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Vikings Finally Sign McKinnie to Deal

November 02, 2002|From Associated Press

First-round draft pick Bryant McKinnie ended his 98-day holdout Friday, agreeing to a five-year, $13.3 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings that includes a $9.35 million signing bonus.

The All-American offensive tackle from Miami was the No. 7 pick in April. He became the only unsigned first-rounder when defensive tackle Wendell Bryant, the 12th overall pick, signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 12.

The Vikings had until Nov. 12 to sign McKinnie -- otherwise he would have been ineligible to play this season.

McKinnie, who will be paid for the entire 2002 season despite missing half of it, left for Minnesota on Friday and will sign the contract today. He'll be at practice on Monday.

"I'm elated with this contract," he said. "I know this has taken some time, but ... I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to put on a Vikings uniform. I feel like my dream is just about to begin. I can't wait to play in my first game."

Agents Ben Dogra and Jim Steiner turned down what the Vikings declared a final offer on Aug. 1, a five-year, $13.1 million contract that included an $8.1 million signing bonus. The No. 8 pick, Dallas safety Roy Williams, got a bonus of $9.3 million.

The deal includes performance incentives that could push the value to $13.5 million. The bonus will not be due immediately.

McKinnie didn't allow a sack in college or high school. He won the Outland Trophy last season as college football's best lineman.

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Indianapolis Colt running back Edgerrin James will miss Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans because of a partially torn right hamstring.

James was downgraded from doubtful. He was injured in last Sunday's loss at Washington.

Ricky Williams, an undrafted rookie from Texas Tech, could replace James in a game the Colts must win to maintain their lead in the AFC South.

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Washington Redskin running back Stephen Davis missed practice again because of a sprained knee and remains doubtful for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.... Punter Tom Rouen signed with the New York Giants. Rouen was released on Tuesday when Denver signed Micah Knorr.... The Philadelphia Eagles put former USC safety Rashard Cook on injured reserve and promoted Julian Jones from the practice squad. Cook had missed three of the last four games because of a knee injury.

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Houston Texan defensive tackle Gary Walker was fined $15,000 by the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell.

"I just felt like I was making an aggressive football play, you know, tackling the quarterback," Walker said. "I know I didn't do [anything) intentional. I even talked to Mark after the game and I didn't feel like it was intentional."

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