Breaking the triangle: Vikes disagree on Moss

Posted Nov. 05, 2010 @ 1:09 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

One of the more intriguing facets of the Randy Moss debacle had to do with how the player actually ended up on the roster in the first place.

As with most teams, the Vikings have a general manager (Rick Spielman) who is in charge of personnel, the signing, trading and drafting of players. But the Vikings have an unusual set of checks and balances where head coach Brad Childress has final say on the makeup of the 53-man roster. Call it final veto power, if you will.

Add into the mix vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, who is heavily involved in football-related operations, and you have a crowded house when it comes to making calls on players. Or, as one NFL front-office employee said: "Too many cooks in the kitchen."

It's worth noting that Moss was acquired from the Patriots for a third-round pick in a move that was executed by Spielman. He's the general manager and makes these kinds of trades. We're hearing that Childress had his reservations about Moss prior to the deal, fears that likely grew as time went on, leading to Moss being waived.

This is not uncommon. Head coaches, scouts and personnel executives often disagree about players. The more high-profile the player, the more likely there is to be divergent opinions.

However, the structure of the Vikings' decision makers must be examined more closely. Childress, Spielman and Brzezinski often are described as the "Triangle of Authority" by people outside Winter Park, although like any three-headed operation, it's rarely in perfect agreement. This has played out recently in Minnesota, and not just with the Moss deal.

Childress and Spielman reportedly didn't see eye to eye on going after QB Brett Favre during the 2009 offseason, and a year later, the team traded Favre's would-be replacement — Sage Rosenfels — to the Giants just before Week One. Rosenfels was a player Spielman coveted, sources tell us, but Childress was not nearly as enamored with him.

Owner Zygi Wilf has attempted to run the Vikings the same way he has conducted his private business: with full accountability, open communication and internal transparency. At some point along the line, a few of those elements appear to have gone off the tracks, especially the relationship between Speilman and Childress. Both men likely will have had to answer privately for their roles in the Moss trade as their names get raised with regard to shaky job security.