Chris Kluwe and his legal representation aren't taking the news that Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer will be retained lightly. Kluwe contends that Priefer played a significant role in the punter's release from the team, which Kluwe says was due to his open stance in support of LGBT rights. The St. Paul Pioneer Press contacted Kluwe's lawyer, Clayton Halunen, who said that legal action will be brought against the Vikings:
"It's unbelievable to us. It shows that the Vikings are not sincere about this supposed investigation, that it's a mere charade, and at the end of the day they're going to cover up this... It's just a matter of when we begin litigation. That's the only question in my mind now. Do we immediately file suit or do we wait and see if we get the confirmation we get from their supposed investigation?"
It could be an ugly offseason in Minnesota.
ESPN The Magazine will be rolling out a feature on tight end Tony Gonzalez that includes his candid thoughts on this past season with the Atlanta Falcons. Perhaps chief among them is the fact that he was unhappy with the organization for not trading him to a team with a chance to win the Super Bowl at the trade deadline:
"You trade me to a team that needs me, that wants to make a serious run in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You get something in return for a guy who you know won't be here next year. And the season isn't going anywhere anyway. That's rational." At the trade deadline, Gonzalez sat at a restaurant with his wife and waited to hear which team it would be. When that call never came, he was not happy.
The sentiment isn't surprising, though it goes against what he has said publicly in the past. Gonzalez also said something about Matt Ryan not being "elite," which you can choose to use for your own #hottake purposes.
So said Mel Kiper in a conference call with NFL Draft reporters. Kiper said that among people he has spoken to in the NFL, more prefer Johnny Manziel to other top quarterback prospects like Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles.
The Cleveland Browns have been open about their interest in taking the Texas A&M quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick. According to Kiper, Manziel likely won't fall that far. Both the Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the market for new franchise quarterbacks, and one of the two teams isn't likely to pass on Johnny Football.
Michael Bennett was a pivotal part of the Seattle Seahawks' defense this past season, leading the team with 8.5 sacks. His one-year $5 million contract will end in March, however, and the defensive end is expected to earn a much more lucrative long-term deal as a free agent.
There is no doubt a long way to go in the negotiation process. For now, Bennett is saying the right things. Via the Daily Herald:
"I want to be back here 100 percent. I love the team, I love my teammates," Bennett said. "Pete (Carroll) does a great job of letting us play, so I want to be a part of that. I know we can go back and win a Super Bowl again with all these guys. It's a business, but I definitely want to be back."