Mike Tice left little doubt about his feelings with the problems with the kicking game Sunday. After the game, he said there would be someone new kicking extra points and field goals.
He wasn't kidding. Today the Vikings will formally announce the signing of veteran Gary Anderson, who will sign for the league minimum for a player with 10 or more years experience -- a 7/8 share of $750,000.
However, the Vikings did not give Doug Brien his outright release. Instead, he will be retained for kickoff duties and perhaps long field goals. The reason? Economics.
As a vested veteran, Brien would have collected his entire contract ($650,000) whether he was with the team or not and would have counted against the salary cap. If you've been in the league more than five years and are released after the first regular-season game, you get your entire year's salary and it all counts against the cap.
In short, it was cheaper to keep Brien than to sign a street free agent for league minimum, so, while Brien technically has lost his job, he will remain on the roster. The Vikings will announce who is being released to make room for Anderson today.
* With all the turmoil over the kicking situation, the Vikings welcomed back OT Lewis Kelly Monday. The league had given the Vikings a two-week exemption on the roster after Kelly left the team following the death of his wife and unborn child. To make room on the roster for Kelly, whose exemption ended Monday, the team released offensive lineman Mike Malano.
* A pair of Vikings -- TE Jim Kleinsasser and DE Talance Sawyer are expected to miss 2-4 weeks with injuries. Kleinsasser has a small fracture in the tibia of his right leg, while Sawyer has bone chips in left knee. Both are expected to be out at least until after the Vikings return from the bye following games with Carolina and Seattle.
* VU has been told it's unlikely Byron Chamberlain will play this week, leaving the Vikings thin at tight end Sunday.
Anderson to Return Today
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