Paging Mr. McKinnie

Miles apart, talks are scheduled to intensify as the Vikings try to get first-round draft pick Bryant McKinnie into camp, and one source gives insight into the McKinnie camp's thinking.

All along, representatives for offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie insisted that they would only work on a contract that was in the best interest of their client Bryant McKinnie.

Sure, we all remember McKinnie saying that he wanted to be in camp on time. We can still hear McKinnie state that he needed to be in camp to get into the shape that head coach Mike Tice wanted him to be in.

Another day passes and McKinnie remains a holdout, and there are no indications that will change anytime soon.

McKinnie has spent some time working out in South Florida. If there is some certainty to the situation, he will be in better shape than when he arrived in Minnesota to rookie camp following the NFL draft.

As for getting McKinnie to Mankato in the near future, it's possible, but not expected anytime soon.

Negotiations between the Vikings and representatives for McKinnie, led by Jim Steiner, have been somewhat cordial. Both parties have drawn their line in the sand as they work towards an agreement to get the mammoth lineman into the fold.

League sources believe that the signing of the eighth selection in the draft, Roy Williams on Friday should provide a base for the Vikings and McKinnie to work with.

A source close to the McKinnie camp tells The Insiders a different story, and one that may not sit too well with the Vikings organization.

"It really doesn't matter what the sixth pick signs for, nor does it matter what the eighth pick signs for, or the seventh pick last year. From the beginning, the Vikings were informed that we were looking for a contract that wouldn't hurt them, but was for Bryant. A contract that he can play within and be compensated for the player he is," the source said. "Bryant was the seventh player selected in the draft, he is not the seventh best player selected. The feeling is that he should be paid as one of the top five players and that is what has been conveyed to the Vikings."

Steiner is scheduled to talk with the Vikings on Monday as both parties intensify efforts to get McKinnie into camp.


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