For the last month, there has been speculation on both sides of the Bryant McKinnie draft debacle -- much in the same way the whispers have gone back and forth as to whether Major League Baseball will go on strike.
As the days were counting down to the opening of training camp, VU was hearing that McKinnie's agents were likely to be extremely tough negotiators. The proof was in the pudding -- DE Justin Smith was a 51-day holdout in 2001 and didn't join the Bengals until after the season began.
Meanwhile, the Vikings' salary cap wizards were saying not to get alarmed. Every player had a slot under the cap and all of them would get signed.
As McKinnie's holdout enters its 31st day, the talk is once again leaning toward the protracted holdout route -- as in the entire season. For the last three weeks, the sides have been at a stalemate and the Vikings currently don't have an offer on the table.
The biggest issue at the moment is the amount of a signing bonus McKinnie will receive. While the two sides are pretty close on the full-term payout of the five-year proposed contract McKinnie would receive, the signing bonus has been a huge point of debate. VU has been told the Vikings aren't willing to offer more than $8 million in a signing bonus -- less than the two-tiered signing bonus agreed to by eighth overall selection Roy Williams with the Cowboys. McKinnie's agent are demanding $11 million in signing bonus money and the Vikings are balking.
With rumors continuing to swirl that Red McCombs is looking to sell the team, one of the reasons he may be reluctant to give McKinnie everything he wants is that, if McKinnie signs under McCombs' watch, all of his signing bonus money comes out of Red's pocket -- not a new owner.
Both sides are talking about this situation with a sense of finality -- as in it won't get done at all. However, we've heard that rhetoric before right before a deal is struck. We've said it before and now it's time for both sides to get serious -- find a dictionary, look up the word compromise, understand its meaning and get something done. The entire team is suffering because of this impasse and it's time to either have both sides give in a little or just announce McKinnie won't be a Viking, write off the draft pick as a complete waste of the Vikings' and McKinnie's, and tell the fans who bought season tickets it's time to move on with your life.
* With several teams already cutting their way down to 65 players, the Vikings are expected to make at least of couple of their cuts public today. However, the team does have until 4 p.m. Central Time Tuesday to officially announce who has been waived.
* Maybe there is something to this Randy Ratio business. In the two preseason games in which Moss has been the target of 40 percent of the team's passes while he's playing, the team has gone 2-0. In the game he didn't, the Vikings lost. Last year, when he had the magic 40 percent number, the Vikings were 4-1. When he didn't, they were 1-10.
McKinnie Deal Could Be Dead
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