The McCombs rumor mill has starting firing up again, as discussions of an imminent sale of the Vikings to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor have again surfaced.
Such rumors are nothing new. More than a year ago, VU reported that Taylor had been given a chance to open the Vikings books and look at the team's finances. The biggest sticking point at that time – and one that probably still remains – is McCombs' belief that the Vikings are worth $600 million ($350 million more than McCombs spent to buy them just six years ago) and Taylor's belief that the true value is closer to $450 million.
The latest impetus for the rumors is that the Vikings creatively worked out a contract for Antoine Winfield – the first outside free agent the Vikings have ever spent megabucks to get – that puts almost all of the financial burden of the six-year contract on this year's salary cap.
As the story goes, McCombs and the front office capologists have worked the Vikings salary cap to make it owner-friendly. Translation: if Taylor wants to spend on the Vikings like he did on the T-Wolves to get them to the conference championship series with Sam Casell and Latrell Sprewell, the money will be available. After this year, the Vikings will gain approximately $8 million in salary cap room because of the creative working of Winfield's signing bonus as a roster bonus.
Will anything come of this latest rumor? There's a better chance now than there has been in recent similar rumor phases. With the State Legislature opting out of a special session, the Twins stadium drive has been pushed back and, unless something changes that can get the Twins, Vikings and University of Minnesota off the insistence of each having their own stadiums, the Vikes stadium drive is at least two years away.
VU has heard that McCombs' frustration with the Legislature is getting more pronounced and that the sale is looking like a viable option to let him walk away from his football venture with a tidy profit. When or if that's going to happen is still up to Red and, for now, he's not talking – other than to say he's proud to own the Vikings and finishing each sentence with "Purple Pride."
McCombs Sale Rumors Surface Again
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