Sunday, April 26, 2015

Monthly Archives: July 2012

I don’t know how many times I have typed this sentence, but here it goes one more time:  The Vikings always seem to be behind the rest of the league when it comes to signing their own free agents and their own draft classes.

I’ve also said before that we have no reason to worry about any holdouts now that the rookie wage scale is in place.

On one hand, it might appear as there is no reason to worry because the Vikings reportedly agreed to terms today with third round cornerback (and fastest man at the Combine) Josh Robinson.  The deal, as usual, is for four years.

On the other hand, however, there is a growing sense that the Vikings are taking a firm stance on the issue of “offset language” in these rookie contracts so Matt Kalil’s contract remains to be finalized with training camp beginning tomorrow.

The offset clause being referenced has to do with how the contract is handled should the player be cut prior to the contract expiring and then have the player sign with another team.  The Vikings want the contract to be worded in such a way that any money they still owe the player is offset by the new contract awarded.    The players, of course, would rather see themselves in a situation where they are being paid by two teams for a year or two in the event that they are cut by the team that drafted them.

Rick Spielman has indicated that he is confident that Kalil’s deal will be done without any major hiccups. 

Here is hoping he is correct.

A number of fairly substantial moves have been made around the league in recent days, but none of them have involved the Vikings.

Still, don’t think that the front office is just sleeping on the job.

As proof of their consciousness, the Vikings opted to sign offensive tackle Kevin Murphy for the second time this offseason.

The Niners picked up the Harvard player as an undrafted free agent but then waived him.  I actually got pretty excited when the Vikings used their waiver priority to beat out the Texans and the Lions to nab Murphy off the wires.

A day later, however, the Vikings waived Murphy because of some health issue that came up during his physical.  Today’s signing, however, should indicate that Murphy is now healthy enough to compete for a backup position on the offensive line.

The Vikings waived offensive tackle Darrion Weems to make room for Murphy.

I’ve said it a number of times before, and I’ll gladly say it again:  I am looking forward to this season more than any in recent history.

I can’t wait to watch the Vikings (hopefully) begin to take strides towards a rebuild and (hopefully) grow and develop into what will (hopefully) become a true Super Bowl contender in the somewhat near future.

All of that begins in Mankato on Thursday, and here are the five things I will be keeping the closest eye on when the offense takes their training camp reps.

5.  Adrian Peterson’s Health

I’ll be honest, I still haven’t figured out any upside to rushing Peterson back into action for a season that is likely to end with the Vikings looking at the playoffs from the outside.  Still, the Vikings invested an astronomical amount of money into their superstar running back, and seeing the same old Adrian at some point this season would please many fans.

So, in training camp, it is natural that a number of stories will be written about Peterson’s participation or lack thereof.  Don’t get your hopes up too high, however, as Toby Gerhart is likely to carry the load while his young backups gain some experience with the twos and threes.

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It’s pretty amazing how quickly the sport of fantasy football can evolve. (Yes, I called it a sport. And yes, I am entirely aware of how nerdy that sounds…) Just a few years ago, most people considered tight ends unimportant – an afterthought. A position that you addressed just before defense and a kicker. Last year though, the NFL saw a major emergence at the tight end position. Hybrid players who had the size and the speed to really stretch the field and become very dangerous in the end zone. Of course, this increased role translated well for fantasy owners who were fortunate enough to have some of these special players on their roster. Now, a lot of the talk headed into this season of fantasy football is centered around the importance of tight ends and how well guys, like Rob Gornkowski, Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez, who were outstanding last year, will do this year.

So this week for our fantasy football rankings and debate, we will look at the tight end position and list, who we believe to be, the top 10. If you missed, make sure to check out our last Coin Toss where we ranked fantasy D/ST.

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Adam’s Tight End Rankings

  1. Jimmy Graham
  2. Rob Gronkowski
  3. Vernon Davis
  4. Aaron Hernandez
  5. Jermichael Finley
  6. Jason Witten
  7. Antonio Gates
  8. Brandon Pettigrew
  9. Brent Celek
  10. Greg Olsen

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Brett’s Tight End Rankings

  1. Rob Gronkowski
  2. Jimmy Graham
  3. Jason Witten
  4. Antonio Gates
  5. Vernon Davis
  6. Aaron Hernandez
  7. Jermichael Finley
  8. Tony Gonzalez
  9. Brandon Pettigrew
  10. Jermaine Gresham

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Continue reading to see Adam and I duke it out on these rankings.

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Jared Allen seems to be plenty aware of the incredibly low expectations that fans, the media, and analysts have for the Vikings in 2012.  Allen, however, doesn’t seem to think of low expectations as a particularly bad thing.

“I truly don’t know what our expectations are,” Allen said. “That can actually be a good thing. There are no preconceived notions of where you have to get, so you just work your butt off and everybody goes out there and lays it on the line. Everybody is working toward one common goal and that’s to win this game.”

“When we had Brett, you’re expectation goes through the roof that you’re going to make it to the Super Bowl,” Allen continued. “Anything less than that is unsatisfactory. Coming off a 3-13 season, no one expects us to do anything. So, we can fly below the radar and focus on being a solid team and just try to put win after win together.”

I have iterated a number of times that I am genuinely looking forward to watching this young Vikings team play, grow, and improve over the course of the 2012 season.  “Win after win” isn’t a phrase you hear projected very often, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility and it is nice to hear the leader of the defense express it as a possibility.

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