Friday, July 3, 2015

Monthly Archives: March 2013

I mentioned that newly re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt had some very kind and gracious words about Minnesota shortly after his new deal was announced.  Now we know he had plenty of reasons to say such nice things.

Loadholt’s deal is reportedly good for up to $25 million over the next four seasons.  Tom Pelissero says it included a $7 million signing bonus and that Loadholt will now count $4.75 million against the 2013 salary cap.  The cap hit will increase by $1 million through every season of the contract.

That means Loadholt’s new contract will see him paid an average of $6.25 million per year, which is very high end money for a right tackle.  Those numbers are particularly impressive considering that there are a number of other right tackle options, such as Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith, still on the open market.

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Percy Harvin seems very happy to be a millionaire in a new location that, incidentally enough, has no income tax and just legalized marijuana (yup, had to go there).

Despite all of the drama that led up to his eventual trade to Seattle, Harvin had nothing but nice things to say about the Minnesota Vikings and their fans.

“I have nothing but love for that whole Vikings organization,” Harvin told NFL Network. “And from the texts I’ve been getting today and yesterday, they have nothing but love for me.”

“It’s absolutely false. Me and Coach Frazier have a great relationship,” he said when asked about reports that he was, at least at times, at odds with coach Leslie Frazier. “He has the utmost respect for me, and I have the utmost respect for him.”

Then Harvin laid some of the blame for the drama at the feet of the media.

“We were talking almost every day (and) texting each other,: he said.  “We both understood what the situation was. I think this whole thing was blown up (by media). We did have our ups and downs.”

Harvin was briefly pressed about his opinion of quarterback Christian Ponder.  While he was plenty willing to rave about his new quarterback Russell Wilson, and plenty willing to say he had love for the Minnesota Vikings, he opted for a “no comment” on the Ponder question.

Psst.  Rick Spielman.  Psst.  You know, Rick, you can actually sign players that didn’t wear a Vikings jersey last year.  Psst.  You know that, right?

The Vikings are continuing to use the first day of free agency to dip into the free agency pool and sign players they could have signs yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last… well, you get the point.

Adam Schefter has reported via Twitter that the Vikings have now re-signed weakside linebacker Erin Henderson to a two year deal.

Financial details are not yet known.

There has been a lot of negativity floating around about the Vikings decisions lately, and I am as guilty as anyone on this point, so I thought I’d share some truly classy comments with you from Phil Loadholt, as transcribed by Mike Wobschall:

“I love being in Minnesota, love the community, and my family feels really at home,” Loadholt said. “It’s been great settling in Minnesota and calling it home. I was drafted here, and I wanted to come back and finish what we started here. I have a good feeling about where things are going with this team. We’ve just got to continue to build on what we’ve got and keep improving.”

“It was important to keep the consistency we have on the line,” Loadholt said. “The more we keep working together the better we will be as a group. If we continue to stay healthy and work hard we can reach our goals.”

Having the best running back in the league makes blocking a lot more fun,” Loadholt said of his fellow Oklahoma Sooner. “Adrian makes everyone’s job easier and knowing what he can do makes you want to work even harder.”

Rumor has it that Loadholt played the free agency game like anyone would, leveraging the division rival Bears against the Vikings, but it is refreshing to see some seemingly genuine comments about the organization be pleasant ones.  Loadholt will be part of the Vikings roster for years to come, and he sounds excited about that.

Rick Spielman and the Minnesota Vikings has blown up the depth chart when it comes to wide receiver by releasing Michael Jenkins, letting Devin Aromashodu hit free agency, and trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.  They have allowed two of their starting linebackers, Erin Henderson and Jasper Brinkley, explore free agency.  They changed the landscape of the secondary by releasing feisty veteran Antoine Winfield.

They are also rumored to be pursuing a new backup quarterback.

One thing that is interesting, however, is that the team has opted to maintain a great deal of continuity on both the offensive line and defensive line.  Thus far, anyways.

By retaining right tackle Phil Loadholt , backup Troy Kropog, and backup center Joe Berger the Vikings have kept intact their offensive line, with the lone exception being the currently unsigned backup guard Geoff Schwartz.  Spielman declared some time ago that continuity was of value to him on the offensive line and that philosophy shows with how today has gone.  A lack of reported interest in any free agent linemen, combined with the fact that Charlie Johnson is still on the roster, shows that the Vikings don’t appear poised to make any sweeping changes in this area.

The defensive line also had potential for movement, especially in light of the shrewd move to release Winfield, as there are a number of high paid players that are on the wrong side of thirty.  Jared Allen is in the last year of his contract and Kevin Williams is not playing at the level his current salary would typically warrant.  Still, there hasn’t even been a whisper that something could be cooking in this area, and as of right now it looks like the front four will remain unchanged.

Mind you, we aren’t even half of a day into free agency and there is still potential for movement, but it is an interesting note that nothing in this area of the roster seemed to be on the checklist for Day One of free agency.

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