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Vikings promote Spielman to GM

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.   — The leaders of the Minnesota Vikingslooked around the league and decided the traditional front officehas proven to work for many other teams.  The frustration and embarrassment of finishing 3-13 finally putthat into focus.  The Vikings elevated Rick Spielman Tuesday to general manager,streamlining a nebulous power structure and making the first movetoward reviving a team that matched the worst record in franchisehistory.  Spielman was promoted from his previous role as vice presidentof player personnel, which he held since his hire in May 2006. Hewill now have final authority over all roster-related decisions, inaddition to his previous duties running the scouting departmentsand the draft, instead of the by-committee approach to playertransactions with head coach Leslie Frazier.  “We thought long and hard through the season, and we feel thisis the right way. Knowing Rick and his body of work, we’reconfident he’s the man to do it,” team President Mark Wilfteam.  The Vikings haven’t had a true general manager since Mike Lynnin the 1980s. They’ve won a lot of games since then and been inlegitimate contention for several Super Bowls, but snags in thegroup-decision system were exposed when Frazier’s predecessor, BradChildress, hastily cut malcontent wide receiver Randy Moss withoutconsultation last November.  BEARS: Chicago fired general manager Jerry Angelo and announcedthat head coach Lovie Smith will be retained.  The Bears also confirmed that offensive coordinator Mike Martzand quarterbacks coach Shane Day won’t be back. Martz had anexpiring contract, and there had been speculation he would be goneafter two seasons.  CHARGERS: San Diego President Dean Spanos didn’t feel he had toissue any ultimatums when he made the unpopular decision to bringback coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith despite theteam missing the playoffs for the second straight season.  Turner, whose team was 8-8 in 2011, has a 49-31 regular-seasonrecord in five years in San Diego but is only 3-3 in theplayoffs.  EAGLES: Chairman Jeffrey Lurie said coach Andy Reid will returnfor his 14th season in Philadelphia, though he left open thepossibility for changes on the coaching staff.  DOLPHINS: Jeff Fisher interviewed for Miami’s  head coachingjob, arriving via owner Stephen Ross’ helicopter. He flew offseveral hours later. Fisher is believed to be the Dolphins’ topchoice.  SAINTS: New Orleans put rookie running back Mark Ingram andlinebacker Will Herring on injured reserve, ending theirseasons.  AWARDS: The Associated Press and the NFL will announce theannual league awards, including Most Valuable Player, in a two-hourprime-time special “NFL Honors” to air on NBC on Super Bowl eve,Feb. 4.  All seven AP NFL awards will be presented from from the Murat Theater in Indianapolis.  JETS: Spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that the league isreviewing the incident involving linebacker Bart Scott, whichoccurred as the players cleared out their lockers on Monday. Scottgathered items from his locker, walked past reporters and thenturned, stuck out his middle finger and used an expletive whiletelling a photographer to get a camera out of his face.  RAVENS: Baltimore cut placekicker Shayne Graham, who becameexpendable when Billy Cundiff returned from a left calfinjury. 

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