Vikes Pick Up Tice Option

Red McCombs had until the end of the week to decide, but made the announcement Monday that Mike Tice will be back in 2005.

The status of the coaching future of Mike Tice has been in some question for the past month. What was dubbed Tice's "Millon Dollar Game" fell flat Friday, but Red McCombs decided Tice is his guy and exercised the option on the final year of Tice's contract this afternoon.

The option year will pay Tice $1 million -- still the lowest salary for an NFL head coach, but leaves the option open for a long-term deal if the Vikings play up to expectations in 2005. It has also been rumored that, with the Vikings still on the selling block, that McCombs wanted any long-term coaching decisions to be possible for any potential new owner -- who could sign Tice and his assistants long-term or get rid of the entire group at the end of the season.

With the Vikings still appearing playoff bound and a solid staff that has been diligent in conducting strong drafts the last two years, it is expected that, regardless of Tice's long-term status, he will have the franchise in good shape when his contract finally does expire next year.

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