McCombs The Center Of Attention

It may have been a bye week, but the Vikings are in the news. Vikings owner Red McCombs denies that his team is for sale, but we know better. Also, what is behind the Bryant McKinnie holdout and the latest on the Randy Moss meltdown.

As originally reported months ago here by VU and just as recently as last week, the Minnesota Vikings are indeed for sale. There has been speculation over the past few months that Vikings owner Red McCombs would pull the trigger on a deal to sell the team for twice what he purchased it for.

A ranking official in the NFL league office confides to The Insiders late this past weekend that a deal is in the works to sell the team.

"Every indication that we know of, that I have heard is that the Minnesota Vikings are for sale and that the potential buyer is a prominent, respected businessman with ties to the Minnesota area," the official said. "At this time, as far as the league office is concerned, the team has not been sold and there has not been any agreement for a sale of the team that has made it to the league office. Remember, any sale of a franchise must be discussed and deliberated by the team owners. That does not mean that a deal or an agreement between the parties involved has not occurred."

When asked about a proposed selling price of the team, the source would not quote any specifics, but was willing to generalize the asking price for the team.

"Numbers have been reported in the media, by the media. I would venture to say that some of the original numbers are a bit on the high end, but when all is said and done Mr. McCombs could double the price he paid for the team. A sale of the team is not done, not by a longshot. This is a long process that still faces obstacles, if it is presented to the league and the team owners."

Bryant McKinnie...........There is one underlying factor in the reason Bryant McKinnie is not signed and playing with the Minnesota Vikings. That factor is none other than Red McCombs. McCombs has played hardball with almost every one of the Vikings draft selections, including McKinnie.

McCombs has refused to compensate McKinnie according to the draft slot which he was selected in. In this case, McCombs has been vehiment. The offer made by the Vikings is less than the contract signed by the player selected behind McKinnie in the draft, Dallas' Roy Williams.

"McCombs is at the center of this entire debacle concerning Bryant McKinnie. His unwillingness to compensate the player according to his draft position has made this into a war of words and hard feelings," a team source tells The Insiders. "If the Vikings are attempting to call McKinnie's bluff, they are in for a world of disappointment. This kid will not sign a deal that does not compensate him accordingly, and the Vikings will not get caught holding the bag in the end. They will hold his rights till the late moment, then deal him away."

Draft selections and free-agent players alike have mentioned some subtle displeasure in the handling and approach taken by the front office of the Vikings.

In the case of McKinnie, he wanted more money than the position he was drafted in warranted, believing he should have been compensated more like a top-five, rather than the seventh player selected. The Vikings and representatives for McKinnie staged some bitter jabs at one another during the entire negotiation process, and bitterness, disrespect, and confusion continue to this day, a source close to the negotiations informs The Insiders.

"It's simple, really, he (McKinnie) is not going to sign for less that his slotted value. He will continue to holdout, workout on his own and hope for a trade next year or re-enter the draft. His value will not decrease if it comes to this, there are more than a few teams that would gladly make a deal to get him, he is that good," the source stated. "He (McKinnie) is ready to play, he wants to play. This is all about the Vikings wanting to shortchange him."

Randy Moss...........The continuing saga of Randy Moss has finally gotten under the skin of the Vikings organization, a source close to the team informs The Insiders.

"When is enough really enough with Moss. He is a very talented kid, the talent that has is extraordinary, but with that comes more baggage that a cart can hold," the source said. "If there was a way that McCombs could get out of this deal, he would. The salary cap hit would be tremendous, the feedback and negativity from the fans would be very critical. Right now, while nobody will openly say it, if Moss went Dale Carter right now, not too many people close to this team would lose much sleep."

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