EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- After holding out for nearly half the season, Bryant McKinnie finally reached agreement Friday on a five-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported McKinnie agreed to a $13.5 million deal, including a $9.35 million signing bonus.
Minnesota had until Nov. 12 to reach an agreement with McKinnie in order for the massive tackle from Miami to be eligible to play this season. If the deadline has passed without an accord, McKinnie would have had the right to enter the 2003 draft without the Vikings receiving compensation.
The Vikings flinched in the negotiating battle after maintaining their five-year, $13.1 million offer with an $8.1 million signing bonus in September would be their best one.
Vikings owner Red McCombs was openly critical of McKinnie's agents, Ben Dogra and Jim Steiner, but McKinnie stood by his representatives and it paid off.
The seventh overall pick in the 2002 draft, McKinnie will not lose any salary despite missing half the season.
The last rookie to sit out an entire season was running back Bo Jackson, the first overall pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1986.
The Vikings were counting on the 6-8, 343-pound McKinnie, who never allowed a sack in his high school or college career, to become an immediate starter at left tackle. But that plan was foiled by the contract impasse.
As a senior, McKinnie won the Outland Trophy, given to college football's best interior lineman, and received 26 votes for the Heisman Trophy, a stunning total for an offensive lineman.
McKinnie was the first of five players from Miami's national championship team selected in the first round, followed by tight end Jeremy Shockey, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Mike Rumph.