Bryant McKinnie was a professional football player for the Minnesota Vikings. An offensive lineman, McKinnie signed a contract extension in 2006 that was worth almost $50 million dollars. It looked like McKinnie would be a long-term Viking, but he was recently cut from the team’s roster after he showed up to training camp, weighing almost 400 pounds. This is 65 pounds more than he weighed last year, and evidently, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Judd Zugland, a reporter at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, said that McKinnie’s weight gain was the “final straw” that allowed the team to dismiss him from their ranks. In the past, McKinnie has had several off-field issues such as being involved in a brawl in 2008 and was a key player in the infamous “Love Boat incident”, a sex party on a rented boat involving many members of the team, which was very embarrassing for the franchise.
In a sport where the players have to be big enough to clear the field for their teammates to score touchdowns and have to stop the other team from rushing the ball, shouldn’t bigger always be better? Surprisingly, no. These NFL linemen have to walk a thin line between being big but still athletic, and so overweight that it slows them down. It seems that the Vikings determined that McKinnie had finally gotten too big, and was no longer an asset to the football team.
McKinnie is denying that he was released against his will. He told TMZ that he wanted to be released from the team and will be ready to join a different team next year. Hopefully he will not pack on another 65 pounds between now and then.
August 5th, 2011