The Vikings under Mike Tice have made something of a name for themselves with their tough talk. Whether it be a take-or-leave-it contract offer or a refusal to budge on prices to be spent in free agency, the Vikings have made a reputation for being tough negotiators and, in the end, getting what they want.
That resolve may be tested by Jim Steiner, the agent for Bryant McKinnie. No stranger to bad holdouts, Steiner advised DE Justin Smith to hold out in contract talks with Cincinnati last year -- a deadlock that last almost two months from the time camp opened for the Bengals.
It looks like the same may be true with McKinnie and the Vikings. While the Vikings aren't talking publicly, VU has confirmed both from the Vikings side and McKinnie's side that the latest offer made by the team -- and rejected by Steiner -- carried the tag "final offer" with it.
At issue are conflicting beliefs. On the Vikings side, they believe the contract structure of a deal signed by DE Andre Carter, which gave him almost $8 million (70 percent of his contract up front in guaranteed money) was out of line with contracts signed by other rookies. That feeling has carried over and the Vikings don't want to use the No. 7 slot from last year as a barometer for deals this year, saying that the league's rookie pool doesn't leave a lot of room for overpaying rookies.
For their part, McKinnie's agents still seemed genuinely miffed that he last until No. 7 and feel he should be paid money equal to that of Bills OT Mike Williams -- taken with the fourth pick.
What does this mean? Until one side blinks, there is no reason to think McKinnie will get in camp any time soon and both sides might dig out of pride more than any other factor and a protracted holdout that began in July could carry through much or possibly even all of August.
McKinnie Holdout At Impasse
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