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Rudd Gets Big Bucks
By: Viking Update Staff
It wasn't a big surprise that Dwayne Rudd would be leaving the Vikings, but, considering where he went, it would seem that Rudd was more concerned about personal finances that a desire to wear a Super Bowl ring any time soon. Following the 1998 season, VU was critical of cornerback Corey Fuller, who accepted an offer from the expansion Cleveland Browns that, over the course of five years, was only a couple of million dollars more than the Vikings -- a legitimate Super Bowl contender had offered.
However, maybe it was that same "close but no cigar" mentality that has become the benchmark of the NFL. On Sunday, Dwayne Rudd followed Fuller to Cleveland, signing a five-year deal worth $23 million and includes a $5.7 million signing bonus.
While VU was unable to speak directly with Rudd, Cleveland sources said his relationship with Foge Fazio played a big role in his decision -- as did the money, since the Browns are light years away from being a Super Bowl contender.
Rudd became the second player in 24 hours to jump of the Vikings ship for a payday -- following John Randle, who signed a five-year, $25 million deal Saturday.
The price of poker in the NFL is going up, as evidenced by those two signings, and the stakes are getting higher for premium NFL talent. With VU scoffed at the Randle signing -- it's really a two-year contract at best -- the Rudd signing is legitimate, since he's only 25 years old and has a lot of football left in him.
The bottom line is quickly becoming that the teams that can master the salary cap and sign the viable young talent are the teams that will succeed. However, while Rudd has been one game away from a Super Bowl twice in his short career, he likely won't come close again until his current deal is completed.
MONDAY NOTES * With Rudd gone, the Vikings are looking at how to replace him. Several candidates are available. One name not mentioned too often but one that Vikings insiders are high on is Jim Nelson, but other candidates being floated around are Craig Sauer (who would most likely be installed as a weakside backer and shift Ed McDaniel to the strongside), Lemanski Hall and Gabe Northern. * VU has been told that the Vikings are going to attempt to reignite talks with Todd Steussie this week in hopes of getting him to come off his stance on his current contract. If that can't get done, Steussie will be released within the next 10 days. * Just when you thought Tampa Bay was out of the Brad Johnson sweepstakes because of claiming Ryan Leaf off of waivers, VU has been told by a source close to Tony Dungy that the Bucs have a multiyear offer on the table for Johnson, however it is a little less than he could get from other su
-- Mark (Karch firstname.lastname@example.org), March 05, 2001
<< "It wasn't a big surprise that Dwayne Rudd would be leaving the Vikings, but, considering where he went, it would seem that Rudd was more concerned about personal finances that a desire to wear a Super Bowl ring any time soon." <<
From the tone of VU's article it would seem they are actually criticizing Rudd for being more concerned about his personal finances than in winning a super bowl. Give me a break, VU! Sounds more to me like Rudd should be praised for having his priorities in order. It's my guess they'd be hard-pressed to find *ANY* 25 year old football player who would place the possibility of winning a super bowl in the near future ahead of leveraging his finances as much as possible.
<< " Following the 1998 season, VU was critical of cornerback Corey Fuller, who accepted an offer from the expansion Cleveland Browns that, over the course of five years, was only a couple of million dollars more than the Vikings --" <<
ONLY a couple million dollars!!??
-- Clark (email@example.com), March 06, 2001.
Viking Update is nothing but a mouthpiece for Viking management.
-- Mark (Karch firstname.lastname@example.org), March 06, 2001.