The lease agreement between the Vikings and the Metrodome is nearing an end while a California stadium project progresses. At the very least, these converging events are worth watching.
As expected, earlier this week voters in the City of Industry, Calif., approved bonding funds for $150 million to help cover the cost of a new stadium that is being used as bait to lure an NFL team that wants out of its current stadium. Clearly, the Vikings are one of those targeted teams. They have had a stadium stalemate with the State Legislature for a decade and have had two governors mince no words in shooting down proposals that would have the state help pay for a stadium.
With the current recession, it has been said that the stadium issue won't even be discussed for the next two-year biennium of the legislature, which will take the Vikings to the final year of the current Metrodome lease in 2011. With the Gophers done playing at the Metrodome and the Twins preparing for their final season under the Teflon, it would appear that the Vikings might be the final tenant to go.
The NFL has remained silent on the Industry stadium issue because, until it has a tenant, there is no franchise for the stadium to house. That, in addition to the league wanting to have full control over franchise movement and expansion, could pose a problem for developer Ed Roski and his group, which would clearly seek to buy all or part of a franchise that would potentially move to L.A.
But, the bad news for Vikings fans remains the same – other parts of the country are willing to spend hundreds of millions to lure teams or retain the ones they have. Minnesota hasn't. That decision could result in the Vikings going the way of the North Stars and the Lakers and becoming iconic franchises on the other end of the country.
Pro Football Weekly published its Super 50 list – the 50 best players in the NFL based on performance in 2008 and value to their team. The Vikings had three players in the top 28 – Adrian Peterson (No. 4), Jared Allen (26) and Kevin Williams (28).
The Twin Cities tabloid press is beating the QB drum once again. After playing up efforts to acquire Brett Favre and ludicrous leaps of faith that the Vikings offered (and were turned down) two first-round draft picks to acquire Brady Quinn, the latest rumor spreading concerns trading this year's first-round pick to Arizona for Matt Leinart. Stay tuned. The Tom Brady rumors may start circulating soon.
The new regime with the Jets wants a firm decision one way or the other on Favre's playing future prior to the April draft.
Former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who turned down a job offer from the 49ers, is reportedly heading to Oakland to interview for an assistant coaching position – begging the question, "why?"