Former Vikings GM Lynn passes away at 76

Former Vikings GM Lynn passes away at 76

Published Jul. 21, 2012 5:11 p.m. ET

Former Minnesota Vikings general manager Mike Lynn passed away Saturday at the age of 76, according to the team.

"The Vikings are deeply saddened by the passing of Mike Lynn," the team said in a statement. "He was instrumental in the success of the Vikings for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lynn family in this difficult time."

Lynn, who reportedly had been in failing health, served as general manager of the Vikings from 1975-90. At the time of his departure, he was the longest-tenured general manager in NFL history.

Though Minnesota made nine playoff appearances, won six division titles and made Super Bowl XI under Lynn, he forever will be remembered for the 1989 trade he made for Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker.

Lynn dealt five players and seven draft picks, including three first-rounders and two second-rounders, to Dallas for Walker and four draft picks.

The Cowboys used those draft picks to transform their roster from one of the worst in the league to a dynasty in the 1990s. Franchise cornerstones Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson and Russell Maryland were obtained with the fruits of the trade.

While Dallas used the deal as a franchise changer, Walker had little impact on the Vikings. Minnesota went just 21-22 with Walker, and he was released in 1992 without having rushed for 1,000 yards in a season for the team.

After his departure from the organization in 1990, Lynn was named president and chief executive officer of the World League of American Football.