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Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: January 28, 2012 9:24 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 8:23 pm
 

Owners might nix Vikings new stadium plans

The NFL isn't excited about Minnesota playing in a college stadium for up to three years. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Here's the deal: the Viking want a new stadium. And Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has suggested that said new stadium be constructed on the site of the Vikings' current stadium. The organization, which had other locations in mind, initially balked at the idea before coming around on it.

This means that they'll have to find a temporary venue to host their games until the new digs are complete. Early estimates are that it could take three years. One option: University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, an outdoor stadium currently used by the Gophers.

But even if the Vikings and the governor's office are amenable to such a plan, the NFL, it turns out, is not.

Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that there will be a $67 million financial hit not to mention the logistical headache of playing elsewhere for up to three seasons. (According to Murphy, Vikings president Mark Wilf said the team would lose $37 million playing at TCF Bank Stadium for three seasons and would have to spend an additional $30 million to make it NFL compliant.)

Plus: league owners have to sign off on any such move and, well, it doesn't sound like they're on board.

"I can tell you there won't be a lot of happy campers among the membership (owners)," a person close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of stadium negotiations told Murphy. "TCF is a gem, but it's not an NFL stadium."

Proponents of the plan could point to the 2010 season when the Vikings played a December game at TCF Bank Stadium after the Metrodome roof collapsed. Murphy notes that "The game was even celebrated as the franchise's return to outdoor football, and more game day snow helped limit attendance and quell possible brouhahas over general admission seating."

The critics' response: you can't compare one game to three years.

"Capacity is way reduced," the person close to the situation said. "It's a different atmosphere for visiting teams, not as much of a home-field advantage for the Vikings. Nobody has figured out how the team will fill that loss of revenue hole. There's still a lot of wood to chop."

So what are the alternatives? Murphy explains:
The Metrodome figured to be the Vikings' way station if they got their wish - a new facility in Arden Hills. The Dome might be viable this season if engineers can do ancillary work around the building before blowing it up. But until a bill is passed by the Legislature, there is no construction timeline.

And with no Metrodome in 2013 and beyond, there is no alternative in the area outside of TCF for the Vikings.
"We understand the challenges that we face there," Wilf said earlier this week. "We're still in the process of doing our due diligence. Lot of aspects involved, including how we address the seasons we play at TCF. But we're making progress on getting to know the site much better."

Wich is why the Pioneer Press's Bob Sansevere says the Arden Hills location needs to be revisited.

"Instead of wailing and stomping their feet in objection to a new stadium on the Dome site, Vikings owners can just sit back and let their NFL peers be the bad guys. What Minnesota politicians need to realize is, they're dealing with successful businessmen from Jersey who are adept at making deals and getting what they want. In other words, politicians should take another serious look at putting a stadium in Arden Hills, which is what the Vikings' ownership group wants."

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:20 pm
 

McNabb really thought the Bears would sign him

McNabbBy Josh Katzowitz

After the Vikings cut Donovan McNabb on Dec. 1, he appeared on ESPN for an interviewe and seemed confident that, even if nobody claimed him off waivers, he would be signed as a free agent at some point soon.

That obviously never happened, even though apparently McNabb truly believed the Bears would ink him after Jay Cutler went down with his season-ending injury.

"I thought the Bears would call," McNabb said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 (via ESPN Chicago). "So many people continuously talked about the Mike Martz offense and things of that nature. I personally didn't care about that. If you want to win and win now, you go out and get a better quarterback and you cater your offense to his strengths, and obviously the strengths of your team.

"Obviously it didn't work out well for them. It's unfortunate. I wish things would have worked out, but it didn't. We will see what happens from now on."

Instead of signing McNabb (or Brett Favre for that matter), the Bears -- who did put a waiver claim on Kyle Orton before losing five of their final six games of the season -- went with the disastrous Caleb Hanie before finding some offensive stability with Josh McCown.

Even so, Bears receiver Devin Hester didn’t relish the thought of bringing in McNabb, saying it would be a “waste of time” because McNabb hadn’t played in former offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s offense.

Still, McNabb would have liked the chance, particularly since Chicago is his hometown.

"I definitely thought about it," he said. "Growing up a Bears fan, I kind of saw myself playing back home and hopefully winning the Super Bowl ... I think when the situation was there, everyone, friends and family, thought it would happen. It didn't, things didn't work out well for them.

"I got a chance to relax and rest my body, so I don't mind at this particular time what happened, but things could have been different."

For McNabb, and certainly, for the Bears.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 9:14 am
 

Allen wouldn't have minded the Strahan treatment

Allen

By Josh Katzowitz

You remember Jared Allen’s amazing performance in Week 17, recording 3 ½ sacks against the Bears and finishing the season with 22, only a half-sack behind record-holder Michael Strahan (it was enough to make him our Eye on Football defensive player of the week)?

Considering Brett Favre basically dove in front of Strahan in the final week of the 2001 season in order to help get his buddy the sack record, you might think that Allen would be upset (in retrospect, at least) that Favre’s actions shut the door on Allen’s ability to get the mark a decade later.

Apparently not. And when he was asked by WHB radio in Kansas City if he wished Chicago quarterback Josh McCown had done his best Favre impression (the Strahan one, not the other thing) to let the Vikings defensive end set a new record, Allen didn’t mince words.

“Absolutely,” he said. “A sack is a sack is a sack. There was about three times when I hit him when he just got rid of the ball. I tell you what, all he had to do was hook slide for me on one of them. … There’s been a lot of talk about that. I guess the biggest controversy is, was it a pass or was it a run? I’ve gotten sacks where I’ve chased guys out of bounds. I haven’t had one yet where a guy slides and I get to touch him down, but I’ve gotten them any which way possible, but a sack is a sack is a sack and they’re still hard to come by.”

Funny, with Allen, it doesn’t seem that way. Which is probably why opposing offenses find him somewhat intimidating.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 7:56 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Alan Williams to be next Vikings DC

Alan Williams reportedly will accept the Minnesota defensive coordinator job (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

[UPDATE 1:22 p.m. ET; Jan. 19]: The Vikings have announced Alan Williams will be the new Vikings defensive coordinator.

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After the Vikings fired defensive coordinator Alan Pagac last week, coaches such as former Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, Dolphins interim coach Todd Bowles and former Jaguars interim coach Mel Tucker had their names linked to Minnesota as the replacement for Leslie Frazier’s team.

Instead, somebody employed last season by Indianapolis finally got some good news.

That’s because the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that former Colts defensive backs coach Alan Williams has been offered the Vikings job and is expected to accept.

Though the Colts were a mediocre 15th in pass defense this year, Williams and Frazier worked together in Indianapolis from 2005-06 before Frazier won the Minnesota defensive coordinator job. Williams had been in Indianapolis the past 10 years and, before this season, had much success.

Hopefully for the Vikings, he can help ease Jared Allen’s worried mind.

"I hate to see Pagac go," Allen said a few days ago. "People know how I felt about him and the job he did with what he had to work with. Between here and Kansas City, he's been with me pretty much my entire career. But that's the business. Now, I have to trust that we'll do the right thing and hopefully they'll keep me in mind as they weigh their decisions on who to bring in."

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:10 pm
 

Sherman close to landing Bucs gig, Chilly as OC?

Could Sherman and Chilly wind up in Tampa together? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Buccaneers are currently searching for a head coach and as CBSSports.com's Clark Judge reported on Friday, they want a disciplinarian first and foremost.

Which is why it makes sense for the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora to report Sunday that Tampa Bay is closing in on Mike Sherman as their choice to take over for the recently-fired Raheem Morris.

LaCanfora reports that Sherman is "well-positioned" to land the gig and that "a decision could be announced this week."

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

Sherman was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Rams gig, but his interview with the Bucs last week apparently went well and he fits the profile for what they want (read: the opposite of Morris.)

And LaCanfora has an interesting possibility for a member of Sherman's staff too: former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who's been out of coaching since being relieved of his duties in Minnesota in 2010.

Though Sherman and Childress haven't worked together previously, they do come from the same coaching tree. Chilly came up under Andy Reid, who came up under Mike Holmgren, who hired Sherman as an offensive assistant in both Green Bay and Seattle.

Both run the West Coast offense and Childress helping Josh Freeman bounce back from a bad 2011 would help people remember his success as OC with the Eagles again, instead of the failures in Minnesota.

LaCanfora "wouldn't be surprised" if Childress landed in Tampa as an assistant but also notes that the Browns, who are searching for an offensive coordinator with West-Coast history, are a possible landing spot for Childress as well.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur left the Eagles (where he succeeded Chilly as quarterbacks coach) to be offensive coordinator with the Rams before taking the head-coaching job in St. Louis, so either landing spot is absolutely a viable possibility.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:20 pm
 

Spielman takes over GM spot in Minnesota

Rick Spielman was named the Minnesota GM this week (AP).By Josh Katzowitz

New Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has been making the radio rounds today, and we already told you that he declared Christian Ponder to be the starting quarterback for next season (though Spielman didn’t say necessarily that Ponder was the quarterback of the future).

But you might be asking yourself this: Wait a tick, how did Spielman, the former vice president of player personnel, get promoted to the GM spot when the Vikings are coming off a 3-13 season? I commend you for thinking of that, because it’s a good question.

"I think what the ownership is doing is they see the body of work that's been done,” Spielman said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I think what they want to see is by putting this structure in place, is this going to help clarify things on how we're doing things moving forward? And I know in this role, you're going to have to prove yourself. You're going to have to make the right decisions. You're going to have to get this football team better. But that's part of making some changes and putting me in this role."

Before, the Vikings had shared authority with coach Leslie Frazier and other team executives. Now, it’ll be the traditional hierarchy of the GM controlling the personnel, the owners controlling the fate of Frazier, and Frazier controlling his coaching staff.

“With the general manager's title, you're going to be out in front more, dealing with issues that do arise,” Spielman said. “You're going to know from the standpoint of when we do make personnel moves and personnel decisions who's responsible for those decisions? It's not going to be, 'Did he do this?' Or 'Did he do that?' It's all my responsibility now. That's going to be the biggest change. Now when we start making roster moves and things like that, the coaches and everybody will be involved in that process. But I'll have the ability to make the final say on how we're going to move forward.”

Spielman was previously the GM in Miami, though his time with the Dolphins was short and unproductive. In Minnesota, he’s made some solid moves, including trading for Jared Allen and drafting Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.

Basically, now, Spielman’s neck is on the line. If the team improves, that’s great and he'll get the credit. If not, now the fans can put a face on the organization’s failures, and it'll be the face of Spielman.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:49 pm
 

Vikes GM: Christian Ponder is our starting QB

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Christian Ponder had a solid first year for the Vikings, but he wasn't necessarily guaranteed to remain the future for the Vikings, thanks to the success of Joe Webb late in the year, as well as the presence of talented quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

However, new Vikings general manager Rick Speilman said on Wednesday that Ponder is the guy going forward.

2012 NFL Draft

"He’s going to be our starting quarterback when everyone is back for OTAs," Spielman told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

That doesn't mean Ponder can't lose the starting job to Webb (or any other veteran the Vikings bring in). It simply means that Minnesota doesn't plan on drafting a quarterback (say, Robert Griffin III) in the upcoming draft.

Lest you say that's obvious, the Browns are already a current example of how a team can fail to commit to a high draft pick as soon as the season ends. On Tuesday, Browns coach Pat Shurmur wouldn't commit to having Colt McCoy as his starter going forward and/or the Browns not drafting a quarterback in April.

Obviously the two situations are different; Ponder was a much higher pick than McCoy and Minnesota's only seen one season of Ponder, whereas McCoy's played in two full seasons, albeit shortened ones because of Cleveland's depth chart and concussion injuries.

But the Vikings do have the third pick in the draft, and that means they're squarely in the wheelhouse for potentially landing RG3. (For what it's worth, Rob Rang and Dane Brugler have them taking Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne, respectively, in our latest mock drafts.)

Now they're more likely to find themselves squarely in the wheelhouse of trading down with a team that wants the Baylor product, which, as long as Ponder pans out to their projections, is an enviable position indeed.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:23 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:47 pm
 

2012 NFL Postseason Awards

Brees and Rodgers could square off three times this year, if you count awards. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We won't bore you by listing our preseason predictions (you can read those here), but suffice to say, all of mine were correct. Take a peak at the midseason hardware if you want too, but right now we're interested in dishing out the awards for the full season.


Speaking of which, I've already ranted on Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers for the MVP, but I find it fascinating that at midseason, no one even picked Brees for Offensive Player of the Year, much less MVP. I'm not here to knock Brees, I'm just saying the award's for an entire season's worth of work.

Anyway, below are our full season picks. (You can also read Pete's full season picks here and Clark's full season picks here.)

Most are obvious but "BFA" is "Best Free Agent Addition," "WFA" is "Worst Free Agent Addition," and "DOH!" is "Pick I'd Like to Have Back." (Haha, yes I did pick the guy who eventually iced his own kicker to win "Coach of the Year." At least I was driving the Camwagon though.)

Dive in below and leave your gripes and complaints in the comments.

Award Brinson
Wilson
Katzowitz
Prisco
Judge
MVP
Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers
OPOY
Drew Brees Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees Drew Brees
DPOY
Jared Allen Terrell Suggs Jared Allen Jason Pierre-Paul Jared Allen
OROY
Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton
DROY
Von Miller Aldon Smith Aldon Smith Von Miller Von Miller
COY
Marvin Lewis Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh
ASST
Rob Chudzinski Rob Chudzinski Wade Phillips Wade Phillips Wade Phillips
BFA
Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles
WFA
Sidney Rice Braylon Edwards Santonio Holmes Ray Edwards Ray Edwards
Comeback
Steve Smith D'Qwell Jackson Aaron Maybin Matthew Stafford Matthew Stafford
Most Improved
Matthew Stafford Antonio Brown Victor Cruz Rob Gronkowski Rob Gronkowski
Surprise
Bengals Broncos Broncos Bengals 49ers
Disappoint
Eagles Jets Eagles Eagles Eagles
Executive
Rick Smith Rick Smith Rick Smith Martin Mayhew Mike Brown
DOH!
Garrett for COY Rivers for MVP Rivers for MVP Fins in/Lions out Rams in NFCW

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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