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Charley Walters: Vikings’ Kirk Cousins likely will be traded in coming weeks



Charley Walters: Vikings’ Kirk Cousins likely will be traded in coming weeks

It will be surprising if the Minnesota Vikings don’t trade quarterback Kirk Cousins and his 2022 $35 million guaranteed salary, which comes with a $45 million cap hit, before mid-March.

Carolina, Denver and Cleveland make the most sense for Cousins, who turns 34 in August. New Orleans could also be a destination, but Carolina seems most likely. It’s highly unlikely the Panthers will bring back Cam Newton as their starter.

Cousins probably would need a three-year contract from his new team. A trade might be able to fetch the Vikings a second-round draft pick in return. It also could require the Vikings to pay at least $10 million of Cousins’ current contract. The draft pick could depend on how much of Cousins’ salary the Vikings would have to pay.

This spring’s QB draft is weak. If the Vikings, although they won’t admit it, are rebuilding, they could sign a Marcus Mariota or another free agent QB of that stature to get them through 2022.

Cousins is a better QB than is Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns, who are coached by Kevin Stefanski, who was Cousins’ offensive coordinator in Minnesota two years ago. Mayfield, 26, is guaranteed $19 million next season.

If Cousins were traded to Cleveland, the Vikings would take on Mayfield’s $19 million and maybe even get a first-round draft pick, since the overall draft is considered relatively weak.

Chatted with Jan Stenerud in Palm Desert, Calif., on Thursday. The hall of fame former Vikings kicker, now 79, was traded by Green Bay to Minnesota, where he played for first-year coach Les Steckel in 1984 and led the NFL in field-goal percentage (87.0).

Steckel was 38 when hired. The Vikings finished 3-13 that season, but Stenerud feels Steckel, who was fired after the season, got a bad rap.

“Les was fine — he has been criticized so much. But I think he did a pretty decent job,” Stenerud said. “Les was a lot better than what his legacy is.”

Steckel was replaced the next season by Bud Grant, whose Vikings finished 7-9.

“Bud was remarkable, no question about that,” Stenerud said.

The Vikings’ TV market is 1.9 million homes, 16th in the NFL, per Axios.

Saturday’s Gophers men’s basketball victory over Rutgers, minus three starters, might have been the program’s best in 20 years.

Fargo native Tom Hoge, 32, who won two Minnesota State Amateur golf championships (2009-10) and is in contention in Sunday’s final round of the American Express tournament in La Quinta, Calif., has been on the PGA Tour since 2011 but has yet to win. Four years ago, he was leading the Hawaii Open with three holes to play, but faltered.

Hoge has made nearly $8 million on the PGA Tour. Sunday’s Amex champion will win $1.4 million from the $7.6 million purse.

It was 62 years ago last week that heroic pilot Harold Gifford, now 98 and living in Woodbury, took off after a game in St. Louis in a terrible snowstorm for Minneapolis with the NBA’s Lakers (including star Elgin Baylor onboard) and landed a faltering DC-3 twin-engine airliner in a cornfield in Carroll, Iowa, at 1:30 a.m. A movie is being planned.

Speaking of Gifford, he’s frequently asked if there’s a secret to his longevity.

“I mention quitting smoking at 49 and alcohol at 52,” he emailed. “It is believed the human body is now designed to last 80 years, so I am 18 out of warranty.”

It appears Amir Coffey knew what he was doing when he left the Gophers after his junior season in 2019 for a pro career, despite being undrafted.

Coffey, 24, scored 21 and 18 points, respectively, for the Los Angeles Clippers in back-to-back victories over Atlanta and Denver recently while averaging 10.7 points over a 10-game span. Still on a two-way contract worth $463,000 this season, he’s signed for $1.6 million next season. But the Clippers are expected to toss that deal in lieu of a four-year contract in the $22 million range.

The Gophers’ last men’s Big Ten championship basketball team, coached in 1982 by Jim Dutcher, now 88, will be honored on Feb. 23 at Williams Arena against Wisconsin.

Niko Medved, the former Gophers assistant from Roseville, has Colorado State off to a 14-1 start.

Minnehaha Academy grad Chet Holmgren, the 7-foot freshman who is averaging 13.1 points and 8.5 rebounds for No. 1 Gonzaga, has partnered with the Topps Company in a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) trading card contract. A good estimate is that the deal is for multiple years with escalator clauses based on NBA draft position and performance, and is worth $250,000 at signing with the ability to make more than $750,000 over time.

Paige Bueckers, the Hopkins grad who is in her second season of women’s basketball at Connecticut and will be headed to the WNBA in two years, has a multi-year NIL deal estimated at $250,000.

It looks like Hazeltine National, which will host the 2029 Ryder Cup, could name a new head professional from California. Finalists included pros from Caves Valley in Baltimore and a Hazeltine assistant.

Interlachen Country Club, which recently was awarded the 2030 U.S. Women’s Open that will be held on the 100th anniversary of Bobby Jones’ 1930 U.S. Open victory at the Edina course, has completed a $9.5 million renovation of its storied clubhouse, per Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

Sam Hentges, the Totino-Grace grad and St. Cloud State forward selected for the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, is the son of Mark Hentges, the former University of St. Thomas star who was the first Division III player to be a Hobey Baker Award finalist.

Condolences to the family of affable Charlie Kelly, a defenseman for Edina’s 1971 state champion hockey team who died the other day at age 68, diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2015 when he was 61. He tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago.

Good news: Bill Homeyer, 72, father of 2003 U.S. Women’s Open champion Hilary Lunke and still the youngest golfer to win the Minnesota State Public Links tournament (age 17), is back home in Hopkins and improving after being hospitalized for 40 days (23 in intensive care) following hip replacement and a stroke.

One of the best guys you could ever meet, St. Paul’s Tom Wilkolak, who played basketball for Bill Musselman at Ashland College before transferring to St. Thomas, passed away at age 73 last week after complications from a stroke.

Because top-100 basketball recruit 6-9 Dain Dainja from Park Center played three games for Baylor (averaging just two points) this season before transferring to Illinois, he’s prohibited from playing the rest of the season for the Illini.

The Timberwolves’ logo ranks No. 1 among all NBA logos, per a survey by Quality Logo Products. The Vikings’ logo ranked No. 16 in the NFL, The Wild No. 9 in the NHL, Minnesota United No. 1 in Major League Soccer and the Twins No. 25 in major league baseball.

Braham grad Isaiah Dahlman, who was Minnesota Mr. Basketball in 2006 before signing with Michigan State, is a VP of marketing and innovation at a self-care products company in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Dahlman’s sister Rebekah, the 2013 Minnesota Miss Basketball from Braham, still holds the state’s career scoring title with 5,060 points. She has a masters in science degree in marketing from DePaul, where she finished an injury-prone but standout career.

The Dahlmans’ grandfather was Johnny Kundla, the celebrated former Gophers-Lakers coach who died five years ago at 101.

It looks like Donnie Fuller, the former head athletic trainer with the Wild, could be head trainer for Minnesota United.

That was Dana Kiecker, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher from Fairfax and the new baseball bench coach at Century College, booming drives at the Terra Lago golf course in Indio, Calif., last week.


There’s little doubt that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is behind the scenes influencing the Vikings’ hiring of a GM and coach. A GM is expected to be hired later this week.

It’s a good guess that the GM will be either Kwesi Adofo-Mensah from the Browns or  Ryan Poles from the Chiefs. By the way, Adofo-Mensah is a Princeton University grad. Coincidentally, so is Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf.

The fact that the Vikings are also interviewing coaches before hiring a GM indicates the GM will have notably less power than did RIck Spielman.

Since 2009, nearly 40 percent of NFL head coaches were former offensive coordinators, per a Global Sport Institute study.

While Vikings defensive backs performed atrociously this season, castoffs by then-GM Spielman and then-coach Mike Zimmer contributed to other teams. Among them: Mike Hughes had 47 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery while returning punts for the Chiefs; Jayron Kearse had 101 tackles, two interceptions, nine tackles for losses and one sack for the Cowboys; Anthony Harris had 108 tackles — two for losses — and one interception for the Eagles; Xavier Rhodes had 39 tackles and one interception for the Colts, and Andrew Sendejo had 40 tackles for the Colts; Trae Waynes was to return from injury to the Bengals’ lineup on Saturday.

Another reason Spielman is no longer GM: He drafted linebacker Anthony Barr with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 draft and passed on defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was taken 13th overall by St. Louis.

Kicker Dan Carlson, 26, who the Vikings released after he missed three field goals against the Packers three years ago, this season made 40 of 43 tries for the wild card Las Vegas Raiders.

It looks like ex-Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, 62, who is defensive coordinator for the Bills, could be the next Chicago Bears coach. Frazier starred for the Bears as a defensive back.

Zimmer made nearly $40 million during his eight seasons with the Vikings.

If Zimmer, who turns 66 in June, gets a defensive coordinator job next season, the $8 million the Vikings reportedly owe him would be offset by his new salary. So basically he would be working for free, unless he takes a year off.

Although the Vikings won’t admit it, it’s clear a rebuild is in motion, and that could include trading local hero Adam Thielen, who turns 32 in August, as a favor to a Super Bowl contending team. He’s contracted to the Vikings through 2024 for a total base salary of $39 million.

Thielen’s speaking fee, by the way, listed by AthleteSpeakers, ranges from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on the event.

Pssst: The Vikings are among teams that have received permission to market their brand for a 2022 home game elsewhere, and that could be in England or Canada.

There’s buzz now that proposed Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore want ex-Wolves star Kevin Garnett to join the pair for a $100 million investment and for his player input. If that happens, a Garnett statue outside Target Center would be erected as well as retirement of his No. 21 jersey.

Major League Baseball plans to use robot umpires at nearly a dozen Triple-A sites this season, mostly at U.S. western locations, but not in St. Paul. Meanwhile, despite the ongoing lockout of major league teams, the Triple-A Saints report to spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., on the back fields in about a month.

Since the end of the golf season last fall, the Troy Burne course near Hudson, Wis., designed in part by Tom Lehman, has been for sale for $7.5 million.

Devin Dubnyk, 35, the former all-star Wild goaltender, was 2-0 after five games for the Seattle Kraken’s Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. But he was released last week.

After the Minneapolis Club significantly increased the cost for the Twin Cities Dunkers to hold their sports gatherings there, the Dunkers will move to Interlachen Country Club. The Minneapolis Club, long home for the Dunkers, was to substantially increase costs for food, beverage, room, per-car fee and service charges.

The Wild’s Dean Evason, who could be a NHL coach of the year candidate, speaks to the Dunkers on Feb. 10 via Zoom.

Since its move from Division III to Division I this season, the University of St. Thomas is a combined 14-20 in basketball, the men 8-9, the women 6-11.

In hockey, the Tommies are a combined 6-38-1, the men 2-23, women 4-15-1. St. Thomas’ two games in Madison against No. 1 Wisconsin were cancelled due to COVID-19 within the Tommies’ program.


Ex-Vikings QB Tommy Kramer, the other day on Twitter: “My buddy’s son told me at school today, he along with five of his friends were sat down by a lunch supervisor and were told they were not wearing their masks correctly and that they are potentially killing her grandma. I miss the days of being slapped by a ruler.”


UCF offers Daytona Beach Mainland 2024 safety Zay Mincey



UCF offers Daytona Beach Mainland 2024 safety Zay Mincey

The last few players rom Daytona Beach Mainland High to play for UCF turned out to be quite productive. Knights coaches are hoping 2024 safety Zavier “Zay” Mincey is next.

Mincey was offered a scholarship by UCF on Tuesday, one of numerous offers the big defensive back — 6-foot-3, 190 pounds — has picked up recently. Mincey now has 13 offers from schools including Auburn, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, so the Knights have their work cut out for them to win him over,

Mincey, a multi-sport standout, competed at the Florida Track and Field Championships in Gainesville this past week. He didn’t have his best performances, but finished 10th in the long jump (21 feet, 4¾ inches) and 11th in the high jump (5 feet, 11½ inches).

Last season for Mainland, Mincey averaged 3.2 tackles per game and had 1 tackle for loss. He also had 2 interceptions and 6 pass deflections.

The recent history of success for Mainland players at UCF was highlighted by the self-proclaimed fastest man in college football Adrian Killins, who finished his UCF career as the fifth-best rusher in UCF history with 2,459 career rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. Killins was last in the NFL as a roster player with the Denver Broncos. He is a free agent.

Offensive tackle Marcus Tatum also had a solid stay at UCF after transferring from Tennessee. Tatum earned all-AAC honors in each of his final two seasons as a Knight. Tatum recently signed a free-agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.


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The Staircase Episode 5: May 19 Release, Time And Plot Speculations



The Staircase Episode 5: May 19 Release, Time And Plot Speculations

An American crime drama mini-series, The Staircase, will release its 5th episode on May 19th. The episode titled “The Beating Heart” would air on HBO Max. The true-crime drama is created by Antonio Campos and stars Colin Firth and Toni Collette as the main protagonist. The drama is based on the famous Michel Peterson trial.

Produced by Annapurna Television, What’s up Films, and Emi pop, the mini-series is distributed by Warner Bros Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment. Michael Stuhlbarg, Sophie Turner, Dane DeHaan, Olivia DdeJonge, Patrick Schwarzeneggar, and Rosemarie DeWitt assist Firth and Collette in their roles play important characters in the drama.

Here’s all you need to know before watching the episode.

Michael Peterson Trial

Based on a true crime story and the docuseries by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade with the same name; the Staircase premiered on HBO Max on May 5th; and received great, positive reception for the stellar cast performances (especially by Firth).

It is based on the Michael Peterson trial, which was a pretty deal as it remains one of the longest trials in the history of North Carolina. In 2001, Peterson’s wife, Kathleen, was reported by him to be found unconscious; at the bottom of the stairs in their home in Durham, North Carolina.

She was later declared dead, and her autopsy result showed that she died of several injuries that hint at homicide.

Peterson was bisexual; and that upon finding his sexuality and his adultery with another male, Kathleen had confronted him. And in a bid of rage, he had killed her. The American novelist was arrested on the charge of murdering his wife in 2001.

In 2003, he was guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, getting released in 2011.

1652901008 32 The Staircase Episode 5 May 19 Release Time And Plot

The Staircase Episode 5: What To Expect? Plot Speculation 

The eight-episode mini series following the trial and appeal period of Michael Peterson will be releasing its 5th episode coming May 19th.

The last episode saw the trial reaching its final verdict; with Elizabeth Ratliff’s autopsy result coming to the forefront, giving the whole case a new perspective. Ratliff have injuries similar to Kathleen; and it is proven that Peterson is the last person to be with her before she was found dead the next morning.

It leads to further doubts in Martha and Margaret, Elizabeth’s daughters and Michael’s adoptive daughters, who have started to turn against him.

The next episode (episode 5) will have the viewers see the consequences of the verdict that Peterson; and his family would be dealing with and the full aftermath of the jury’s decision.

On the other hand, the last episode also left viewers at a stump when it revealed during the 2017 documentary interview that Sophie Brunet has been with Peterson for the past 12 years.

When And Where To Watch Episode 5? 

Episode 5 of The Staircase will release and available to stream on HBO max on May 19th, Thursday at 3 AM ET.

The post The Staircase Episode 5: May 19 Release, Time And Plot Speculations appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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2 killed in Anoka crash that following police pursuit



2 killed in Anoka crash that following police pursuit

ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — Two men died after fleeing from an attempted traffic stop and later crashing into a pickup truck in Anoka County, sheriff’s officials said.

Police in Coon Rapids tried to make the traffic stop shortly before midnight Tuesday. The driver took off and police pursued the car, but broke off the chase once the vehicle crossed into Anoka.

Officials said the car and pickup collided about a mile away. The force of the crash took down at least three light poles, according to witnesses.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. His passenger died at a nearby hospital. The driver of the pickup was treated for minor injuries. The victims have not been identified.

The crash remains under investigation by the Anoka Police Department, Coon Rapids Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.

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