Sources Mixed on Pending Green Firing

VU has been working the phones and the e-mails all night and have the latest in the strange, evolving saga of the future -- or lack of a future -- of Dennis Green with the Vikings

The e-mails and phone calls were ringing fast and furious Thursday -- even late into the night -- over the Dennis Green saga, which broke on ESPN Thursday afternoon.

As of the wee hours of Friday morning, here is what we have:

* Green refuses to comment on the story, but, as of early Thursday evening, had no direct communication with owner Red McCombs.
* VU independently corraborated a report that at midseason, McCombs, who is no fan of Green friend and front office man Richard Solomon, demanded that Solomon be fired. Green refused and the two were at a stalemate. At one point, discussion turned to a contract settlement that would allow Green to leave the team.
* Green's agent Ray Anderson has said he doesn't want the circus atmosphere of Monday Night Football to be dominated by Green's pending firing and, if the Vikings are insistant on firing Green it should happen soon.
* The firing could happen as early as today.
* Green will not quit on his own accord. If he does, he would jeopardize the remainder of his contract, which calls for him to be guaranteed payment of $5 million to $6 million. There is some confusion as to whether he would be entitled to all of the money if he accepts a head coaching position with another team for next season.
* McCombs, who hasn't been reached by any media source as of this time, according to a VU source, will likely be in Minneapolis today and, if nothing positive comes out of the meetings, may well take action today.
* McCombs was extremely agitated by comments Green made on a national radio show about the impossibility of a joint stadium for the Vikings and University of Minnesota, which VU was told led to another meeting between the two.
* McCombs is apparently upset with the bad publicity the Vikings have received this year, especially as it relates to actions by Randy Moss and emotional outbursts by Cris Carter -- the implication being that McCombs has lost confidence in Green as the organizational leader.
* There is no way Green will allow himself to be stripped of power and have his defacto general manager duties taken over by former Viking and front office man Scott Studwell.
* Green is extremely upset over leaks from inside the organization to media outlets -- ranging from local media like VU to national media like ESPN and CNN.

As promised, VU will continue to monitor this story and get information to you as quickly as we can. This story continues to evolve and we'll have people on top of it as the news breaks.

* The VU family would like send our deepest sympathies to Tony Dungy, who lost his mother Cleo Thursday. Our prayers are with Dungy and his family.
* Dungy remains a top candidate for the potential Vikings vacancy. His popularity and a tie to the University of Minnesota could help sway legislators to take more of a look at a new stadium than Green, who has been the brunt of considerable bad press.
* A pair of polls taken Thursday night show overwhelming support for firing Green. A newspaper poll showed 79 percent of fans wanting Green fired, while a TV report showed 96 percent want Green fired and 3 percent want him to stay -- only on TV can you have an internet poll asking a yes or no question and somehow come up with a 99 percent response rate. That's why TV is what it is.
* Cris Carter may not play Monday. He didn't practice Thursday and has a broken rib that is causing him considerable pain.
* Shawn Worthen was upgraded from questionable to probable Thursday. Michael Bennett's status didn't change, but he's expected to play Monday.
* Monday's game may also be the final home game for defensive tackle Tony Siragusa of the Ravens. He announced his retirement Thursday.
* There is a wild rumor making the rounds that has the Vikings firing Green and bringing in Tony Dungy, Bill Parcells going to the Bucs, the Raiders allowing Jon Gruden out of his contract and he moving on to Indianapolis where he can get a big money long term contract and Green being hired by the Raiders. As for Jim Mora? He goes on the rich man's cheese line.
* Right now, if Dungy isn't available -- although he's reported by our Tampa sources as needing to win at least one if not two postseason games to keep his job -- the top two candidates to replace Green if he is fired is popular line coach Mike Tice or McCombs slappy and University of Texas coach Mack Brown.

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