With the rumor mongers running amuck about the future of the Vikings, one unsettling aspect has come out in the last couple of days – perhaps giving serious credence to sale rumors.
Red McCombs' year-end meeting with head coach Mike Tice was postponed last month – at which time the lack of communication led to offensive coordinator Scott Linehan leaving for the Dolphins without as much as a counteroffer. A rescheduled meeting that was supposed to take place in San Antonio between McCombs and Tice has now been scheduled as telephone conference call.
In his history as an owner and his reputation as a Texan, McCombs has been hands-on and face to face. This abrupt shift may be coincidence, but like many of the cryptic messages coming out of the McCombs camp, if it is, it doesn't make sense. At a time when rumors are running rampant around everything Vikings, it just adds to the speculation and lends itself to the idea that McCombs and his version of Purple Pride have seen their final days as part of Vikings lore.
* Follow-up Speculation Vol. I – VU has been told that Reggie Fowler's group is at a critical point in negotiations to buy the Vikings. If a sale with his group is to be done, it will be in the next couple of weeks. ESPN is speculating a 61-39 probability of a sale. If not, Glen Taylor is updating his substantial resume as a backup plan.
* Follow-up Speculation Vol. II – While everyone remotely associated with Randy Moss has denied trade rumors – word has it his high school gym teacher has denied such reports – it hasn't prevented newspapers from publishing offers. In Oakland, CB Phillip Buchanan and a No. 1 have been put on the altar. In Baltimore, LB Adalius Thomas, a No. 1 pick and the promise of Deion Sanders' return has been promised. In Washington, a No. 1 pick, a No. 2 pick and LaVar Arrington have been offered. If only columnists could finalize trades, the Vikings would be mulling offers-o-plenty. C'mon, Arizona Republic and Miami Herald, step up to the plate and be heard.
* Follow-up Speculation Vol. III – VU has been told that, with what latitude Tice is being given to hire at this point, his choice for a quarterback coach is down to two. The team has already spoken with Rich Olson, who spent last year as QB coach with the 49ers. Prior to that, he was offensive coordinator in 2001-02 with the Cardinals, QB coach with former Viking Brad Johnson with the Redskins and QB coach with former Niners head coach Dennis Erickson with the Seahawks – a relationship that dates back to their days with the University of Miami. The other candidate is Kevin Higgins, who is scheduled to meet with Tice this week. Higgins was wide receivers coach for the Lions last year after being QB coach with Detroit from 2001-2003. Prior to that, he was head coach at Lehigh University for seven years. Whomever the Vikings choose, they will come with a pedigree.
Sale Rumors Continue to Swirl
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