VU Daily Blog: 5/6/10

Lots of updates and reaction on the Williams Wall suspensions, a player the Vikings didn't draft, a former first-rounder, a Favre spoof by one of his teammates and more. See all the Vikings news and speculation as it progressed through the VU Daily Blog.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 5:51:00 PM

Former Vikings first-rounder finds work

Former Vikings running back Michael Bennett has been signed by the Oakland Raiders, according to the team's web site.

Bennett was a first-round draft choice of the Vikings in 2001 and spent five years with the team, including his only 1,000-yard season, when he rushed for 1,296 yards in 2002.

Since leaving the Vikings after the 2005 season, however, he has been with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, back to the Chiefs, back to the Bucs, and then with the San Diego Chargers the last two seasons.

He hasn't rushed for more than 250 yards in any season since leaving the Vikings and has started only game since 2005. He started 49 games in five seasons in Minnesota.

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Posted on Twitter at: 11:28:00 PM
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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 3:07:00 PM

NFL Players Association offers its statement

The NFL issued a statement on Thursday morning's StarCaps ruling in Hennepin County Court (see below), and now the NFL Players Association has offered its thoughts.

"We have seen the ruling in the StarCaps case and will continue to review and monitor its events closely," the union said in a statement. "The NFLPA has always believed in and supported the collectively bargained drug policy as the most effective way to protect the players and the game. This policy is the most effective in sports when both sides strictly adhere to it and it is fairly applied."

Kevin and Pat Williams had a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. to ask Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson for a restraining order on their four-game suspensions while they appeal this latest decision.

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 2:38:00 PM

Video spoof: McKinnie raises money for Favre

Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie visited the Fox Sports recently to create a comic video, emceeing a telethon to raise money to bring back Brett Favre. It was part of Fox Sports' "Cubed" series online.

Among the better moments, a ticker across the bottom of the screen purported that Tarvaris Jackson donated $.01 to the cause while Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson gave $100,000 and $250,000, respectively.

One of the actors in the video also gave the required telethon speech, at one point pleading with viewer.

"Brett Favre made the Vikings a legitimate contender last year. He brought them all the way to the NFC Championship, where they were really close but they lost in overtime. Then, the NFL changed those overtime rules because that's what they do when Brett Favre loses," the actor in a Favre jersey and hat said as sentimental music played in the background. "So, please, open up those wallets and give some of that hard-earned middle-class money so that this millionaire (pointing to McKinnie) can be a millionaire with a Super Bowl ring."

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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 1:19:00 PM

NFL issues statement on StarCaps ruling

The NFL issued a statement today on the StarCaps ruling issued Thursday morning, enforcing – at least temporarily – the four-game suspensions imposed on Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams in 2008.

"For the past two years, this case has been reviewed on numerous occasions by both the federal and state courts. Those decisions make clear that the claims of the players and the NFL Players Association were without substance and that the players suffered no harm by being required to comply with the terms of the collectively-bargained policy on steroids and related substances," the statement read. "We intend to continue to administer a strong, effective program on performance-enhancing drugs that applies on a uniform basis to all players in all states."

The NFL Players Association is expected to release its official reaction to the case this afternoon. The players are expected to appeal the ruling and have a 2 p.m. court hearing scheduled this afternoon.

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More appeals coming for #Vikings Williams Wall. RT @VikingUpdate: VU Daily Blog: Williams Wall loses case … for now http://bit.ly/aPq7lS

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 10:35:00 AM

Williams Wall loses case … for now

Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams will have to serve four-game suspensions, according to a ruling issued Thursday morning by Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson.

The Williamses argued that the NFL does not have the authority to suspend them because the league didn't follow Minnesota state employment laws that should have given the players a right to explain their positive test for bumetanide, a banned substance by the NFL, in 2008.

The players are expected to appeal the ruling and have a 2 p.m. court hearing scheduled this afternoon, according to the Star Tribune, during which they will asked the judge for a restraining order while they appeal the decision.

The appeals could last even further. The next round will go to the State Court of Appeals, and after that it could move on to the Minnesota Supreme Court. The timing of those appeals isn't certain at this point, and the Minnesota Supreme Court could decline to hear an appeal if the case gets that far.

For now, however, the ruling is the second big blow for the Vikings in as many days. On Wednesday, a bill in the Minnesota Legislature proposing financing for a new stadium underwent many changes that will make it difficult to be a viable stadium solution.

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Posted on Twitter at: 8:39:00 AM
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Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 7:57:00 AM

Report: Clausen looking good with Panthers

The quarterback that the Vikings passed up twice in the first 34 picks of the draft is starting out strong with the Carolina Panthers, according to a report on NFL Network.

Jason LaCanfora reports that the Panthers front office was "very impressed" with Jimmy Clausen's first practices with the team, saying Matt Moore will enter the preseason as the No. 1 quarterback but Clausen will battle with him for the starting job.

"Clausen: So far, so good," LaCanfora said.

The Vikings had the opportunity to draft Clausen as a quarterback of the future with the 30th pick, traded down to the 34th pick, and passed on him again there. The Vikings obviously weren't sold on Clausen's potential – or any other quarterback in the draft for that matter – but the Panthers selected him with the 48th overall pick.

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Posted on Twitter at: 7:42:00 AM
D-day for Williams Wall?: Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson will hand down his ruling in the StarCa... http://bit.ly/cRi7WX

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