May 2008

The story on McKinnie

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Sorry about the delay in posts but that’s what happens when your power goes out because of a big old hail storm. Anyway, we’re back. Below is the story on McKinnie. A shorter version will appear in Sunday’s paper. The Cliff notes on this: He had the meeting on Friday, it was supposed to be kept quiet, somebody with loose lips decided to start talking and now the entire world knows.


With the NFL considering disciplinary action against Bryant McKinnie, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with the Vikings left tackle on Friday.

The meeting — first reported by the website Pro Football Talk on Saturday — had been expected after McKinnie’s latest legal troubles in Florida. He was arrested Feb. 24 after being involved in a brawl outside a Miami nightclub and is facing four charges, including one felony for aggravated battery, after fighting with a member of the nightclub’s security staff. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

McKinnie’s attorney, Larry Kerr, has asked that the state of Florida allow his client to enter a pre-trial diversion program; that could lead to the charges being dismissed. Right now, McKinnie has a court hearing scheduled for June 20 in Miami-Dade County Court.

No matter what happens in the legal system, McKinnie could face a possible fine or suspension from the NFL because he is a repeat offender of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Randall Liu, information manager for the NFC, declined to confirm the meeting between Goodell and McKinnie, stating in an e-mail that the league does “not comment on the review process of a potential disciplinary matter.”

“If the commissioner makes any decision impacting a player’s status we announce it,” Liu said in his e-mail. A Vikings spokesman said the team would have no comment and McKinnie’s agent, Ben Dogra, did not return messages.

This latest incident marked the fourth time McKinnie has had legal issues since the Vikings took him in the first round of the 2002 draft.

In one case no charges were filed and in another misdemeanor charges were dropped. McKinnie did plead guilty in 2006 to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in connection with the 2005 boat incident involving Vikings players on Lake Minnetonka. He paid $2,000 in fines, performed 48 hours of community service and was fined one game check ($41,176) by the NFL.


Report: McKinnie meets with commissioner

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

The website Pro Football Talk is reporting that Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday. The meeting had been expected and comes after McKinnie’s latest legal troubles in Florida. McKinnie is due back in court in Florida on June 20. No matter what happens to McKinnie in the legal system, Goodell could still impose discipline that could include a suspension. Here’s the background on McKinnie’s situation.



Birk to attend minicamp

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Matt Birk isn’t attending the Vikings’ voluntary workouts this offseason but his agent said Friday the veteran center will be at the team’s mandatory minicamp next weekend at Winter Park.

“Out of respect to Coach [Brad] Childress and the team Matt intends to be at the minicamp,” Joe Linta said.

The three-day camp will open next Friday. Running back Chester Taylor, who like Birk has missed all seven practices during the organized team activities the past two weeks, also is expected to be in attendance at the minicamp. Coach Brad Childress said last week that Taylor was tending to a family emergency.

Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is entering the last year of an eight-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $5.32 million this season. He also is due a $400,000 roster bonus. The Vikings have yet to approach Birk about a contract extension and he has elected to workout on his own this offseason.

John Sullivan, a sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame in the April draft, has served as the primary replacement for Birk with the first-team offense during the OTAs. Dan Mozes also has gotten some work with the top unit.



You ask and I try to answer

Friday, May 30th, 2008

As promised here is a Friday edition of the Access Vikings Q&A. We’ll start trying to do this on a more frequent basis. First up, Akvikesfan.

Q. Any chance the Vikings are looking at Shane Olivea to help shore up the offensive line? – akvikesfan

A. The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat recently reported the San Francisco 49ers were told that Olivea has agreed to terms with a team and that he will sign the deal in June. No word on which club Olivea plans on joining. The right tackle started 57 of 60 career games with San Diego but was benched in 2007 and released after the season. The depth chart for the Vikings at right tackle at the latest OTA practice went like this: Ryan Cook, Marcus Johnson and rookie free agent Drew Radovich.

Q. Any updates on center Matt Birk or left tackle Bryant McKinnie? – akvikesfan

A. It’s no secret that Birk is staying away from the optional activities at Winter Park this offseason, including the OTAs. He’s entering the final season of his contract and the Vikings have yet to show an interest in discussing an extension. Birk hasn’t said much about his decision but is expected to be at the team’s mandatory minicamp next weekend.

As far as McKinnie’s situation and a possible NFL suspension after his latest legal troubles, it appears a meeting has yet to be set up between Commissioner Roger Goodell and the big left tackle. That is going to happen at some point. McKinnie’s next court date is scheduled for June 20 in Florida. (more…)

Confused in Kansas City

Friday, May 30th, 2008

It sounds as if former Vikings linebacker Napoleon Harris is concerned about losing his starting job with the Kansas City Chiefs. Harris led the 4-12 Chiefs with 123 tackles last season but that might not have been enough.

In the NFC North, linebacker Brian Urlacher has shown up for Bears’ mandatory minicamp despite being unhappy with his contract situation. Meanwhile, the Packers aren’t going to leave Brett Favre’s locker vacant all season. Here’s the story.

I’ll post the Q&A later today.


Jackson returns to practice

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

The Vikings did not have media access to their practice today but writer Mike Wobschall was in attendance and filed updates that you can read by clicking here.

Wobschall reports that quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was back at practice today after being absent Wednesday so he could take care of a personal matter.  

By my count, this was the first of the Vikings’ seven organized team activities to be held indoors. The practice was the final one of the week for the team. The Vikings will hold their mandatory minicamp next weekend at Winter Park.


Access Vikings

Join Vikings beat writers Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins on a usually informative and often irreverent journey inside the Vikings.

Just like the NFL, Zulgad and Scoggins go at it all year long -- on and off the field.