Running back Chuck Muncie, suspended last year after failing a drug test, was reinstated Friday by National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle and then traded from the San Diego Chargers to the Minnesota Vikings.
Muncie must comply with a strict drug monitoring and treatment program in order to remain on active status.
Muncie was suspended last September after being traded from the Chargers to the Miami Dolphins. Traces of cocaine and marijuana turned up in a urine test during a Dolphins’ physical. That nullified the trade, and Rozelle ordered a complete drug evaluation, then suspended Muncie.
The 6-3, 230-pound back was ineligible to play his ninth NFL season and would have missed his 10th but for Rozelle’s decision.
“We met recently with Chuck Muncie and reviewed all the factors in his case,” Rozelle said in New York. “We also reviewed the medical views of physicians involved in his rehabilitation and after-care program.
“According to the information available to me, Chuck has made substantial progress in working out his problems and establishing his true priorities while remaining drug free. He fully understands the consequences of further drug use, non-compliance with his program or any other conduct detrimental to the integrity of NFL football or public confidence in it.”
San Diego received an undisclosed draft choice from the Vikings, said Pat Rogers, a spokeswoman for the Chargers.
“We have the data on his progress and are satisfied with it,” Viking Coach Bud Grant said. “We don’t expect to have any problems. He’s shown he is capable of maintaining a straight course, and we feel he can help this football team.”
A team spokesman said the Vikings’ newest running back is expected in camp Aug. 1.
In 1983, Muncie led the Chargers a fourth straight year with 886 yards rushing.
The University of California product, who was second to Archie Griffin in the 1975 Heisman Trophy voting, went to San Diego in 1980 in a trade with New Orleans.
The world champion San Francisco 49ers acquired linebacker Fulton Kuykendall from the Atlanta Falcons in a trade for defensive lineman Lawrence Pillers.
Kuykendall, who played 10 years for the Falcons, had 113 tackles in 1984 to rank third on the Falcons’ defensive roster.
Pillers, a nine-year veteran, joined the 49ers from the New York Jets in the 1980 season.
At Tampa, Fla., defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, a six-time All-Pro with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, confirmed he has a back problem that threatens his career.
“We are in the process of diagnosing my back problem, and after that I’ll be able to decide what’s best for me,” Selmon said at a news conference. “I’ve been told the problem wouldn’t go away if I played football and surgery has been mentioned. I have a herniated disk in my lower back.”
Selmon, who won both the Outland and Lombardi awards in 1975 at Oklahoma, was the first player selected in 1976 draft. He said he noticed some soreness in his back after the Pro Bowl in January.
Running back Joe Cribbs has bought out the remainder of his contract with the USFL Birmingham Stallions and plans to be back in the National Football League by Thursday, his agent said.
Louis Burrell said the former All-Pro paid $750,000 to escape the final three years of his five-year agreement with the Stallions.
Burrell said he has been talking to the Buffalo Bills about either signing Cribbs or trading his rights to another NFL team. Cribbs jumped the Bills after the 1983 season and signed a $2.35 million contract with the Stallions.
At St. Louis, Roy Green, the NFL’s leading wide receiver the last two seasons, wants to renegotiate the remaining two years of his contract with the Cardinals.
Green reportedly has a salary of $180,000 for the upcoming season, which is substantially less than the league’s average pay of $215,000 for wide receivers.