ST. PAUL (AP) -- Just months after he regained control of football operations of the Minnesota Vikings' football operations, 31-year employee Frank Gilliam appears to have lost it, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Thursday.
The newspaper said seven team and league sources told it the team was changing its power structure and Gilliam would be the odd man out, while former star linebacker Scott Studwell was in line for a promotion. Gilliam's contract expires May 31. Team officials previously said they would renew the contract.
Vikings President Gary Woods flew to the Twin Cities from his San Antonio base for meetings with the front office Wednesday, when Gilliam was told of his demotion, the newspaper said.
Woods told the Pioneer Press Wednesday evening that changes still were being made and he hoped the team would have an announcement by the end of the week.
He said the final decision to oust Gilliam had not been made. But when asked whether Gilliam's role would decrease, Woods said: "Possibly. That is correct."
Vikings to decide on Anderson on Monday
EDEN PRAIRIE (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings will decide if they can bring back veteran kicker Gary Anderson after this weekend's minicamp with placekickers, punters, kickoff specialists and long snappers.
"We're going to make sure that we make the right decision Monday for our football team," said coach Mike Tice. "I think that's the most important thing. At the same time, whether it works out for Gary or not, treat him with the dignity he deserves as a Hall of Fame player."
To re-sign Anderson, the Vikings will have to find someone else to kick off; Anderson, 42, has not done so regularly for years. Newly signed punter Kyle Richardson is not a candidate to kick off, Tice said.
Assuming Richardson makes the team, the Vikings will use either a placekicker who can kick off, or re-sign Anderson and use an additional roster spot on a kickoff specialist. They could create that roster spot if one of their reserve players can take over long-snapping duties.
The Vikings will have at least three placekickers and two punters in minicamp this weekend. Toledo rookie Todd France, former Wake Forest kicker Tyler Ashe and former Citadel kicker Justin Skinner will handle the kicking.
Wayne Hightower dies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Wayne Hightower, one of the highest-profile players to jump from the NBA to the American Basketball Association, has died. He was 62.
Hightower died of a heart attack at his home in West Philadelphia on Thursday.
Rebuilding Buffalo gives Bledsoe star treatment
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- For Drew Bledsoe, the first day with his new team was first class.
Bledsoe was flown to Buffalo on Wednesday from his home in Montana on Bills owner Ralph Wilson's plane and received a police escort to the stadium, where he was greeted by hundreds of fans.
"It's nice to be wanted," said Bledsoe, who was hurt early last season and lost his starting job at New England to Tom Brady. "To have some of that showered on us as we were coming into town -- yeah, it feels very good."
Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory, with Bledsoe grabbing a bit of the glory -- he filled in when Brady was hurt in the AFC title game in Pittsburgh and threw for his team's only offensive touchdown.
Bonds gets night off
CHICAGO (AP) -- Barry Bonds was out of the San Francisco Giants' lineup Wednesday night, giving him a chance to rest his sore hamstring.
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