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February 11, 2005

More and more rumors

OK, we've all seen by now this Star Tribune report that the "general principles are set" for a Reggie Fowler purchase of the Vikings. There are some things to remember though. While Red and Reggie could announce a sale, it is far from a done deal. The sale must be approved by the the NFL Finance Committee, and the chair of that committee, Saints owner Tom Benson, has already seemingly said something about Fowler's chances:

"We are not going to admit owners who are not 100 percent qualified like some other professional leagues have done," Benson said. "Our rules are that the general partner must own 30 percent of the team, and he can't use the team as a collateral to borrow more than $125 million of the purchase price."

Is this a veiled commentary on Fowler's chances to buy the Vikings? Or is Benson just laying out the rules? I am of the opinion that the NFL is doing their "due dilligence" in trying to get a minority owner (like teams do when hiring a new coach), but in the end the team is going to end up in Taylor's hands. Check out this bit from Sid today:
However, on Monday, McCombs phoned Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and encouraged him to remain a possible buyer.

Taylor said McCombs asked him this: "Fowler is progressing with his group, but if they don't work out I would like to know if you still have interest?"

Why would Red call Taylor if a sale to Fowler looked close? There is definitely more here than meets the eye, my friends. Could we be looking at another Tom Clancy type situation? And I've said this before, I'll take Fowler as an owner. He seems like a genuinely good guy and I would be very interested to find out what his stadium plans are. But Taylor is just too good of a fit. We know it, the NFL knows it, Red knows it, the state legislature knows it.

If it is announced that Fowler's bid has been accepted by McCombs, don't start planning for the "Fowler era" just yet. I think we may have a little more drama after that.

• Did you see this article from Viking Update today regarding a possible trade of Randy Moss? This one was a bit of a shock to me mainly due to Culpepper's quote:

"I tried to smooth things over for the last five years," Culpepper said. "I'm done with it. No more. I'm not having it anymore."

I've often thought that all this talk of trading Moss has been nothing more than talk. I mean, why would Red be shopping around Moss when he is about to sell the team? It doesn't make sense, unless he wanted to light a fire under a potential bidder. But now we've got these comments from Culpepper. I'm just not sure anymore.

However, I'll still be shocked if Moss isn't wearing purple next year. Think about this. Moss is still an extremely valuable offensive weapon. We keep on hearing that he could be traded for defense, but the Vikings are $30 million under the salary cap! The Vikings could easily keep Moss and keep this high powered offense intact, and spend $30 million on some much needed defensive upgrades. In fact, that is what I think a new owner will do.

UPDATE: This Patrick Reusse article in the Strib pretty much confirms what I wrote above. Taylor expects Red and Reggie to agree to a purchase, and the NFL to turn Fowler down. Great, great article from Reusse which also suggests Taylor is still interested in the Twins. Get it done, Glen. Make us proud.

Also, Barry at bjhess blog rightly says that he hopes a new owner doesn't "go off the deep end" and spend all that salary cap. Well said. I hope he spends more than Red, though.

Posted by snackeru at February 11, 2005 12:48 PM | Vikings


I think that Fowler has to have his finances in some sort of order. The NFL would not allow the talks to get this far without some sort of idea where Fowler's monies are coming from and that they would be legit. Granted, this does not mean that the sale would be approved.

Again, Red is just being a used car salesman with Taylor. If he knows Taylor wants to buy the Vikes, he can use that used car salesman charm of "there is someone else who was looking at this and is coming in tomorrow morning to buy it if you don't" on Fowler.

I for one am for the trading of Moss. Hate seeing him burn the Packers, trade him to an AFC team, please.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at February 11, 2005 2:21 PM

SBG is surprised at Culpepper's comments. Not that he would feel that way, but that he would go publc with it. Surely, Daunte has to harbor some resentment towards Moss going way back. Remember how Moss and Carter used to berate Daunte on the sidelines during games? SBG thinks that Daunte has never liked Moss.

Posted by: Stick and Ball Guy at February 12, 2005 8:14 AM

Man, just wanted to wish you good luck with your post Monday. So much to tackle; vikings sale, the stadium column, Kaufmann stadium, and maybe even a blurb about Flip. Good luck.

Posted by: Vince at February 12, 2005 3:51 PM

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