Last year, a couple of days after Training Camp got underway, the Minnesota Vikings cut long-time starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie when he reportedly showed up at camp weighing in the neighborhood of 400 pounds. The move forced the Vikings to run with something of a makeshift offensive line in 2011, featuring Charlie Johnson at left tackle.
McKinnie is one of the NFL's better left tackles when he actually feels like being one of the NFL's better left tackles. Unfortunately for him and his new team, the Baltimore Ravens, it still appears that might not be the case.
Bryant McKinnie is a large man. Perhaps too large for the Baltimore Ravens.
The 6-foot-8, 360-pound (and sometimes pudgier) veteran left tackle was held out of the team's mandatory minicamp this week for "conditioning purposes," according to coach John Harbaugh.
The move to cut McKinnie was something of a controversial one last season, and it did cause the Vikings some short-term pain on the offensive line (which, in turn, caused short-term pain to Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks in 2011). But with Matt Kalil in the fold and McKinnie on his way towards eating himself out of the National Football League, it looks like that short-term sacrifice is going to work out fairly well for the team in the long run.