MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings have parted ways with longtime mascot Ragnar the Viking.
The Vikings said Monday their contract with Joe Juranitch, the man who played Ragnar, expired during the offseason. The team says it has had "multiple conversations" with Juranitch, but has not been able to reach an agreement on his role with the Vikings.
Fans noted Ragnar was not at Sunday's home opener against Detroit. Wearing a horned helmet and dressed in furs, the burly, bearded Ragnar would roar onto the field on a purple motorcycle.
Ragnar's Facebook page said it "doesn't feel right sitting at home" but added: "This is not by my choice."
Juranitch has been playing Ragnar since 1994. The Vikings plan to honor his 21 seasons on the field during a home game this season.