McKinnie hopeful of resolving court case
According to Bryant McKinnie's attorney, Larry Kerr, his case was continued until Sept. 24 during a hearing in Miami-Dade County Court on Friday.
"Both parties are hopeful of resolving this case, with this pretrial diversion program," Kerr said in this Pioneer Press report. "But we need more time to cross all the T's and dot all the I's, and the judge understood that and is giving us the time to accomplish all of that."
The well-documented case stems from his Feb. 24 arrest outside a Miami nightclub that resulted in four charges, including felony battery, for McKinnie after an alleged fight with a member of the nightclub's staff. McKinnie is being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence, according to a police report.
The incident has led to a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and McKinnie still faces the possibility of a suspension from the league no matter how the case turns out. However, the possibility of avoiding felony charges can only be perceived as a positive in regard to Goodell's looming decision.
"Bryant is obviously taking this matter very seriously," Kerr added. "At the last court hearing, he was present with his mother. He's handling the matter in the right way, and he has confidence in the justice system.
McKinnie has made all the right moves from a PR standpoint since the incident. He has stayed out of trouble since. He didn't stop off at a nightclub on his way to meet with the commissioner (aka Pacman Jones).
In fact, he's taken proactive steps to improve his image. During the weekend of May 17th in Miami, McKinnie hosted the Laureus Foundation's Third Annual Celebrity Fundraiser along with NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen and Olympic Track and Field Gold Medalist Edwin Moses. More than thirty greats of golf, tennis, football, hockey and the Olympics joined McKinnie for the fundraiser which, along with the foundation's golf and tennis invitational, raised more than $150,000 to support the formation of CampInteractive's South Florida chapter benefitting at-risk teens.
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation recently welcomed McKinnie as the newest ambassador to the foundation. The foundation was inspired and established by Dr. Nelson Mandela over a decade ago with the help of some of the world's most famous athletes, among them Dan Marino, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Nadia Comaneci and Gale Sayers.
"The event was really inspiring," McKinnie said in a press release. "I am truly honored to join this amazing group of people as we work to make a difference in the lives of children."
"Bryant's effort to come all the way from Minnesota to join us is indicative of his commitment to using his stature and natural talents towards positive social ends," said Moses, who serves as Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy. "We warmly welcome Bryant to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation family of athletes. We look forward to working with him and the Minnesota Vikings in the future."
McKinnie's recent charity efforts have not gotten much attention, but you can be sure the commissioner and his staff have noticed.
You have to give McKinnie credit in that he is doing everything in his control now to regain his credibility as a solid citizen. It still doesn't guarantee anything as far as Goodell's ultimate decision, but it can't hurt.
It could be the kiss of death, but CNNSI.com's Dr. Z has predicted the Vikings to win it all this season.
In this NFC North Preview by Herija C. Green of KFFL, second-year wide receiver Sidney Rice is called out as a player who is coming on strong. "As a rookie, Rice flashed big-time ability with some highlight-reel receptions," Green writes. "If he can overtake veteran wideout Bobby Wade for a starting spot, which is likely the case, he could surprise some people."
Veteran safety Darren Sharper continues to prepare for a career after his playing days are over. The safety was one of 20 current and former players who participated in a four-day broadcast boot camp at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J.
Former Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper continues to be a master of the NFL market since becoming his own agent prior to his departure from Minnesota. Latest word out of Green Bay is that Culpepper turned down a one-year deal worth $1 million from the Packers, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Could former Raiders veteran OT Barry Sims be an insurance policy consideration for the Vikings at left tackle with the McKinnie situation still uncertain? Matt Maiocco, of The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, reports Sims is close to making a decision on which team he will sign with. He may even decide by Friday, June 20. Sims has started 119 of 136 games during his 10-year career, including all 16 games at left tackle for the Raiders last season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently released former Vikings LB Patrick Chukwurah, who had been a pass-rushing end with them. Chukwurah was originally a fifth-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2001. He started 5 of 27 games in two seasons in Minnesota, recording 27 tackles and 2.5 sacks, before being released in 2003.
CB Jerron Wishom, who went to training camp with the Vikings last summer, was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys.
Division rival Chicago announced the signing of All-Pro DT Tommie Harris to a four-year extension on Thursday. Harris will reportedly receive $40 million in new money and $27 million over the first three years.
Former Vikings LB Mike Merriweather is a candidate for City Council in Stockton, Calif. Merriweather will be in attendance as Stockton will celebrate the observance of Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, on Saturday with plenty of art, soul food, and gospel and R&B music. He will teach children to play football in his Train Like the Pros program. Merriweather, a University of the Pacific graduate, played for the Vikings in 1989-92. "This gives an opportunity for those of us who are blessed to give back," Merriweather said. "Stockton is just a diverse community, and this is one of those aspects."
The older brother of Vikings S Michael Boulware has gotten involved in politics down in Florida. Peter Boulware, a former Florida State and NFL football star trying to help the GOP win in a predominantly Democratic district.
Darren Sharper's alma mater, William & Mary, finally has a new football complex.
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