Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Aug 2008

Vikings' McKinnie Suspended For First Four Games

Bryant McKinnie was arrested on four charges following a nightclub brawl in February. The suspension is not a surprise, but what took so long? As the Star-Tribune notes, the suspension leaves Artis Hicks at left tackle to square off against "the Packers' Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, the Colts' Dwight Freeney, the Panthers' Julius Peppers and the Titans' Kyle Vanden Bosch. Those four have a total of 225 career sacks."

Note to Tarvaris Jackson: Run!

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 30 Aug 2008

23 comments, Last at 02 Sep 2008, 11:53am by MJK


by Tiger Zebra (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 5:26am

Fact: Running is Fast!

Also: Al Davis killed the Jedi.

by Sandman (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 6:19am

Anyone who paid even casual attention to Artis Hicks' performances at LG two years ago will be wondering how in the hell Childress could have left himself in this situation, having known about the likelihood of McKinnie's suspension for the whole offseason.

by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 6:58am


a) Hicks is a good player

b) They will have been working on this assumption in the off season

c) Quality LG don't grow on trees. It's easy to criticise but what would you have done instead?

by bubqr (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 9:18am

Justice might be on the market tomorrow. He's a great pass protector.

by Benjamin Light (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 9:25am

Is anyone actually satisfied with this "personal conduct" policy? It seems to exist solely for Roger Goodell to randomly and arbitrarily throw his weight around. How soon is his contract up?

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 9:39am

Gosh, that's terrible news!


So, how's my feigned sympathy these days?

The Packers have their own expected suspension pending the outcome of Johnny Jolly's legal issues. It's all a out timing.

Childress can't anticipate a fart so nobody should be surprised when the Vikes seem to appear caught unawares.

BC sleeps at the office bot out of dedication but to avoid having to fond his way back.

by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 10:26am

Right on, Ben Light. This policy is really making me want to watch (and spend my money on) college football instead.

Fact: McKinnie has been accused, not convicted.

Fact: I watch the NFL because I want to see the best football players in the world play. Injuries are bad enough when they happen, now we have the so-called commissioner taking away my fun on Sundays. This sucks.

Go to hell, Goodell.

by Baltimoron (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 10:33am

"randomly and arbitrarily"

... are the key words here. Marshawn Lynch actually pleads guilty to hit-and-run and gets nothing?

by Temo (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 12:00pm

Not so much random or arbitrary here... if you remember, McKinnie was part of the Vikings "sex boat" scandal. That was definitely one of worst PR things to hit the NFL, so this is more of a "repeated infractions with the law" suspension. The punishment seems appropriate, but I agree with the delay. wtf took so long?

by Dice (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 12:35pm

Goodell wanted to make sure Favre wasn't back there getting killed by his decision.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 1:25pm

NE's Kevin Faulk (RB) was suspended for one game for his pot bust.

(Via the invaluable Mike Reiss)

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 3:22pm

5. I don't like the policy, and I don't just say that as a Viking fan. It's absurd to put essentially %100 control of suspensions in the hands of one person. So much subjectivity can go into that one person's decisions--like choosing to reduce Jared Allen's 2007 suspension, while refusing to reinstate or shorten other suspensions. There needs to be more consistency than one person's not necessarily random/arbitrary but definitely subjective/inconsistent decision. A broader board should make decisions.

by purds (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 4:37pm

Was the Fault suspension a surprise too? That was pretty delayed as well.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 5:09pm

If Faulk gets a suspension, shouldn't Nick Kazcur get one too? Or does co-operating with the Feds mean there's no punishment?

by mm (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 5:33pm

It's the judicial system's job to punish people for crime, and I don't support the NFL giving additional penalties.

However, I truly find it disturbing when the NFL takes action against people who've merely been accused of crimes.

by Sandman (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 6:51pm


a) No, he's not. But don't take my word for it, as it is about to become painfully obvious to any Vikings observers in the weeks ahead.

b) I'm criticising that assumption, as there is a reasonable body of evidence to suggest that Hicks is, in fact, rubbish.

c) Quality LTs certainly don't grow on trees, but backup tackles who could do a better job than Artis freakin Hicks are a different matter.

by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 8:13pm

#3, #16 - Take heart, Willie Anderson is available. You should probably sign Joey Harrington while you're at it - he certainly has his faults but his ability to be vaguely competent while under constant pressure with no-one to throw to was amply demonstrated last season.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Sat, 08/30/2008 - 9:35pm

More power to Goodell.

I would expect most bosses to take disciplinary action against employees who are involved in needless violent incidents, especially when these are done in the public eye and you're a well-known spokesman for your company. Where the hell do you work?

As for drug suspensions, aren't you required to take a drug test for many jobs? I know I have. And if you score positive, you will not be hired...if you score positive while employed, you will be more likely be fired than suffer a suspension. Once more with feeling: Where the hell do you work?

by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Sun, 08/31/2008 - 3:22am

The Vikings are dead! God save the Vikings!

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Sun, 08/31/2008 - 5:53pm

There's nothing especially absurd about about a private enterprise vesting suspension power in one person, especially when it is something that can be part of a collective bargaining process. No, Mckinnie hasn't been convicted, but unless he's claiming that the bouncer assualted Mckinnie first, unprovoked, well, it isn't too unreasonable for the management of an entertainment enterprise, which makes huge sums of money selling something as intangible as warm and fuzzy feelings without rational basis, to demand of the entertainers that they have enough brains to avoid getting arrested, except in the case of an arrest completely without cause.

The brand of the NFL is very, very, valuable, and yes, getting tossed in jail hurts the brand. People who wish to get paid large sums of money doing something as frivolous as enticing people to kill a few hours in front of a T.V. would be wise to grow the eff up, get with the program, and approach the making of large sums of money with the professionalism such activities demand.

I expected at least a two gamer, and thought it could be worse than four games, so I'm not too disappointed. The uncertainty surrounding Mckinnie is part of the reason I haven't been nearly as optimistic as some regarding the Vikings chances this year.

by UTvikefan (not verified) :: Mon, 09/01/2008 - 1:52am

Dead Vikings, and they are still playing! That makes them undead vikings...I hope Aaron Rodgers has a good cleric...ooops, wrong site.

by jebmak (not verified) :: Mon, 09/01/2008 - 8:18am


So, with the new rules can he use that once per quarter or once per drive now?

by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 09/02/2008 - 11:53am


You make a good point, but if "damaging the brand" is the only justification needed for a suspension, then anyone who interacts with NFL players has a huge cash cow...all they have to do is threaten to file charges over the smallest incident (or even over an imagined incident), and the NFL player will probably pay them a settlement rather than risk suspension for being accused of a crime (not convcited, but accused).

Look at what happened in the playoffs last year with Randy Moss. A so-called "friend" accused him of assault and filed a restraining order, allegedly because he wouldn't privately pay a substantial settlement. Now I don't know the truth of the matter, but I do know that the evidence was flimsy enough that it never saw any daylight in court, and the accuser eventually dropped the charges and lifted the restraining order. It came off looking like attempted extortion.

If Moss had been afraid of getting a suspension merely for being accused of a crime and damaging the NFL brand, right in the middle of the playoffs, he probably would have paid up rather than let it go public. Now, there was no way that the NFL was going to suspend a record setting star player on the eve of the Superbowl on the basis of an accusation alone, but what if his name had been Hank Poteat or Russ Hochstein?

Re 18 (Basilicus): For the record, Kevin Faulk got a 1-game suspension after testing NEGATIVE for drugs. He was found in possession of a small amount of pot, pled guilty to a misdemeanor, immediately took a drug test and came up clean. Granted, this probably just means that he got caught before he smoked it, but it's a good point. If he gets a 1-game suspension for something completely harmless like pot, what the heck is Lynch doing unsuspended?