Vikings vice president of player personnel Fran Foley is close to being done with his short-lived duties with the Minnesota Vikings, according to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune is reporting that the Vikings were negotiating a buyout of his contract this afternoon. A league source told Viking Update early Tuesday evening that Foley had been fired.
A call from Viking Update to the Vikings wasn't immediately returned.
Foley was hired on Jan. 26, 20 days after head coach Brad Childress was hired, and the two combined with vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski to become a three-headed decision-making crew when it came to player acquisitions.
Foley led the charge in this past weekend's NFL draft, a flurry of activity that drew mixed reviews from draft analysts. The Vikings made two especially controversial decisions during the draft's first day.
The team's second of three second-round picks, New Mexico offensive lineman Ryan Cook, was generally considered a "reach" by most draft experts. Then, after not trading up to draft Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler as the quarterback of the future in the first round, the team traded its two third-round picks to acquire the final pick in the second round and select Alabama State quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, a player many felt could have been drafted later without surrendering other picks in a trade.
But Foley also led what was considered a strong free-agent run fueled by a good salary-cap situation created by Brzezinski's dealings in past roster moves.
At the Combine in February, Giants coach Tom Coughlin had strong reviews for the talents of Foley when asked about him by Viking Update.
Foley worked under Coughlin when the two were in Jacksonville, Coughlin as the head coach and Foley working in the personnel department from 1998-2002.
Previously Foley worked for Coughlin when they were at Boston College.
"He was the first guy I brought with me when I went to Jacksonville, which was about two weeks ahead of any of the coaches that I brought with me, so you know how important he was to me," Coughlin told Viking Update. "He is very, very intelligent. He's very well-organized. He's an outstanding evaluator of talent. He'll be a great asset to that organization."
Coughlin also said Foley is versatile. Despite having more experience in pro personnel, Coughlin didn't think the college side of scouting would suffer in Minnesota.
"He's scouted on both levels (college and pro). If you know anything about that position of recruiting coordinator, you know that it's a jack of all trades. He's the liaison to everybody. He allows that you have great feelings toward the university about what you're doing in the football office," Coughlin said.
While Coughlin moved on to become head coach of the Giants, Foley moved to San Diego to work in its personnel department, where he was the director of pro scouting from 2003-2005 before joining the Vikings. Coughlin said there just wasn't a position open at the top level of the Giants scouting department to bring Foley there.
"I would have loved to have been able to do that. Really, there was no position availability," he said.
If Foley is indeed finished with the Vikings, his tenure will have lasted three months and six days.
Foley Appears to be Fired
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