Vikings cut Brock Lesnar
Reported by: WrestlingDotCom - 08.30.2004 04:15 PM
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Brock Lesnar won't be the next big thing in the NFL - at least not this year.
The former pro wrestling star who hadn't played football in nine years, was cut by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.
Lesnar developed faster than expected and impressed his teammates with hard work. But his lack of football experience - combined with minimal playing time and a groin injury from an April motorcycle accident - were too much to overcome in just one month of training camp.
``He gave me a hug,'' coach Mike Tice said. ``He was very happy for the chance.''
Lesnar, 27, won the 2000 NCAA heavyweight championship at the University of Minnesota, and gained pro wrestling fame as The Next Big Thing.
But despite a seven-year, $45-million US WWE contract, he decided to pursue a professional football career. On the eve of training camp, Lesnar signed a one-year contract with the Vikings for $230,000, the rookie minimum.
``When he called me, that's all he asked for, is an opportunity,'' Tice said. ``I think we gave him a good opportunity to see if this is what he wanted to do.''
Tice declined to speculate about whether Lesnar would be added to the Vikings' practice squad, but said the club would be ``proud'' to allocate him to the NFL's developmental league next spring.
``I suggest to him that he should at some point end up in NFL Europe this year and play,'' Tice said. ``Hopefully, that will be as a Viking.''
Lesnar wasn't available for comment. His agent, Ed Hitchcock, said Lesnar wants to continue his development on the practice squad and in NFL Europe.
``He's committed to this longterm,'' Hitchcock said. ``He's realistic about what it takes to develop.
``There are players who've played this game all their lives who take a couple of years to develop (in the NFL).''
Basically knew he wouldn't make it this year, but if he goes and plays in Europe, then there's a chance of seeing him next year.