McKinnie Holdout: Day Three

As the Bryant McKinnie holdout hits Day Three and counting, VU is hearing some ugly signs of a protracted holdout.

When Mike Williams -- the first OT taken in the 2002 draft -- and Roy Williams -- the Dallas safety taken after the Vikings' first-round pick in the draft -- were signed, the feeling around the front office of the Vikings was that Bryant McKinnie would fall into place quickly.

While sources with the team continue to say that McKinnie will be signed by Tuesday or Wednesday, VU is hearing that a protracted holdout could occur if the agents for McKinnie continue their hard line.

Typically, the picks around a player selected, as well as the precedent set the previous year, are the benchmarks for determining a player contract. However, McKinnie's people are apparently upset that he lasted until No. 7 in the draft and are willing to make that a stumbling block to negotiation.

VU was told Sunday that McKinnie's agents are looking for a deal close to what No. 4 pick Mike Williams signed on with Buffalo, saying McKinnie deserves "top five" money -- even though he lasted until the Vikings' pick at No. 7.

For their part, the Vikings don't want to set a precedent of overspending for draft picks or every other first-round pick in the future will see the Vikes as a mark.

Could McKinnie sign today, Tuesday or Wednesday? Yes. Will the Vikings give him the same money Williams got at No. 4? Not a chance. Can you smell a longer holdout? Unless one side relents from its current position, the answer looks to be yes on that front.

* Williams' contract with Buffalo was a six-year deal worth $37 million. For that money, the Vikings could have kept Todd Steussie for the remainder of his contract.
* Kyries Hebert is a safety continuing to make headlines as an undrafted free agent looking for an NFL gig. He laid a big hit on Byron Chamberlain Sunday in a "non-contact" drill, but Mike Tice refused to chastise the rookie, saying that he has been preaching aggression during the team's mini-camps and that Hebert, while out of line for laying the smack down, is following the team mantra. Monday is the first practice with full pads. Expect more of the same to follow, as players looking for a spot on the roster lay the pine when given the chance.
* Willie Howard is progressing better than expected -- almost a month ahead of schedule -- and the Vikes hope to get medical clearance for at least limited practice availability as early as next week.
* Former Viking Stalin Colinet suffered torn knee cartilage in the first week of practice with Jacksonville. He is scheduled to have the knee scoped today and could be out all or most of the preseason.
* Weather alerts came down after Sunday's special teams practice, as tornado sirens went off at 5:30 p.m. at Mankato. The storm front passed through and life as normal was returned to training camp -- if there is such a thing as normalcy at training camp.

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