Tag:Leslie Frazier
Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 4:12 pm
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Vikings cut tackle Bryant McKinnie

Posted by Will Brinson

On Tuesday afternoon, Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie ominously tweeted, "Its been fun." The logical speculation was that he'd been cut (or informed he'd be cut anyway) by Minnesota.

That's exactly what's happened, as the team announced Tuesday that they'd cut McKinnie.

"This decision, while not an easy one, is in the best interests of our football team as we move forward," head coach Leslie Frazier said. "We appreciate Bryant’s contributions to the Vikings, and we wish him the best in the future."

McKinnie was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list earlier in the week and was, as Judd Zulgad of the Minnesota Star-Tribune points out, due to receive $4.9 million base salary this season, along with a $500,000 and $250,000 workout bonus.

The tackle was also apparently in pretty bad physical condition when he arrived at camp, though the team wouldn't confirm that's why he was on the NFI list. They did confirm they'd speak with McKinnie on Tuesday about the shape he was in, along with, per Zulgad, "a number of things."

"There are a number of things that we want to work on with Bryant and some other guys as well," Frazier said. "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."

Conditioning will be the likely suspect for the final reason McKinnie was cut and you can expect plenty of speculation as to where the 2009 Pro Bowler will end up next, beginning with the division rival Chicago Bears who are always in need of offensive linemen, though it's hard to imagine he fits the bill (or, doesn't fit, I suppose) if he's a) not in shape and b) unwilling to take less money.

Speaking of Chicago, Sun-Times writer Sean Jensen reports that McKinnie wouldn't take a pay cut from the aforementioned base salary and that also led to the Vikings decision to cut him.

The lesson to be learned here? Showing up to work out of shape and refusing to take a pay cut is no way to go through life, son.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:39 am
 

The biggest releases of the day

WeaverPosted by Josh Katzowitz

We had some surprising, and plenty of not so surprising, names who were released today, the first day teams could actually waive players.

Here are a few of the most-significant pink slips handed out today (we already told you about Vince Young and Tennessee here and the Baltimore guys who have been cut and the Dallas players who are gone).

-Former Vikings S Madieu Williams: He didn’t play well last year, and he’s teetering on being a bubble player in the league. Although Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier originally said he wanted to see what Williams would do in training camp, he ultimately decided not to find out. The fact Williams was supposed to make $5.4 million this year didn’t help his chances.

-Former Saints CB Randall Gay: After missing most of last season while dealing with the effects of a concussion, New Orleans released Gay. He would have cost New Orleans $5 million, and considering he was stuck behind Tracy Porter on the depth chart, this seemed like an easy call.

-Former Eagles FB Leonard Weaver: The former Pro Bowler was caught off guard by this move. This is what he wrote in a series of tweets (sics, of course, apply): “Hey there eagles nation, I'm sorry to say but I just found out I was released by the Eagles. … The kicker behind that is that the organization didn't call me and tell me. I had to find out by a reporter. … Now I have mixed feeling about that because I gave everything I had to the organization, and I would think that they would atleast call... And Let me know what was going on, but as I have learned over the years fans, business is business. …However I wish the best for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

-Former Chiefs G Brian Waters: He was a Kansas City mainstay for more than a decade, and the news of his release was met by sadness from some of the city’s media. Said Waters, who played 163 games in a Kansas City uniform: “The Chiefs and I have mutually agreed on this decision and although I look forward to continuing my career, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Kansas City."

-Former Giants RB Tiki Barber: I know it’s hard to believe, but for some reason, New York severed ties with the former NBC broadcaster.

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: June 15, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Fewell still confident about coaching prospects

FewellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

A few months ago, after Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell had gone 0-for-4 on landing a head coaching job in the offseason, Fewell felt fine about his position in the NFL.

He didn’t wonder if he had taken over for Leslie Frazier as the hot new Rooney Rule token interview. In fact, he felt as if the Rooney Rule helped him get his face and his ideas in front of the executives who hire head coaches – not just those who needed new coaches immediately, but for the entire league.

And just because the Browns job went to Pat Shurmur and the Broncos job went to John Fox and the Panthers job went to Ron Rivera and the 49ers job went to Jim Harbaugh – all of them beat out Fewell for those respective positions – that doesn’t mean Fewell feels hopeless.

Instead, Fewell – who was in charge of a Giants defense that ranked No. 7 in the league last year (after it was No. 13 in 2009) – is a confident man.

His attitude hasn't changed. Fewell still feels pretty good about his spot in the NFL.

“I know now, probably more so than ever, that I’m ready,” he told the Newark Star Ledger. “I’m prepared to lead a club and an organization and a football team into battle on Sundays to win a Super Bowl. I learned a lot about administration and organization and preparation as far as the interview process is concerned.”

Fewell's journey
Not only has Fewell steadily improved New York’s defensive ranking, he also has true proof that he can be a successful head coach. In 2009, the Bills fired Dick Jauron midway though the season, and they elevated Fewell – the defensive coordinator in Buffalo – to the interim head coach position.

Almost miraculously, Fewell led the Bills to a 3-4 record during the final seven games, giving his head coaching profile a huge boost. It was a wonderful performance by Fewell, and though the Bills passed him over in order to hire Chan Gailey, Fewell suddenly became a legit candidate.

Obviously, he went undefeated in NOT getting a new job this offseason.

But like Frazier before him, Fewell eventually will land his head coaching job. And it will have had nothing to do with the Rooney Rule.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Vikings, Bills disagree with NFLCA's amicus brief

FrazierPosted by Josh Katzowitz

At some point, I just know we’re going to find a group of coaches who actually agrees with the NFL Coaches Association’s amicus brief to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

It hasn't happened yet, though, as the Vikings and the Bills have weighed in on the matter, throwing their support to the owners in this lockout battle.

The brief cited numerous issues that would harm the league’s coaches if the lockout continued. (The brief also made the statement that owners demanded a provision in the coaches’ contracts that would allow the team to withhold part of the coaches’ salaries in the event of a lockout.)

The Redskins coaches didn’t agree with the NFLCA. Neither did the Saints coaches, who said they were appalled by the brief. The staffs of the Eagles, Cowboys, Jaguars, Texans and Chiefs also threw their non-support behind the brief.

Now, there’s word that the Bills have the owners' back (per the Buffalo News, via Pro Football Talk) while Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told ESPN 1500 that his staff wasn’t even asked its opinion about the brief before it was filed.

From Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins: “Our entire staff had no prior knowledge, nor were we consulted that the amicus brief was being filed on behalf of the coaches. We support Mr. (Ralph) Wilson.”

Frazier, meanwhile, was asked about his reaction when he heard about the brief: “Surprised. Just wondering how that came about and wondering why our team wasn't contacted. I wondered ... just how many teams were contacted. But just really, in a lot of ways, it doesn't pertain to us because we had no say in it as a staff."

So, that’s at least seven teams that have come out against the brief, and I don’t see anybody who's currently working in the league who will announce their support for the NFLCA's brief anytime soon. Which makes you wonder. Who does the NFLCA actually represent in this matter? Because it certainly doesn't seem to be the coaches.

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.23.11: Buddy Ryan has cancer



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Once again, former coaching standout Buddy Ryan has cancer, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan. But Rex is confident in his father. Said Rex: "He's 80 years old, but he's doing great. He's tougher than (s---). He's had other things in his life. He overcame encephalitis. He's overcome cancer twice. He's tough."
  • Sounds like the students at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis had a blast with Rams RB Steven Jackson. Even if this was a team-sponsored event (the Rams had to get special permission before Jackson could appear).

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Posted on: February 27, 2011 9:57 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Rice not signing with Vikes to test free agency

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings are clearly interested in keeping Sidney Rice -- and according to Leslie Frazier, they extended a contract offer to the wide receiver recently. However, Frazier didn't exactly specify what kind of deal they threw Rice's way. (For instance, it could have been a one-year RFA deal.)

According to a report from Judd Zulgad of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the offer they sent his way is a multi-year deal. But, according to Rice's agent Drew Rosenhaus, the wideout will not be signing with Minnesota before the March 4 CBA deadline. 

That comes via ESPN's Adam Schefter, who notes that Rice will "test free agency" instead of re-signing with the Vikings. And Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network says Rice will "consider" the Vikings as a landing spot in free agency.

What makes Rice's decision particularly interesting is that he won't necessarily be an unrestricted free agent -- depending on how the labor situation pans out, he could end up as a restricted free agent with four years of accrued service.

If that happens, he might be willing to rethink his position on the Vikings offer.

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Vikings place franchise tag on Greenway

Minnesota has franchise-tagged C. Greenway (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Vikings have announced they will franchise tag LB Chad Greenway, leaving the door open for others to court WR Sidney Rice and possibly sign him away.

Greenway is a good choice for Minnesota. He’s led the team in tackles the past three seasons (this year, he had a career-high 144 stops), and he’s played in 64-straight games. He’s durable and talented, and he’d be a good candidate for a long-term deal.

According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, the Vikings won’t use their transition tag on Rice either, and apparently they believe they can re-sign him on their own. You’ll recall last season that Rice missed 12 games after undergoing hip surgery, and when he returned, he produced pedestrian numbers (17 catches, 280 yards, two touchdowns in six games (five starts)).

[Related: Franchise Tag Tracker]

But it was also pretty obvious that Rice wasn’t happy with his $550,000 salary for 2010, and it’s also clear Minnesota will have to pay him much more in order to keep him.

Of course, it’s not out of the realm of possibility another team swoops in and tries to sign Rice, but that’s the risk the Vikings are willing to take. Instead, they’ll tag Greenway and pay him about $10.2 million for 2011.

"Chad's an important part of our team and his play speaks for itself," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said in a statement, via ESPN 1500. "He's productive and has continued to improve each year he has been in the NFL. He's a leader for us in the locker room and on the field."

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Posted on: February 20, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Hot Routes 2.20.11: Millionaires vs. billionaires



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • A nice story here by the Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb about Chiefs equipment manager Mike Davidson who, after working for the club for the past three decades, is retiring from his job.
  • Falcons WR Roddy White was all over Twitter the other day complaining that the labor dispute has become known as millionaires fighting with billionaires. White’s point was that it’s not an accurate statement, and here’s a New York Daily News piece that explains why White might be exactly right.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Clark Judge doesn’t think the Jets will make the playoffs next year. Or, for that matter, the Steelers.
  • LB Rashad Jeanty signed a contract with the Eagles today. He’s a good dude and a pretty good player as well, so bully for him.
  • I talked about this a few days ago, but here’s another article highlighting NFL assistants who could lose their jobs if the owners lock out the players.

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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