing the right thing by every guy that's wearing the purple."

The Vikings also apparently were upset that McKinnie refused to budge off his base salary of $4.9 million, and for a guy who supposedly weighed in at nearly 400 pounds** when he arrived at camp, that was unacceptable.

*You might recall that McKinnie partied a little too hard in Hawaii, and he was not allowed to play in the game.

**McKinnie is 6-foot-8, but even for that height, 400 pounds is rather rotund.

McKinnie's drama
But now, he gets another chance with the Ravens -- who, according to the Carroll County Times, will sign him to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million (with a $1 million bonus).

It’s an interesting move by the Ravens, considering they failed to re-sign free agent tackle Jared Gaither earlier this offseason, essentially paving the way for Michael Oher to return to the left tackle spot, which used to belong to Gaither.

But as I’ve been saying, Oher, though he has a great backstory, isn’t always such a great left tackle. Perhaps the Ravens will give McKinnie, who can be a wonderful tackle when he’s in shape, the chance to prove himself worthy of protecting Joe Flacco’s blind side instead of Oher.

Remember this, though. In order for the deal to be consummated, McKinnie still has to pass his physical. As we’ve seen in the not too recent past, that’s not necessarily a slam dunk for McKinnie.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:26 am

Chargers won't move if new stadium isn't in works

Farmers FieldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It seems relatively clear that if a new team winds up in Los Angeles to play at the new downtown complex that will include Farmers Field, it very well could be the San Diego Chargers.

When I talked to legendary San Diego Union-Tribune scribe Jerry Magee recently, he said the city was worried, and aside from perhaps the Vikings, the Chargers returning home to their original city (the Chargers were established in L.A. in 1960) seemed like a pretty good bet.

But according to ESPN.com, the move not be that easy -- or that close to actually happening. Chargers special council Mark Fabiani said the team would not consider a move to a temporary spot in a new city if that city also wasn’t in the process of building a permanent new stadium. He’s not sure Farmers Field qualifies.

"I think the downtown L.A. project is years away," Fabiani told ESPN.com. "I think it would be a miracle like the loaves and the fishes if they could [break ground next year]."

New Stadium in L.A.?
AEG president Tim Leiweke has previously said he would like to break ground on the new stadium by next June and open it by September 2016. Meanwhile the city of San Diego is trying to build a new Chargers home of its own, a retractable stadium downtown.

The problem(s) with that scenario: how to finance the project in San Diego, and could the city’s voters get behind a new project that likely would keep the Chargers in town? That obviously is not an issue with AEG and L.A., which has plenty of money and support (if not from football fans in L.A., it’s got tons of it from the league office). And Fabiani is not clueless about the potential fallout of that equation. If a new stadium isn’t built, Fabiani knows there might not be much hope of keeping the Chargers in San Diego.

"I think if we didn't make the ballot in 2012 we would have to seriously look at our other options," he said. "I don't think there's any way to avoid saying that to people."

Which ultimately shouldn’t make the people of San Diego feel any better. Because even if the Chargers aren’t in danger of leaving San Diego within the next year, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen eventually.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 1:40 pm

Carroll supports Jackson as Seahawks starting QB

Posted by Ryan Wilson

This Rapid Report from Saturday night's Minnesota-Seattle game by our Seahawks correspondent, John Boyle, also serves as a microcosm for Tarvaris Jackson's career: "Jackson played the entire first half, but it was hard to get a read on the Seahawks’ new quarterback. He was under near-constant pressure, and also had a well-thrown ball turn into an interception because WR Golden Tate couldn’t make the catch."

Jackson has shown glimpses of what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, but his efforts are often overshadowed by poor timing and bad luck. Also not helping his cause: Backup Charlie Whitehurst outplayed him in the Seahawks' 20-7 loss to the Vikings.

By the time Jackson made his way to the bench he was 11 of 21 for 75 yards and an interception. Whitehurst, after playing well last week, ended his night 14 of 19 for 97 yards and a touchdown.

After the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll stood by Jackson, who he has already named the regular-season starter. “He was fighting for his life a little bit," Carroll said. "I thought he did some very good things, showed he could get out of trouble and save a play. I’m not in any way disappointed with what he did.”

Carroll added that “We need to help [Jackson], we need to protect him better.” And he reiterated that there is no quarterback controversy. “I’m not in that mindset at all,” said Carroll, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “I love that Charlie played well, and I think we need to give Tarvaris a chance to play well, too, with the guys around him. I felt like he was out there fighting for it and did a good job of competing.”

Clearly, not everyone is of that opinion, including former Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy, who took to Twitter early Sunday morning to voice his thoughts on the matter.

When asked about Milloy's tweets, Carroll said any response would be made to Milloy personally.

Whitehurst said: “[Milloy's] a good friend. He’s a heck of a player. Like I said, I’m just trying to do whatever I can. Whatever happens, hopefully it’ll be a successful year for the Seahawks.”

We've previously mentioned Whitehurst and where he fit into the Seahawks' long-term QB plans. In July there were rumors the team might be willing to part with a first- and third-round pick for Kevin Kolb.

But Seattle had acquired Whitehurst last offseason when they swapped 2010 second-round picks with San Diego, and threw in a third-rounder for good measure. They then signed him to a two-year, $8 million deal. Last month we wrote: "No one really knows what Whitehurst can do. He was uneven in two starts last season, but that doesn't means much. Along those lines, do we have any idea what type of starter Kolb will be?"

More germane to this conversation now that Kolb's in Arizona and Jackson's in Seattle: do we have any idea what type of starter Tarvaris will be? More to the point: is Tarvaris clearly an upgrade over Whitehurst?

It doesn't look like it through two preseason games. But for now, Jackson is Carroll's guy.

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Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:11 pm

Myron Rolle on Ponder: 'He's borderline genius'

Posted by Will Brinson

Christian Ponder didn't -- at least according to one expert opinion -- get off to the greatest start on Satruday night as Minnesota lost his debut to Tennessee 14-3. But that doesn't mean he can't become a good, great or just plain smart quarterback.

Or all of the above. According to Myron Rolle, that should be easy. Rolle, Ponder's former teammate at Florida State and a Titans safety, says the Vikings quarterback is, in fact, "borderline genius."

"He’s a very smart person, incredibly smart, one of the smartest I've met," Rolle said Satruday, per John Glennon of The Tennessean. "He’s borderline genius. So I don’t think it will be an issue for him at all to get adjusted mentally to the [professional] game."

If there's one NFL player (or human being in general, actually) who knows a thing or two about being intelligent it's Rolle.

Rolle, a Florida State graduate and former freshman All-American, eschewed the 2009 NFL Draft to pick up a Masters of Science in Oxford and then entered the 2010 draft, where Tennessee took him in the sixth round.

So, yeah, if you're talking about big brains, Rolle's a guy you want to check in with. And he worked with Ponder for some time in Tallahassee so while there's potential for bias, but it's pretty hard to argue with since, as Glennon points out, Ponder's got his bachelor degree, an MBA degree and is casually still rolling through FSU's sports management program.

"He has a mind outside of just book-smart," Rolle said of Ponder. "What I like to call it is applied knowledge. He can understand things. He grasped our teams at Florida State very quickly. He grasped social concepts at Florida State very quickly. He’s very impressive."

And, as Rolle points out, he's in a pretty good situation for applying said knowledge. Sitting behind Donovan McNabb and learning the Vikings offense, adjusting to the speed of the NFL game and growing into a professional quarterback.

Absolute worst-case scenario? It doesn't work out for Ponder and, like Rolle, he falls back on one of his many collegiate degrees to earn a nice living elsewhere, which is the real advantage of being a smart NFL player.

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 9:16 am

NFC North podcast preview featuring Dale Jr Jr

Posted by Will Brinson

We're taking a spin around the NFL with our Podcast Preview series this week and our latest stop is in the NFC North. Ryan and I break down a slew of issues relating to the division and I'm joined later by Josh Epstein of the white-hot band Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. (buy their new album "It's a Corporate World" on iTunes here; check them out on Facebook here).

Lest you think it's just random awesomeness, Josh is actually a huge Lions fan. And, hey, speaking of the Lions, can they finally "make the leap" to become a non-terrible team this year? Because that's one of the questions we ask. We also wonder if Donovan McNabb is the worst quarterback in the division, if the Vikings are destined for a last-place finish, whether anyone in the entire world will have the stones to pick against Green Bay, if we actually remembered that Chicago won the division last year.

All that -- and much, much, more -- by clicking the play button below. Also, SUBSCRIBE VIA ITUNES.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Childress: Moss 'vomited' on Vikings locker room

ChildressPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s the best quote from former Vikings coach Brad Childress that you’ll probably ever see. But hey, WR Randy Moss -- supposedly retired these days -- brings out the best in just about everybody, even the coach who he sorta, kinda helped get fired.

While talking to NFL.com about Moss, who was handed to the Vikings last season after the Patriots decided they didn’t need him anymore, Childress said this about his former WR: "We had good guys, by and large [but Moss] walked in the locker room and vomited on it."

Yikes, right?

Childress went on to say that perhaps he should have consulted owner Zygi Wilf before deciding to cut Moss, and that didn’t help his standing with the person who had the power to fire him (it also didn’t help matter that Childress wasn’t exactly known as a people-person and that he had led the team to a 3-7 record when he was canned).

"I should have gone up the chain," Childress said.

Childress obviously had no idea the situation would become so bad, especially when he first talked to Moss about playing in Minnesota.

"He called me and said, 'I can't wait, I can't wait. I feel like I'm coming home again,'" Childress said.

Instead, Moss caught 13 passes in four games and helped get his coach fired before he ended up as an irrelevant bench player in Tennessee. Now, both are out of work, and their return as a viable player and as a future NFL head coach is questionable.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com