Friday, January 30, 2015

Monthly Archives: May 2012

With the Saints player suspension less than a week old, former Vikings receiver Cris Carter re-confirmed what many of us already knew, or at least believed, about the sport of football:  “bounties” have long been a part of the game.

“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said of using bounties. “It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it. But I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now.”

Carter insisted that he used bounties strictly as a defense mechanism, but also witnessed times when bounties were use to target specific players on opposing teams.

“Protect me. . . . Protect me from him. . . . Especially if he’s playing a different position where I can’t protect myself,” Carter said. “I’d tell one of them guards, ‘Hey man, this dude is after me, man. Bill Romanowski.’ He told me he’s gonna me out before the game, in warmups. No problem. ‘I’m gonna end your career, Carter.’ No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself, protect my family. That’s the league that I grew up in.”

Since the day the news of “Bounty Gate” first broke I have maintained a pretty uninspired stance on the matter, despite some very emotional reactions from other Vikings faithful, but part of my measured response to this story has to do with the assumption that this troubling practice was not isolated within the City of New Orleans, with a Gregg Williams defense, or even just within the NFL.

Instead, it is becoming clear that this was a widespread problem that Roger Goodell has decided there is no room for in a league run by him.

The Saints will take the fall, but bounties have been around for a long time and have infiltrated many locker rooms.

Including, apparently, the Vikings locker room.

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Wouldn’t it be fun to have a linebacker named Rocky on the roster?

Yeah, I agree.

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that the Vikings brought in veteran linebacker Rocky McIntosh for a workout.  McIntosh could end up joining seventh round pick Audie Cole, CFL standout Solomon Elimimian, and undrafted rookie Tyler Nielson in Rick Spielman’s effort to solidify the linebacker depth.

McIntosh is 29 years old and played all six of his NFL seasons with the Redskins.  He has racked up 471 tackles, eight sacks, eight forced fumbles, and three interceptions.  Last year, in Washington’s 3-4 defense, McIntosh saw his production slip off and he lost his starting spot.

McIntosh could provide solid depth at every linebacker spot and also be a solid special teams contributor.  Don’t be surprised if McIntosh is offered a one-year (you guessed it) “prove it” deal by Rick Spielman.

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By a vote of 38 to 28, the Vikings stadium bill passed through the Minnesota Senate after another exhausting day of debates and re-debates.

After amendments succeeded only to later fail, the Senate ended up including two major amendments to the original bill.

The first amendment ups the Vikings and NFL’s contribution by $25 million, which is considerably less than the $105 million increase that the House called for on Monday.

Second, the Senate’s version of the bill demands no blackouts occur for games played by the Vikings in their new stadium.

Neither the increase in private contribution nor the ultimatum on blackouts are likely to sit well with the NFL, but the fact that this thing has cleared its latest hurdle is only a positive for those that want to see the Vikings tradition upheld.

The House-Senate Conference Committee will now have to find a compromise between the two versions of the bill.  Then it needs to go back to both the House and the Senate for another up or down vote.

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With the release of Ryan Longwell came an open roster spot.

That spot was filled on Tuesday by Minnesota Gopher defensive end Anthony Jacobs who had joined the Vikings for the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

Jacobs is listed at 6’ 2” and 291 pounds which makes him a little undersized at any of the defensive line positions.  Scouting reports say he manages to achieve productive stretches due to an explosive first step, a competitive streak that keeps him moving until the whistle, and by utilizing his feet.

He is a long shot to make the roster, but it is possible that he makes his mark on special teams and is able to stick like Marcus Sherels has done thus far in his career.

Of course, Scout.com thinks he could play fullback.  So, yeah… there’s always that.

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So, now that the House passed the Vikings stadium bill with a 105 million twists thrown in, what happens next?

As on most stadium issues, I have immediately sought out the facts from my favorite source on all stadium-related issues, Kevin Seifert at ESPN.

So, here are the steps that remain:

  • The bill will move on the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday.  There will likely be another long day of debate, and it is possible that items are added or deleted to the bill, including the $105 million portion that the House tossed at the feet of the Vikings on Monday.  These changes are referred to as “amendments.”
  • If the Senate fails to pass any version of the stadium bill then it is likely dead in the water.
  • If the Senate does pass some sort of version of the bill, which will likely differ from the House version, then it will move on to a House-Senate conference committee.
  • When the bill gets to the House-Senate conference committee it is their job to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill.
  • (Note:  Thanks to the reader that pointed out this missing step.)  The bill then travels back through the House and the Senate.  If it passes both, then it will be presented to the Governor with one single bill.
  • The Governor would then either sign the bill or veto it.  He is widely expected to pass any version of the bill that makes it to his desk.

So, there is still plenty of work to be done, and the Vikings and NFL are going to try their hardest to get rid of the additional $105 million responsibility that the House is trying to impose on them.

And, so, we continue to wait for a final answer.

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