McCombs Sale Gaining Steam?

Less than 24 hours after speculating about a potential sale of the Vikings by Red McCombs, VU is told that the possibility of a sale is not only legitimate, but potentially imminent.

Rumors of Red McCombs looking to sell the Vikings have been running for several months. It's been his M.O. as an owner -- buy cheap, make a profit, get out. But, when VU wrote yesterday about the potential $27 million that will come straight out of McCombs pocket to sign Bryant McKinnie, pay the second installment of Randy Moss' signing bonus and toss out the first payment for Daunte Culpepper's new contract, we had no idea how quickly that would be confirmed.

VU was contacted Saturday by someone close to the situation saying that not only is McCombs looking to sell the team, he's willing to gamble on the fact that the franchise will be worth much more with a new stadium.

The combination of money due Moss and Culpepper and the potential money due McKinnie and whomever the Vikings draft next year, the $100 million he would have to pony up for a new stadium and huge financial losses his Clear Channel Communications has absorbed in the last year, McCombs is apparently looking to get out and, from what VU has been told, if he gets the right offer, he'll step out quickly.

Ironically, VU was also told the recent episode with Moss has caused a potential snag with at least one potential suitor. Seeing that Moss is being paid franchise-player money and, regardless of the merit or lack thereof of the charges of driving into a traffic control officer and marijuana being found in his vehicle, the word we're told is that Moss isn't seen as a positive by a new ownership group and he could be a potential deal-breaker of a sale.

While VU was told McCombs won't get low-balled by anyone, his intent to sell the Vikings is legitimate and he may not be willing to wait until next spring to see if the Minnesota Legislature approves a new stadium deal -- which would likely double the value of the franchise.

Stay tuned. Red has made a few gambles that have paid off in his business career. He may not, however, be willing to take one with the Vikings, since he has little to no control over a stadium deal that he said he must have to keep his family in the football business.

* Culpepper has accepted much of the blame for the Vikings' bad times, and maybe he should. Of the team's 11 turnovers this year, he has been responsible for 10 of them and, in his last 17 starts, he has thrown 20 interceptions and fumbled 23 times.
* Seattle is wondering what is wrong with Shaun Alexander. In three games this season, he hasn't rushed for more than 37 yards in any game and hasn't had a 100-yard rushing game in his last 10 starts.
* Word in Seattle is that, if Mike Holmgren loses Sunday, he may be replaced as head coach. While he would still maintain his general manager status, in his three-plus years with the 'Hawks, he has a record of 24-27.
* Jim Nelson is going to be starting at linebacker in place of Henri Crockett, and, from what VU is being told, if he plays well over the next few weeks, he will keep the job even after Crockett returns.
* The Vikings haven't been 0-4 since 1967 and the Seahawks haven't been 0-4 since 1977 -- their second season of existence. Barring a tie, something will have to give tonight.
* The Vikings defense is averaging 402 yards allowed per game.
* The Vikings are trying to snap a 12-game road losing streak that dates back to a Thanksgiving 2000 win over Dallas.
* The Vikings need to hold on to the ball. They have given up two or more turnovers in each of the last seven regular season games -- all losses.

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