McKinnie says Vikings exaggerated his weight

Bryant McKinnie (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)

Bryant McKinnie takes exception to the claim that he weighed 400 pounds when he showed up for training camp last year, but the number isn't as important as what him being overweight said about his commitment during the lockout.

Bryant McKinnie thinks the Vikings are liars … or at least exaggerators.

Appearing Wednesday on Yahoo! Sports Radio with host Tim Brando, McKinnie refuted the claim reportedly made by a Vikings source at the start of training camp last year that McKinnie weighed 400 pounds and had ballooned during the lockout after expressly being told to keep his weight down.

Anyone with eyes – much less access to the scale used to weigh in players when they arrive in Mankato – could tell that McKinnie was overweight when he showed up for training camp. While he admitted his top weight was 386 pounds, he said there was no truth to the Vikings' claim that he was cut because he weighed 400 pounds.

"I never was (400 pounds)," McKinnie said. "That was exaggerated by the Vikings."

What may have been exaggerated was that the Vikings refused to let McKinnie practice the first days of training camp before he was released due to concerns for his health. More likely was that the Vikings didn't want to risk an injury taking place early in camp before they could officially release him. The facts remain etched in stone – McKinnie reports to camp, the next day the team signs Charlie Johnson and the day after that McKinnie was released.

Those who saw McKinnie could clearly see that he was out of shape and bigger than he had been at the end of the 2010 season. The irony of that was that Viking Update asked him about his offseason plans and he stated at the center of his plan was to work out with a private trainer, explaining that, as he gets older, he needs to work out in order to keep his weight down. His plan was to cut weight, not gain it. When he arrived in Mankato, it was clear his stated intentions more than seven months earlier went awry.

While McKinnie has shed weight since joining the Ravens and has never missed a game in his 10-year career due to injury, any of us who saw McKinnie would vouch that McKinnie showed up at training camp last year out of shape. Whether it was 386 pounds or 395 or 400 is irrelevant. What it proved was that the Vikings were upset enough with his lack of commitment to keeping his weight at an acceptable level that he was released and, a year later, the team used the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft to select a permanent replacement.

As someone who saw McKinnie at training camp riding an exercise bike on the sidelines, the "alleged ballooning" was fact.

John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here. Recommended Stories

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