Suspension Coming?

Bryant McKinnie pleaded not guilty in a Miami-Dade County courtroom Monday to four charges filed against him. With his past history of run-ins with the law and the NFL's personal conduct policy being strengthened over the last year, McKinnie might be subject to a suspension even if he plea-bargains out of the serious felony battery charge.

Bryant McKinnie's representatives were in a Miami courtroom Monday, pleading not guilty to all four charges against him stemming from a pair of incidents outside the Club Space nightclub in Miami.

McKinnie faces four charges, the most serious of which is a felony battery charge. That charge comes from police witnessing McKinnie hitting a member of the nightclub's security unit with a metal pipe used to cordon off foot traffic outside the club.

The bigger issue for McKinnie, whose next court appearance is set for April 11, is that he could face a fine or suspension from the league and/or the Vikings. McKinnie is already in the system for the league's personal conduct policy. The league policy calls for suspensions for those players that have been arrested more than once. McKinnie has been arrested four times in the last six years. Two of those charges were eventually dropped.

While the case still has to move forward, the felony battery count is something the league is going to look at very closely. Some may think that the league will wait to have the case adjudicated before taking any action, but Commissioner Roger Goodell has been proactive when it comes to handing down suspensions. Pac Man Jones, for example, was suspended for a year before any of his court dealings were finalized.

Losing McKinnie, even if just for a game or two, would be a blow to the Vikings offense, so this case will be followed closely, and both McKinnie and the Vikings will have to play the waiting game to see if the league opts to take any punitive action against McKinnie.

* The signing of Ellis Wyms once again addresses in a small part one of the Vikings' most glaring needs – a defensive lineman who can provide some depth at the at end while primarily being the backup for the tackle position behind Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. Since the start of free agency a little less than three weeks ago, the Vikings have addressed wide receiver, safety, fullback, special teams and the defensive line – their most glaring weaknesses from 2007.
* Defensive end Corey Smith, who visited Winter Park last week, re-signed with the Lions Monday.
* The Vikings began their strength and conditioning offseason program Monday. Most of the players who make their offseason home in the Twin Cities are expected to participate.
* There are rumors circulating that top defensive tackle prospect Glenn Dorsey may have had knee surgery since the end of the season. If that's the case, his draft stock could potentially slip significantly if teams at the top have concerns about his health.

Viking Update Top Stories