In an interview with Josina Anderson of USA Today, Breeland said he initially exchanged words with a coach in meetings before practice. He said his disagreement was not with head coach Mike Zimmer but wouldn’t reveal with whom he argued.
“I feel like what happened in the meeting room with the coach was not serious enough to be an issue on the practice field,” Breeland told Anderson.
Breeland took issue with NFL Media’s account of the verbal altercation at practice. He said he was pulled off the practice field, took off his cleats and put on his workout shoes but remained engaged.
His account is that while switching fields a teammate approached him and said, “What’s up, Breezy?” Breeland said he nodded his head in response and the player responded, “That’s all I get?”
“I was like, ‘Bro, I’m not trying to be a distraction. Just let me get on the move. I’m good,'” Breeland said. “Then, it escalated out of nowhere.”
Breeland said the player charged him “like he wanted to fight.” Other players intervened.
“The whole time I had my hands in my hoodie,” Breeland told Anderson. “You can see my demeanor was like, ‘I’m not on that, but if you want to be on that we can be on that.’
“That’s when the General Manager stepped in on the field. I feel like Zimmer came over there, saw confusion and just kicked me out. I feel like Zimmer was already feeling some kind of way because I wasn’t practicing. I said, ‘If I’m not being cut or released I shouldn’t have to leave practice.’”
Breeland said he had post-practice conversations with G.M. Rick Spielman, along with a player personnel staff member and two players involved in the altercation. Spielman later called Breeland to tell him he wouldn’t travel with the team, according to Breeland.
Breeland said he learned of his release from his agent, posting “Wow” on Twitter after learning the team was waiving him.
Breeland started 13 games for the Vikings this season.