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In a telling sign of the organization’s frustration with McKinnie, they immediately assigned his No. 74 jersey to Johnson.

“Guys unfortunately come and go, and you’re so used to seeing No. 74 being worn by a very big man for five years,” Hutchinson said. “Now it’s a different face wearing that jersey. It’s a little awkward.”

The Vikings, who were up against the salary cap, saved $5.4 million by cutting McKinnie, but Frazier was definitive when he said finances did not play a role in the decision.

“Left tackle _ you don’t just dispense of those guys for money reasons,” he said. “Those are the guys you pay money to. No, money was not an issue.”

Owner Zygi Wilf said the decision was left totally up to Frazier and vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman, and the two have the owner’s full support.

“It just wasn’t a good fit for what we’re trying to do and where we want to go,” Frazier said. “As I mentioned, I want nothing but the best for him. But for us and what we’re trying to do, the timing wasn’t right.”


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