Ragnar might have to start wearing his Viking costume to Halloween parties because it doesn't look like he'll be wearing it to TCF Bank Stadium anytime soon.
Ragnar, who's real name is Joe Juranitch, demanded $20,000 a game to work this season, but he said he only demanded that because the Vikings had made it seem like he'd only be invited to work one or two games in 2015, instead of the eight he had worked in the past.
"Based on them telling me my role is going to be limited, that’s what I based the contract on," Juranitch told ESPN.com. "If the sticker price on a car says one thing, you negotiate it. They didn't negotiate anything. I even said, 'You can take the structure of the contract and plug your own numbers in.' They said, 'We wouldn't be interested in that.'"
Juranitch pulled in about $1,500 per game in 2014 (or $12,000 for the entire season), so a $20,000 deal for just one or two games would've either paid $20,000 or $40,000 for the season.
Juranitch believes the team released his $20,000 asking price to the media without any context. Juranitch claims he never expected to get $1.6 million over 10 years.
Everything went down last week after fans made a big deal that Ragnar wasn't at the team's Sept. 20 home opener.
"I sent [the new deal] over to them about 5 o'clock Monday; they said, 'We can't accept this contract,'" Juranitch said. "They went ahead and released everything that you saw. I was flabbergasted. I called them Tuesday and said, 'Is there anything salvageable on this contract?' They said no."
Despite the fact that the Vikings don't appear to want him back, Juranitch thinks he'll be on the field for the Vikings-Chargers, but he's not making any promises.
"I think you’re going to see me on the field Sunday, I really do," Juranitch said. "If not, here’s what I will tell everybody: I will still respect their decision. I will be sad; all I’d like to see is my legacy continue. I've been carrying that axe for however many years that my father and I designed and made it. Is that going to end up in a corner all dusty? I’d like to see it in the stadium."
Juranitch, who made his first appearance as Ragnar in 1994, seems to understand that the Vikings might not budge on this.
"After 21 years of building this character, with my wife by my side at every single game, to watch her cry and tear up over me feeling bad, it’s like, 'Wow, is this how it’s going to end?' If it is, so be it," Juranitch said. "If not, let's put the past behind us and move forward."