|02-26-2006, 04:14 PM||#1|
Go Broncos, Nuggets, Rox
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Back In The 303!
Culpepper "In Team's 2006 Plans"; McGinest To Be Cut?
Vikings owner says Culpepper to receive roster bonus
ESPN.com news services
Daunte Culpepper's future as the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback appears safe -- in the short term at least.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told reporters Saturday at the NFL scouting combine that the team planned to pay Culpepper a $6 million roster bonus he is scheduled to receive March 17, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press both reported.
When he was asked if Culpepper figures in the team's 2006 plans, Wilf said "That is our plan, yes. Always was."
In a statement to the media last week, Culpepper mentioned that he offered to move his $6 million roster bonus, which is set to be paid on March 17, to another date to help the Vikings sign more free agents under the salary cap -- though the team is projected to have plenty of room.
Culpepper wrote that he was assured by Wilf in a phone conversation earlier this week the Vikings have "not yet spoken to other teams about trading" him.
On Friday, new Vikings coach Brad Childress tried to downplay trade speculation about Culpepper, saying the quarterback figures into his plans.
"That's the mindset," Childress said Friday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. "I don't know anything to the contrary."
The injured quarterback, who tore three ligaments in his right knee in an Oct. 30 game and has been rehabilitating in his native Florida, also said he told Wilf he wasn't happy with what he's been reading in the news -- and what he hasn't been hearing from the club.
"I shared my disappointment with the lack of communication and the false reports about me demanding more money coming out of Minnesota," said Culpepper, who let go of his agent last month and has been representing himself.
Childress acknowledged that the team has had inquiries about Culpepper, with the free agent and trading period set to begin next weekend.
"That's what goes on this time of year," he said.
McGinest's salary, bonus money an issue for Pats
By Len Pasquarelli
Proven pass rushers are always difficult to locate in free agency and, with even just a cursory glance at the pool of "edge" defenders who could become available when the signing period commences March 3, it appears this year will be no different.
In fact, perhaps the best sack man likely to be in a free agent isn't yet expected to be available. But keep an eye on developments next week with New England linebacker Willie McGinest, the respected 12-year veteran whose résumé includes 78 sacks, and who might be an 11th-hour addition to the unrestricted free agent roll call.
Yeah, it's difficult to imagine the Patriots without McGinest, who has been a fixture in New England since the team selected the former Southern California star in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft. And it's equally hard to conjure up the image of McGinest, who led the NFL in postseason sacks in 2005 with 4˝, performing in a different uniform.
But it could happen.
Sources told ESPN.com this week that McGinest's contract situation for 2006 -- he is due a roster bonus of $3.5 million in early March, and a base salary of $3.5 million too, in a so-called dummy season that was added to his deal to aid the Patriots in navigating past cap difficulties -- could well make him a cap casualty. It's unlikely New England will pay the $3.5 million bonus and, with negotiations making little or no progress in recent weeks, the Patriots could, regrettably, end the longtime relationship with a player who has seen the lowest lows and the highest highs of the franchise.
McGinest is 34 years old and, with a lot of tread rubbed off his tires, it remains to be seen just how much interest he might generate in the free agency market. But he is still playing at a high level, having notched 56 tackles and six sacks in 2005, and there are franchises that might be inclined to consider him -- not just because of his football skills, but also because of his locker room presence.
McGinest's most recent defensive coordinators, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini, are head coaches now, with Cleveland and the New York Jets, respectively, and might lobby their teams to consider him. Mangini may need a veteran influence as the Jets undertake what appears to be a massive rebuilding effort. Crennel and Browns general manager Phil Savage have worked hard to add veterans of high character to the mix with their young team. While neither franchise might break the bank to acquire McGinest, who probably has just a couple of productive seasons remaining, he would be a player worthy of some due diligence. And since the Browns deploy a 3-4 front and desperately need a pass-rush force, and the Jets likely will switch to a three-man line under Mangini, the fit is a good one from a schematic standpoint.
One of the prototypes of the hybrid-type defender Bill Belichick has done such a masterful job developing, McGinest knows the ropes. And although he has posted just one double-digit sack season in his career, back in 1995, he can still bring upfield pressure in spurts, as he demonstrated in the playoffs. No pending free agent has more sacks than the 78 McGinest has recorded in a dozen seasons.
There is still a chance that the Patriots and McGinest can reach an agreement that addresses the financial expectations for both parties. But the chances are just as good, perhaps even slightly better, that McGinest, whose situation has flown below the radar during the offseason, will be a free agent.
|02-26-2006, 08:15 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Gotta love McGinest..the guy is money all the way
Him and Harrison are two of my fav players on D. So much i got a Harrison jersey.
I see him on the Pats till he retires. Any other team would be weird