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Steussie Still Here
By: Viking Update Staff
The official word for the Vikings' roster moves has come down and the carnage -- for now, anyway -- isn't nearly as devastating as expected. Two offensive players were officially signed and two defensemen officially released. The Vikings made their roster moves official today, and all indications are that the team wasn't in as serious a salary cap situation as they portrayed.
One signing and one extension were made official today. Signed was quarterback Todd Bouman and extended was guard David Dixon.
But the most surprising news is who is still on the roster. While the Vikings made it official by releasing John Randle and John Burrough, they apparently had enough wiggle room to keep Todd Steussie and Robert Griffith -- at least for now. Griffith could be here for the 2001 season whether he restructures his deal or not, and indications were the two sides were close to a deal on Wednesday. Steussie, however, is another story.
Steussie is reportedly due a roster bonus of $1 million on March 16, and if he doesn't get his cap number lowered by restructuring, then he may still be a candidate to be released.
Also tendered offers today were center Matt Birk and linebacker Kailee Wong, both very likely to stay for at least the 2001 season because the Vikings would get first-round picks if another team bettered the Vikings' offer and the Vikings declined to match it. In both cases, the Vikings are likely to try for a longer contract than their one-year tender with a reworked contract in the coming weeks and months. Also tendered as exclusive rights free agents were offensive linemen Chris Liwienski and linebacker Jim Nelson, who are also very likely to be with the team for at least one more season.
"We are faced with the same thing that every other team in the National Football League is faced with, which is a salary cap limit on players salaries," head coach Dennis Green said in a statement. "In our efforts to get under the salary cap we have to use a lot of different avenues. Johnny Randle had a great career with the Minnesota Vikings. He did a great job for us for all these years and has meant as much to us as any player we have had and we are going to miss him."
Restructuring contracts with Steussie and Griffith could still be priorities in the coming days if the Vikings want to play a moderate role in a free-agent market locked and loaded with poss
-- Mark (Karch firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001