League Concerned About Vikes Sale?

Talk about the sale of the Vikings has taken an interesting turn, as VU has been told NFL officials are talking behind the scenes to avoid a perceived bad precedent if Red McCombs sells to Glen Taylor.

When Red McCombs bought the Vikings in 1998 for $250 million, that was the going rate for franchises outside of the top markets. Five years later, the landscape has changed.

VU heard recently that the price Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is willing to pay for the Vikings is in the area of $400 million. While that would would be $150 million more than McCombs spent for the team, the market value has changed considerably in the last half-decade.

With expansion franchises fetching in excess of $600 million, VU has been told that the league doesn't want a downward cycle in the rate for franchises -- much less one like the Vikings with a storied history and packed houses.

McCombs has used the figure of $600 million in the past, but the reality is that $400 million is more of an adequate figure for the value of the franchise. Granted, in Los Angeles, that number would be double, but the chances of moving a team out of Minnesota are remote considering the legalities, and $400 million would be a fair price for both McCombs and Taylor.

However, the league has been working hard to set a minimum franchise value and $400 million doesn't cut it, from what VU is being told.

While Taylor and his political clout would go a long way to get a new stadium bill approved by the Legislature, McCombs finds himself in the middle of a Catch-22. Selling for $150 million more than he bought the team for would be a tidy profit, but reducing the value of a franchise in light of expansion franchise costs is a concern to the league, which is trying to dissuade McCombs for selling for less than what is now deemed as market value.

The sale of the Vikings remains an ongoing issue, but there is a lot more talk going on behind closed doors than is being made public. All Vikings fans care about is keeping the team in Minnesota -- regardless of what that entails. However, it looks like there are more sides to this story than meet the eye.

* If you're watching the NFL draft on April 26, expect to hear former Vikings coach Dennis Green chiming in on his opinions. Green is going to be one of the analysts dissecting the draft for ESPN. After a successful stint on "Monday Afternoon Quarterback," Green has become one of the golden boys of ESPN's NFL coverage.
* In potentially huge draft news, WR Charles Rogers allegedly tested positive for a masking agent during his urine test at the Combine. Rogers, expected to go the Lions with the second pick, is reported to have taken a masking agent. For those unfamiliar with the term, masking agents are substances taken prior to urine tests to hide the presence of drugs in the blood stream. Most commonly, they have been used to hide steroid or marijuana use -- both of which take a considerable amount of time to show no traces in one's system. Whether this will affect Rogers' draft status or not remains to be seen, but it's not good news for a player who was expected to go no later than No. 2 in the draft.
* QB Carson Palmer, expected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, spent the weekend in Cincinnati meeting with Bengals officials. Barring a trade, the Bengals are expected to take Palmer with the first pick in two weeks.

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